Lifestyles

Gather Around Kids!

It’s Time To Talk About COVID- 19

By: Kalindi Mishra

Screenshot 2021-03-29 3.33.00 PM

A mother teaching her child that it is important to always have your hands clean during this pandemic and to always wear a mask. Credit: https://campaignforchildren.org/resources/covid19/

To no  surprise, COVID-19 is the source of a constant surge of new information released every day. The famed virus was named on Tuesday, February 11th, 2020, by the World Health Organization as “ Coronavirus disease 2019” or more commonly known as  COVID-19.

A climate full of uncertainty coupled with a lack of daily routine, is the prelude to anxiety, fear, and depression. Such circumstances take a toll on how you feel and behave those around you, especially the little ones, will  notice. 

Parents are caregivers, so naturally they will begin to brainstorm ways to further their childrens’ development in light of the coronavirus.

Providing them with digestible information will allow them to enhance their coping mechanisms. First, parents should do some research beforehand for preparation. 

Start studying information from a reputable organization, namely the CDC ( U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention.) Search for the latest federal and state recommendations on how to safeguard against the infection. 

Here is a breakdown of this abbreviation, according to the CDC : ‘CO’ is for ‘corona’ , ‘VI’ stands for ‘ virus’, and ‘ D’ is for disease. Prior to the official naming, it was referred to as “ 2019 novel coronavirus” as well as “ 2019-nCOV.”  

Named for the conspicuous crown shaped surface spikes, coronaviruses constitute a collection of viruses that are found in people and animals, such as bats, cats, cattle, and camels.  

COVID-19 is a novel virus, which has not been previously observed in human infections. From what is known, animal coronaviruses are unlikely to infect people and subsequently spread. 

However, two previous viruses have differed in this aspect, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV.  SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2, and MERS-CoV all make up the class of beta coronaviruses; additional similarities lie in their presence in bats. 

Mayo Clinic encourages parents to define what it is. “COVID-19 is caused by a germ ( virus) that can make the body sick.” 

“People who have COVID-19 may have a cough, fever and trouble taking deep breaths. But some people, especially kids, who have the virus may not feel sick at all or may have mild symptoms such as those of a cold.

Explain how it spreads. COVID-19 spreads when the virus enters the body through an opening. 

Suppose the virus is present on someone’s hands, and then, they touch their eyes, nose, or mouth. 

Caregivers should encourage hand washing throughout the day- before meals, after coughing, or sneezing. Moreover, demonstrate hand-washing. Show them how to wash hands by forming soap bubbles between fingers and along the entire length of every finger. 

As everyone is staying home, take time to discuss the implications of large crowds in the spread. Also, inform them that when the risk subsides, a more normal routine will resume. 

If you are near someone who has or could potentially have the virus closer than 6 feet, then you are likely to become infected. Refrain from being too close to strangers, even if they are not visibly ill.

“Pretend there’s a bike between you and the person you’re standing near, keeping about 6 feet apart from each other. Instead of giving high fives, fist bumps or hugs to people outside your family, give smiles and waves to say hello” encourages the Mayo Clinic staff.

Other ways to assist your children in coping is by staying composed. They will look to you for behavioral cues. By being hopeful, you can promote a positive outlook.

Make an effort to listen and address concerns by mentioning facts- phrased in a coherent but simple way. If there is a question whose answer you do not know, be transparent. 

Warning them of the large presence of misinformation, while assuring them that you will guide them in the process of assessing information. 

Frequent conversations will encourage children to verbalize their feelings. As care providers, when we give time and attention, the parent-child bond deepens with a sense of trust. 

To preserve this environment, ensure limited access to misleading details by monitoring news and social media. Remain cautious of the nature of  news you choose to discuss when children are nearby. 

Despite limiting the “consumption” of the daily news, you can participate in virtual socializing with family and friends to avoid feeling isolated. Adding these activities will help to sustain relationships, in spite of the restrictive protocol. 

Although maintaining a routine has been nothing less than a challenge, attempt to retain both the timing and structure of meal times, learning activities, and most importantly, bedtime.

Displaying a daily schedule on a whiteboard, or alternatively, crossing off tasks on a to-do list, can aid in productivity at home.

Emphasize the scientific investigations being conducted by researchers to investigate the nature of the disease- work is being done!

Though unconventional, make the most of the experience! After all, when will Facetime and other apps come in handy?

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