How Some Parents Changed Their Politics in the Pandemic

They were once Democrats and Republicans. But fears for their children in the pandemic transformed their thinking, turning them into single-issue voters for November’s midterms.

Almost everyone in the crowd of more than three dozen was a parent. And as they protested on a recent Friday in the Bay Area suburb of Orinda, Calif., they had the same refrain: They were there for their children.

Most had never been to a political rally before. But after seeing their children isolated and despondent early in the coronavirus pandemic, they despaired, they said. On Facebook, they found other worried parents who sympathized with them. They shared notes and online articles — many of them misleading — about the reopening of schools and the efficacy of vaccines and masks. Soon, those issues crowded out other concerns.

Ms. Murakhver joined some Facebook groups and became particularly active in one called “Keep NYC Schools Open,” which petitioned the city to open schools and keep them open through Covid surges. Last year, she became a group administrator, helping to admit new members and moderating discussions. The group swelled to 2,500 members.

Using Format