With the return to school right around the corner, thoughts of pencils, paper, notebooks and backpacks have been replaced with thoughts of coronavirus, swine flu, hybrid learning and public health — let alone the health of your child and your family as a whole.
Depending on where you live, your town is likely engaged in careful consideration of their approach to the upcoming school year. At-home or virtual learning versus classroom learning versus a hybrid model are all hot-button topics, each coming with a laundry list of things that must be considered.
For most of us, rolling with the punches has become status quo. Despite the challenges at-home or hybrid learning may present, our biggest concerns remain the control and prevention of covid 19 and the proper education of our children — both about coronavirus, itself, and in the common sense of the word, school education.
The Big Three
- Be it swine flu or coronavirus, the common cold or a simple case of the sniffles, we’ve all learned by now that proper washing and sanitizing of both yourself and the surfaces with which you come into contact most is an absolute MUST. Lead by example, and help your kids understand the importance of proper hand washing (20+ seconds-worth or “two happy birthdays” of vigorous washing) and wiping down things that other children may have used before them.
- Wear a mask and help your children learn and understand the importance of doing so, as well. Teach your kids that although masks can be a nuisance, they’re not only for their health, but also for the health of the people around them. Pro tip: Some of your kid’s favorite superheroes wear masks. Batman, Spiderman, Ironman… Pointing out this little fact is a great way to ease the burden of having the mask conversation over and over.
- Covid and the novel coronavirus are no joke. To date (editor’s note: this article was written on August 28th), there have been over 180,000 deaths in the United States alone, and the virus has become the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer. Though these facts are likely too heavy to explain to your little ones, communicating in an appropriate way the seriousness of the virus is becoming increasingly important. This covid 19 germs experiment for kids video is a great way to explain to them the importance of hand washing for disease control and prevention.
Little Things Add Up to Big Things
- Always having hand sanitizer at your disposal is HUGE in the fight against covid 19 and the flu. Listen, you can’t always wash your hands. We know that. When you’re on the go, those little bottles of sanitizer are great to have around– in the car, in your purse or pocket– just keep them with you. As far as home and office, give this hand sanitizer dispenser from Origyn a try. It’s called “autoSPRITZ”, and its zero-touch, targeted spray delivery system kills 99.99% of sickness causing germs when used as directed.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends hand sanitizer with at least
60% alcohol content. Non-alcohol-based sanitizers are not as effective when it comes to killing germs, bacteria and viruses. Origyn’s liquid hand sanitizer follows the World Health Organization’s recipe for the most effective germ killing, at 80+% alcohol (ethanol).
- Think about and wipe down commonly-touched and NOT-SO-commonly touched surfaces. Often. Like all the time. The common areas in your house that you most certainly have been paying closer attention to aside (your kitchen counter, the bathroom sink, the toilet, etc.), we’re willing to bet there are plenty of others you may be neglecting. Take a sanitizing wipe with a high alcohol content to some of the lesser-thought of areas like light switches and switch plates, your cell phone, the TV remote, the handle of the refrigerator, knobs or handles to kitchen cabinets… the list goes on and on. Trust us; once you start thinking about these secondary areas, you’ll find more and more. Keeping them clean and sanitized is super important in the fight for disease control and in keeping covid 19 out of your house.
- Advise your children that sharing snacks and other foods with friends both at home and at school (if they’re going) is a no-no for now. We’re all familiar with the, “I’ll trade you two Twizzlers for one of your cupcakes” routine. Then Kid B reaches his nose-picking, ‘sucking on Twizzlers all day’ little hand into your kid’s cupcake package to retrieve his negotiated-for snack and BOOM! …sick kids all over the place, school gets shut down, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) gets called in wearing hazmat suits to spray the whole town down… not a pretty site. OK, maybe that’s a little dramatic. Snack trading will be a thing again. Just not right now.
We’re All in This Together
I was going to title this section “Sharing is Caring”, but I feared that could be a little misconstrued in light of the current situation. A major component (and at the same time, a great lesson-teaching opportunity) of getting through this pandemic is sympathy, empathy, and an overall understanding that we are all going through this together. The coronavirus, just like the flu, is not confined to a school, a neighborhood, a town or city. It’s worldwide. Turn on the news, and you will see people in India, Australia, China, Italy, Ohio… literally EVERYWHERE… dealing with the same things that you are. Masks and sanitizer, social distancing and hand washing. And bear in mind, comfort levels vary. While some people are nonchalant and others extra careful, it’s important to do your best to respect and allow for each individual’s level of comfort.
Sparing is Caring
If you have extra masks and someone you’re with has forgotten theirs, share! Same goes for hand sanitizer and wipes. Helping others (ESPECIALLY those with medical conditions) helps you (and the rest of us) in getting through the coronavirus pandemic without added frustration. Because as we all know, this is tough enough! Plus, how many times have you left the house or gotten out of the car, only to get to the front door of the store and realize you’ve forgotten your mask? About a hundred? And then you do what we all do: You let out your favorite choice of expletive and begrudgingly trudge back to the car to retrieve your mask. Sharing is caring in this regard; and caring goes a long way.
There Will Be a Time…
…when we all look back at 2020 with a “remember when” and, more likely than not, a whole bunch of disdain at “the year that was not”. But in the meantime, bear in mind that as the coronavirus rages on and with the onset of the flu pandemic approaching with the return of the colder weather, remember one thing: we are all people, together in this great big world. And in the battle for the return of world health, sympathy, empathy, care and compassion will go a long, long, long way in turning “the new normal” back to the old normal that we knew and loved so well. (Well, that and a little hand sanitizer.)