Helping Kids Cope With Pandemic Life

Pic of boy sitting alone by a window in a mask who is dealing with quarantine sadness. See article for resources on how to help kids with covid issues.

2020 has been a challenging year for millions of families across the country as routines and lives have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The greatest disruption has been in the area of our social interactions. With social distancing and isolation requirements  to protect our health, have come a new set of issues and stresses for all, but especially for children.  

Children don’t always respond to stressful events in the same way as adults do. Often they are unable to articulate how they are feeling or pinpoint a cause. However, there are behavioral clues that can help parents and other adults know they are not managing to deal with stress well. Some of these are: 

  • Excessive worry or sadness
  • Unhealthy eating or sleeping habits
  • Irritability and “acting out” behaviors
  • Lack of school interest or poor performance
  • Avoidance of school work, including simple tasks 
  • Difficulty with attention and concentration
  • Avoidance of activities enjoyed in the past

Children sometimes learn ways to cope with stressful situations from cues they receive from their peers and adults in their lives. The social isolation required by this pandemic has not been easy, as children and all the adults around them have been greatly impacted by the uncertainties of COVID-19. It is therefore important for parents to first identify any issues and then help their children develop coping strategies that will enable their resilience in dealing with the challenges that covid will continue to create in our lives. 

The University of Colorado School of Medicine offers a number of tips to help support children. They include:  

  • Taking time to talk with your children about the COVID-19 outbreak. Answer questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that your child can understand. It’s important to acknowledge their fears and concerns.
  • Reassure them that they are safe. Share with them how you deal with your own stresses so that they can learn from your own coping mechanisms and can approach you when they are concerned or fearful.
  • Limit your child’s exposure to media coverage about COVID-19. Children may misinterpret what they see or hear and may get frightened about something they don’t understand.
  • Make sure you create and maintain a sense of structure and routine, which often provides comfort to children. 
  • Be a role model; take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well. Connect with your own friends and family members virtually so they can learn to use technology for peer and family support.

We have listed below some additional resources you might find helpful in supporting your children during this time: 

For more resources related to children, teens and homeschooling during this pandemic, please visit our CORONAVIRUS COVID19 RESOURCES page.

COVID Personal Safety Tips

Article updated November 28, 2020

Even though scientists are continuously discovering new information since the Coronavirus emerged, some of the basic safety measures still remain the same. For example, after dozens of studies, the fact that the #coronavirus can live on some surfaces for a long time is still true, but where there are differences is in exactly how long it can survive on different surfaces like paper, plastic, and metal. Regardless of how long it does live on a surface, there are still 3 personal strategies that have been essential in helping people protect themselves against COVID-19:

  • Personal hygiene practices: washing hands vigorously
  • Environmental cleanliness: disinfecting commonly touched surfaces
  • Personal behavior practices: Wearing masks & Social Distancing

The most effective and easiest method of personal protection against #COVID19 is by not touching your face. That alone will dramatically cut your exposure to the virus. Next is developing a practice of hand washing before and after certain activities:
https://video.twimg.com/ext_tw_video/1244006497635491841/pu/vid/720×720/qcd8t8vDorTauiLB.mp4?tag=10

By now you’ve heard a lot about 1 personal hygiene habit, that is extremely important: washing your hands. Here’s a video on the best way to wash so you are sure you’ve killed all harmful bacteria and viruses like COVID19.

Two other practices that are equally important is how you sneeze or cough and where. But even most important is what you do immediately afterwards. Even if you use your sleeve, use a tissue to wipe your face. Then immediately dispose of it in the trash. In order not to infect anyone else you should wash your hands immediately or use hand sanitizer.

Understanding how we get infected, helps us to know how to prevent getting sick. Below is a wonderful infographic that can be used to show others how the coronavirus infects and is transmitted to groups of all ages. Click through the cartoon to read the story

Studies have shown that not all disinfectant products are effective at killing #COVID19. The EPA has a list of over 500 disinfectants that are effective at killing this coronavirus, also known commonly as #COVID19, or by its scientific name: SARS-COV-2. Please visit this linked EPA page to see the full list.

Sadly, not everything in your life can be cleaned with a disinfectant. In fact the items that poses the most danger to you is something you need to learn how to clean differently. What is it? Your cellphone. Studies have shown that our cellphones have more bacteria than our toilets – Ewww, I know.
But because cellphones are electronic you cannot spray them with disinfectants. Watch the video through the link below to learn how to clean and disinfect your mobile phone without causing any damage.

throuhttps://komonews.com/news/coronavirus/heres-how-to-clean-your-electronic-devices-without-damaging-them?jwsource=cl

By The way, not all hand sanitizers are effective. Here’s how to select the ones that can kill the #Coronavirus #COVID19 and how to use them so they’re effective. Link: http://bit.ly/38tKvYe

When to use a sanitizer and What Type

Protecting your family involves more than handwashing, it involves planning and a new way of doing things. For example: it involves wiping down your groceries before putting them away; storing the shoes you wore outside in an area where they won’t infect your family or pets; making certain plans in order to help vulnerable family members avoid others who might carry carriers of #COVID19. You can find all of this and more in the Household Pandemic Guide posted here: bit.ly/2HS03ue

Finally, stay informed of #coronavirus community spread and school and other closures in your area by signing up for updates with your local/county health department as they will be the ones responsible for making those decisions. Follow your State & local Health Depts on fb/twitter and online to learn of health alerts in your area. To find them visit:
https://www.naccho.org/membership/lhd-directory

Community Spread Part 1 COVID-19 Resources

Coronavirus Preparedness Resources & Tips
Here are our most popular Coronavirus Tweet Threads on Twitter:
-Personal Protection: http://bit.ly/39uBwY9
-Understanding Community Spread: http://bit.ly/38DUYRg
You can also find related posts here –>>> https://bit.ly/2V45DB8

Today’s Post is a continuation of the Community Spread theme, however, here we will focus on how you are the first line of defense.

COVID Protection Begins With You
a)The protective measures we use
b)How we interact with others in our community
c)How we interact with our environment
We’ll do a brief overview of (a) [see tweet 3]
Then we’ll move on to (b) us & our community

We’ve been covering Personal Protection since mid-February, but we’re reposting a viral tweet on how/why soap is such an effective #COVID19 tool:
https://virologydownunder.com/why-does-soap-work-so-well-on-sars-cov-2/

But as #COVID19 spreads hand washing as a Protection is 1 tool in a multi-layered strategy. Below are other measures we must take to help stop community spread in our own homes first. Those habits will help us stay healthy and avoid infection in our own community

7a) Once a contagious disease like #COVID19 spreads in a community the next most effective way of stopping it is through Social distancing. Today Chicago & NY implemented different levels of social distancing. In the video via the link below, Dr. Arwady explains Level 1
http://bit.ly/2vVdLtS

7b) In #NY, a moderate level of mitigation was not enough to curb the rapid spread of #COVID19 in #NewRockelle #NY. As a result, the Gov increased the measures to a Level 3 with many closures and to support those who lived there the Gov of New York state activated the National Guard. They will also be helping the #NewYork State Health Dept with testing logistics. Because the spread has infected hundreds and there are over two thousands more who are potentially infected and currently in quarantine, it required a more drastic measure to keep everyone safe.

8) Today was Italy’s first day using a Level 3 Mitigation strategy – a lockdown, in order to stop the spread and reduce the deaths. In the U.S. 2 cities have opted for a more limited strategy, which has been effective in #Singapore & #Vietnam. That did not work in the Northern region of Italy and so the lockdown was expanded.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-51810673

9) Social distancing measures are not without emotional impact. This past week not being able to be together for religious holidays impacted many. In the linked 4 pg. fact sheet, the different measures are explained along with the emotional impacts that arise with each and there are some strategies you can use to minimize them: https://bit.ly/2K0WPFA

Understanding Community Spread of COVID-19

We are posting Coronavirus information and resources daily on our Twitter and Facebook accounts to help you prepare and get through this emergency keeping your family safe and healthy. We’re tagging states with new #COVID19 cases today who could use this info: #OK #MO #VT #LA #HI.

This post is about: How Covid Spreads in a Community

News of the #coronavirus #COVID-19 is everywhere, including the playground. It’s important that we talk to our kids before any members of your household get sick. The article via the link that follows, give you reassuring ways you can explain this topic to your child.

Personal preparedness is where we start to fight community spread of COVID19. It begins with hygiene practices at home & continues w/support from members of your community. Please share the link from the CDC w/leaders of organizations & businesses in your community:
Link: http://bit.ly/38oi5Po

To help you/others understand what we are dealing with I am including an article featuring 2 brand new studies about how easily #COVID19 spreads. This is meant to help you understand the new normal we are facing:
http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2020/03/study-highlights-ease-spread-covid-19-viruses

Many community organizations continue to be challenged by COVID as they try to navigate the new normal. The article below describes how the #coronavirus is changing some religious practices, which you might encounter during the holidays:
https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/06/world/religion-modify-traditions-coronavirus-trnd/index.html

Why is curbing community spread important? Because Coronavirus could continue to spread into next year, but the impact could be blunted, CDC official says if we take certain precautions, even amidst a surge.

How does our behavior make a difference in the spread of the Coronavirus? Dr Wiles, an infectious disease expert, walks us through the answers with illustrations in their Three Phases of Covid:
https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/09-03-2020/the-three-phases-of-covid-19-and-how-we-can-make-it-manageable/

Finally a tool that is important in any crisis is Self-care. Because this is a long drawn out event it’s important that you find ways to deal with increased stress in positive ways so you can remain healthy. Harvard Health’s tips for mini-relaxation: http://bit.ly/2TY0U2e

CEDRdigital is a disaster response group that activated on 1/25/20 to help communities prepare for this pandemic while supporting local government agencies get ready to respond to the #Coronavirus.

Small Business Resources During COVID19

Small businesses are the economic backbone throughout the US. Many are struggling to survive and may not get through this #shutdown. So tonight we’ve gathered resources in the hope of helping them get through this time.

The key to any business survival this year is having an online presence.  For those businesses who do not yet have a full online presence Yahoo Small Biz is hoping to make the transition easier by offering the following free services: a website, domain name and 5 email addresses for a year. To learn more visit: https://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/businessmaker/payitforward

Inc Magazine has a list of Free Tools, Resources, and Financial Help for #SmallBusiness Owners Hit by #COVID19. Link: https://bit.ly/2K4mGN1

The US Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Inc Magazine for virtual Town Hall Webinars to help answer questions on the Stimulus Plan and share information about innovative programs that small businesses might be eligible to apply for.
https://www.inc.com/stimulus-2020-qa?icid=hmhero

ICIC has developed a #SmallBusiness Resource Center to help businesses during the #COVID-19 Crisis. They have identified hundreds of resources from national to local opportunities and keep the list updated so please follow and visit their page: https://twitter.com/icicorg/status/1248665336678842371?s=20

Make sure you subscribe to your state’s #SmallBusiness Administration (SBA) for information on financial grants, networking or webinars, such as the one below: https://twitter.com/TexasEconDev/status/1250120848008192001?s=20

The US Chamber of Commerce has created a state guide to bring you the best resources and information to help  #SmallBusinesses navigate this challenging time. Visit them here to access:
https://www.uschamber.com/co/small-business-coronavirus

Women business owners can turn to Business Journal for COVID-19 financial help. They have been updating their business resource list periodically:  https://www.bizjournals.com/bizwomen/news/latest-news/2020/04/where-women-business-owners-can-turn-for-covid-19.html?page=all

The Small Business Administration has nearly a hundred resources, tools and webinars you can access year round. They have now created a special #SBA #COVID19 Resource Page so please make sure you bookmark the page so you can return often.
Link: https://www.sba.gov/content/online-small-business-resources

Finally, Client-to-Consultant Bridge (C2CB) is a program for business owners to get assistance they need to navigate #COVID19 period. Our volunteer consultants will be available to assist businesses in their communities free of charge. https://c2cb.wildapricot.org

Financial Survival In The Time Of COVID19

Tonight’s Highlighted Resource is the #NY State Comptroller’s: #COVIDー19 Financial Survival Toolkit for #NewYorkersThe links below will offer guidance & resources to help you during this challenging time. #NYC #Nassau #Suffolk https://www.osc.state.ny.us/covid-19/financial-toolkit.htm

The NY Times developed: “A Hub for Help During the #Coronavirus Crisis” that is broad and robust enough to help residents from: Washington, Oregon, California, Texas, Florida, Connecticut, Michigan. We urge you to visit and check out their #COVID19 financial resources: https://nyti.ms/3ax7kfJ

Another great #COVID19 finanical resource is the United Way’s 211 system that is used in over 80% of states in the #US. You call or visit their website to check what financial/economic #coronavirus support system is available locally and in your state: http://www.211.org/services/covid19#Resources

You can legally take steps to financially protect yourself from the impact of the #coronavirus. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has the legal info you need to work with your mortgage company & creditors in order to secure #COVID19 relief: https://bit.ly/34qTHMK

Personal finance adviser, Suze Orman offers 12 money do’s and don’ts to help you survive the #financial and health crisis of #COVID19. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/suze-ormans-money-dos-donts-151204225.html

If you are unemployed or had your work reduced, you may be eligible for SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Pgm. USDA really wants people to know they should see if they are eligible and apply: https://fns.usda.gov/snap/state-directory

If you live in these states: NY, WA, AL, OR, AZ, CA, the US Gov’t has made arrange so that you can use your SNAP benefits to buy #food online via Amazon, Walmart and a few others. https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2020/04/08/arizona-and-california-added-innovative-snap-online-pilot-program

For those in immediate need of putting food on the table, we have 2 sources:-Feeding America’s website to search for addresses info for your local/county food pantries: https://bit.ly/3cdFRQn-check your local religious orgs, such as Catholic Charities for distribution info.