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Families plan to stay healthy during closures

Schools in several states where governments have closed schools in hopes of curtailing the spread of coronavirus are generally advising students, staff, and their families to keep learning, keep their hands clean and away from their face, and keep a safe distance between themselves and others and any objects they may have touched.

7th District Elementary School, Parkton, Md. (Voxitatis)

Detailed guidelines from the National Association of School Psychologists and the National Association of School Nurses say the best parents can do is to give “brief, simple information that should balance COVID-19 facts with appropriate reassurances. … Give simple examples of the steps people take every day to stop germs and stay healthy, such as washing hands. Use language such as ‘adults are working hard to keep you safe,'” the guidelines say.

Los Angeles Unified School District, one of more than 100 in California whose officials have closed schools for a few weeks, announced that it will open 40 family resource centers to provide care for children if families need it. The centers will be staffed weekdays from 6 AM to 6 PM, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The concern shifts from safety and nutrition to one of financially providing for one’s family in some cases, however.

Some parents who live paycheck to paycheck have to scramble to find affordable childcare options, usually by co-opting with other parents, WHYY (NPR affiliate, Philadelphia) reports.

One deli in Philadelphia’s business district, which would normally bustle with office workers, was completely empty during lunch Friday, except for two servers and the owner. The counter and booths gleamed after a recent wipe-down. The deli’s owner, like so many other business owners, said she simply can’t afford to shut down. “A big company—I think they can survive,” the station quoted her as saying. “But I don’t know how to survive in this situation.”

Advice to stay healthy

The COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) page for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides detailed guidelines about what to do

  • To avoid catching coronavirus,
  • To keep those around you healthy, and
  • To take care of yourself if you get sick.

COVID-19 does not seem to affect children as severely as it affects people older than 60. But all individuals are at risk of contracting the disease, which can be treated by medical professionals. On its prevention page, the CDC advises people to disinfect surfaces daily if they’re touched frequently. Diluted bleach is a good disinfectant to use.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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