As parents face the possibility of a summer devoid of camps, pool parties, barbecues and vacations, many are wondering what they can do to keep their families sane. My kids are increasingly missing their friends and sense of normalcy; it feels like something has to give or we’ll all lose our minds.
As some summer camps open around the country, families are weighing whether the benefits of outdoor fun are worth the risks of infection. To learn more about how to make this decision, Caribu spoke with Dr. Geeta Nayyar, Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at Florida International University.
The CDC advises that children over the age of two wear a mask when they cannot maintain adequate distance from another person. It’s okay for your kid to go mask-free when they’re outside (say, on a remote hike where they’re not touching picnic tables or water fountains), but not in a crowd. So it’s probably best for them to stay covered up if there’s a chance that they may get close to others.
Scientists have advice about how to hug during the COVID-19 outbreak. According to the New York Times, “Not only do we miss hugs, we need them. Physical affection reduces stress by calming our sympathetic nervous system, which, during times of worry, releases damaging stress hormones into our bodies.”
How can we help young children understand more about social distancing and wearing masks? This might seem like an impossible dilemma for parents of active and social kids. Part of child development is learning how to play, share, talk, and tumble together, and it’s hard to push kids to modify these sweet moments of interaction in response to COVID-19. As cities emerge from their shelter-in-place orders, the complexities of playdates and summer camps might be confusing for everyone to navigate.
Of all the hardships imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, few are as poignant as the reshaping of relationships between children and the grandparents who love them. Across America, where more than 70 million people are grandparents, efforts to prevent infection in older people, who are most at risk of serious COVID-19 illness, have meant self-imposed exile for many. At the opposite extreme, some grandparents have taken over daily child care duties to help adult children with no choice but to work.
As some countries ease coronavirus restrictions, mental health experts are noticing an emerging phenomenon; anxiety about life after lockdown. Meanwhile people who remain living under the most stringent measures are fearful about what will happen when these rules are lifted.
Grandparents have had enough. They want to see their grandchildren. A life in seemingly endless lockdown and isolation from grandchildren is not how grandparents want to spend their golden years. But adult children don’t want to risk exposing an older, more vulnerable generation to the new coronavirus during a family visit. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that eight out of 10 deaths from COVID-19 are in people aged 65 and older.
Being cooped up inside is hard. So in our living rooms, bedrooms and basements, kids are turning to fort-building to create safe havens as the Covid-19 world feels out of their control.