“Please take a moment to read this,” the Punky Brewster star captioned a photo on Instagram of herself with four of her children. “If your children are having symptoms, please get them tested. I thought my son had a cold or a fever, I did not know that he had Covid 19. With the encouragement of our doctor I had him tested. He tested positive.”
Frye said she “rushed home” from a work trip only to find that two of her other children tested positive for the virus as well. “I continue to have the deepest respect for all of the caretakers on the frontlines, doctors, health workers, and volunteers, I have more love and compassion for single parents, grand parents, aunts, uncles, friends, and extended families that come together and jump in when needed,” she wrote.
Frye said that she’s had “so many emotions” over the past few days. “I want to protect my babies, love them, make them all better, take away the burning fever and tummy aches,” she wrote. “I have tried to smile through the fear and nurture them. I have shed many tears. It has brought up a lot for me.”
Frye noted that she’s also “thankful” for the health and wellbeing of her family, adding, “I know how incredibly fortunate we are.”
“My kids have been able to heal together and support each other through this, we have a doctor we trust and hospitals close by. We are able to lean on one another,” she said. “My heart breaks for the lives that have been lost and knowing how so many do not have the same things that we have or the chance to be with their loved ones throughout this.”
Frye said that she doesn’t know where her children caught the virus. “All of us that have been around them have tested negative,” she said. “That is part of the mystery in this, how hard it is often to trace and how easy it is to spread. Please be safe. Much love to you all.”
The comments of Frye’s post were filled with messages of support and sympathy. “Thank you so much for posting this. It’s getting really difficult to protect our kids as the world just goes on like normal,” one person wrote. “Only a few of us from my family of 8 caught it . It’s crazy how you can all live together & not everyone gets it. I hope your family feels better soon,” someone else said.
The news has been flooded lately with reports about the highly contagious Delta variant, which now makes up more than 82 percent of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Currently, 58.1 percent of eligible Americans have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but the vaccine still isn’t authorized for children under the age of 12. That raises some huge questions for parents — and experts say it should.
“Delta has really changed things,” Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist and professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, tells Yahoo Life. “It was bad before, but it’s gotten worse, and it has involved more young adults and children.” There are a few things Schaffner and other doctors recommend that parents keep in mind when it comes to keeping your children safe from the Delta variant.
Everyone in your household should be masked up in indoor public spaces.
Schaffner echoes the CDC’s latest guidance on wearing masks in indoor public spaces, pointing out that everyone in your family should mask up — regardless of vaccination status — if the spread of COVID-19 is substantial or high in your area.
“If you’re going out to public spaces, everyone should be wearing a mask,” he says.
Dr. Daniel Ganjian, a pediatrician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif, agrees. “Wearing masks whenever any of you are in indoor public spaces can prevent you from getting the disease,” he says. “Even if you’re vaccinated, you can get the virus.” And, he points out, emerging data suggests you can still be a carrier of the virus, even if you’re vaccinated and don’t have symptoms. “In case you’re a carrier, we want to make sure you don’t spread it to others, including your children,” he says.
Reconsider allowing unvaccinated people in your home.
Having unvaccinated people inside your house automatically raises the risk that you and your child will be exposed to the virus, Schaffner says. “Why would you have unvaccinated guests in your home?” he says. “We wouldn’t permit that in our house.”
If you do happen to have unvaccinated people in your home, Ganjian says you should have them wear masks. But again, if you can avoid this, Schaffner recommends that you keep unvaccinated people outdoors.
Indoor playdates are iffy right now.
“I really encourage outdoor playdates,” Dr. Richard Watkins, an infectious disease physician and professor of internal medicine at the Northeast Ohio Medical University, tells Yahoo Life. But, he says, if kids need to come inside your home, “they should be wearing a mask.”
That’s especially true if COVID-19 spread in your area is high, Schaffner says. “If you are in a very high intensity transmission area and if you have any concerns about the vaccination status of their parents, I would be very wary of that now that Delta is out there,” he says.
Ganjian agrees. “Especially now that it’s summertime and we have the luxury of good weather — have more outdoor time,” he says.
Everyone over the age of 12 in your household should be vaccinated.
Experts stress the importance of this. “You want to get as many people in your household vaccinated as possible because it prevents them from getting sick and prevents the spread of the disease to the people around them,” Ganjian says, noting that you can essentially develop herd immunity in your house.
“Ninety-nine percent of people hospitalized with COVID-19 now are unvaccinated,” Ganjiain says. “You don’t want your family to become part of that statistic.”
Watkins echoes the sentiment. “Parents got kids vaccinated before COVID,” Watkins says. “How is this different?”
Overall, Schaffner urges parents to do whatever they can to keep their children safe from the Delta variant. “Increasingly, Delta is seeking out the unvaccinated population in our country,” he says. “We all have to notch it up.”