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  • Writer's pictureRachel Terlop

The ABCs of COVID-19

All In This Together: All around the world people are staying home. Countries on every continent have cases of Coronavirus, which means that there are kids all around the world who are learning from home - just like you. We are not the only ones staying at home, wearing masks, adjusting to a new routine or feeling unsure - we are all in this together.

Believe You Can Make a Difference: By staying home, you are making a difference. The more people who go out to stores or restaurants, the more chances there are for the germs to travel. You are helping stop the spread of germs by learning at home, staying inside, and keeping your space extra clean!

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): The CDC is a branch of the United States Government that researches how to help stop the spread of germs and disease. Everyone who works there is focused on helping citizens around the world stay safe, and keep our lives as normal as possible. The CDC teaches the United States how to best protect ourselves and others.

Drive Thru: Going through the drive through to pick up food or medicine limits the amount of people you interact with. If you went into a shop, you might pass dozens of people. At a drive thru, you might only talk to one person. If we’re working on slowing down how germs spread, we want to interact with fewer people.

Essential: You may have noticed or heard that a lot of shops or places are closed right now. Only essential businesses, the places we need, are open for you to go into. Although you may miss some fun places, your health and safety is the most important thing. We know school is essential for you in order to learn and grow - how does your learning look different?

Find Ways to Connect: Your everyday life might feel different right now; you are not going to school and seeing your teachers and friends in person, and you aren’t going to visit relatives. Be creative and find new ways to connect with other people! Can you talk on the phone, video call, write letters, or use an app? Could you work to learn a new way to communicate: nautical flag signaling, sign language, or creating your own language? What other ideas do you have?

Gloves: Wearing gloves when touching things at the grocery store helps keep your hands clean. Did you know that wearing gloves will only work if you keep your hands off your personal things? If you went to the store and touched the shopping cart, and then touched a cell phone - the germs get transferred from one object to the other. What do you think you should do after you are finished wearing your gloves?

Healthcare workers: Now, more than ever, people who work at doctor’s offices and hospitals are taking care of whoever comes in! Because this is such a new virus, people are very worried about their health and safety, which means more and more people are going to get checked out. Healthcare workers are working directly with people who are sick, so be sure to send them a good thought and thank them for helping people get better quickly!

Interconnected: This virus spreads because of germs spreading from person to person. Isn’t it amazing to think that no matter where you are in the world, people are thinking about the same thing you are? I wonder if we could spread love, or joy in the same way! How could you connect with people to share a positive message?

Jarring: Jarring means suddenly shocking! This virus is new, and people do not know a lot about it, so its presence is jarring. However, look how seriously your school and family are taking it! Everyone cares about health and safety, so although it may be shocking and sudden, adults are flexible so that everyone can stay safe. How has your family been flexible during this time?

Keeping Up Routines: Just because we are at home doesn’t mean we aren’t still learning and growing! What has stayed the same in your daily routine since transitioning to being at home? What things are different?

Learning at Home: How cool is it that your teachers are still teaching while you’re at home?! Just because we cannot all be in the same classroom doesn’t mean we stop our learning. How does your learning look now? How is your teacher helping you grow?

Multi-Generational Families: If your family is lucky enough to have grandparents and great grandparents, you may have noticed that you are not able to go see them. This is a precaution, meaning that we want to be extra careful around people who are older. How has your relationship changed during this time? How are you keeping in contact with your family?

N95 masks: You may have noticed more people are wearing special face masks. N95 masks are a special type of mask that helps keep doctors safe when they are working with sick patients. Have you created a mask for yourself to stop the spread of germs? What materials could you use to create a mask at home?

Opinions: Opinions are thoughts people have about a topic. In some parts of the world, people think it is ‘ok’ to go outside right now and continue life as usual, and some people think we should not leave our homes at all. Have you asked your family their opinion on leaving the house? Remember, the CDC are the experts that provide clear directions for people. If you are forming an opinion, you might start by hearing the facts from experts!

Patience: This is a new situation for you, your parents, your teachers, your friends, and your family. Everyone is learning how to work from home, and adjust to a new schedule. Patience means you slow down and take a deep breath when you get frustrated, and remember that everyone is trying the best they can. Everyone has a different routine right now, and we are all taking a little time to get used to it.

Quarantine: You may have heard this big word floating around. Quarantine means people who are sick, or could have been exposed to germs, are staying away from everyone - just to be safe. That’s why we are staying at home! We might have germs, so we’re staying home just to be safe.

Readjust: Working from home? School at home? Not being able to play with friends? All of these things are new for us, and we are in a readjusting period. This means that we are creating new routines and developing a new idea of what is normal. How do you feel about these changes? It’s ok to feel whatever you are feeling - uncomfortable, happy, safe, confused! Ask your family how they feel about readjusting their daily routines!

Social Distancing: If you are going out and about, you may have heard people talk about social distancing, seen tape on the floor, or had to wait your turn to go into a store. Social distancing means people are trying to give each other space so our germs don’t get on each other. The less people in the stores, the less germs float around.

Touching your Face: Did you know people touch their face about 20 times an hour? In addition to washing your hands, you may have heard people say “Don’t touch your face!” This is because when you do touch your face it is typically contact with your eyes, nose, or mouth, which are direct pathways to your sinuses and lungs. The coronavirus affects your lungs, so that is why doctors suggest you don’t provide germs a road map to your lungs!

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF): UNICEF has one of the largest collections of emergency materials! They can ship emergency supplies anywhere in the world in 48 to 72 hours. This has been so helpful in keeping people safe from coronavirus. Thank goodness for their help! How can you thank them?

Virus: The coronavirus is a special type of germ called a virus, and it is so small you cannot even see it with a microscope! This virus has a ‘coat’ on it, just like you put a coat on to protect you from the cold. Well, here’s the thing, we don’t want to protect this germ, do we? So how do you destroy the coat on this virus - by washing your hands for at least 20 seconds. That wears down the coat on the virus, and destroys it! What song can you sing to yourself for at least 20 seconds to make sure you’re washing your hands long enough?

World Health Organization (W.H.O): The WHO is working to make sure citizens around the world know facts about coronavirus. Remember, people around the entire world are learning about this virus just like you!

SiX Feet of Space: When you go out in public and you hear people talk about ‘social distancing’ or staying 6 feet apart, have you ever wondered why? When you breathe out, or exhale, your air can travel 3 to 6 feet across the room! If we want to keep our germs to ourself, then, let’s stand 6 feet apart! What can you use at home to figure out how far 6 feet apart is? Here’s a hint: A foot is 12 inches. A fork is not quite a foot, it is only 8 inches.

You ARE Helping: Feeling bored at home? Missing your friends? People around the world feel the same way. You are helping by staying at home! If everyone stayed at home, could the virus spread anymore? NOPE!

Zoom: If you are really missing people, consider using Zoom to contact them! Zoom is an app that lets you make a video phone call. There are lots of other apps that let you do this - try one out to talk to people you love, from the comfort of your home.

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