What Are Coronaviruses?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Coronaviruses that infect people usually only cause mild respiratory disease, such as the common cold. However, at least two other coronaviruses have caused severe disease: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) coronavirus and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-Cov) coronavirus.
How is COVID-19 Transmitted?
The virus that causes COVID-19 is being passed from person to person through respiratory secretions – the snot and spit that may spew when you cough or sneeze. Experts think that the virus can also be spread by touching contaminated surfaces. For example, if you touch a doorknob or other surface that an infected person has touched or sneezed on then you touch your face, you could pick up the virus.
Should I be freaking out?
The short answer for most people is, no. Panic is rarely a helpful response, and managing anxiety brought on by the news coverage of coronavirus can be beneficial.
Based on what we know right now, most people — especially young people in good health — will recover from a case of COVID-19 even if it continues to spread in the United States. If you are at higher risk because you’re older or have health issues, take preventative measures but don’t succumb to overwhelming anxiety, as anxiety itself can have physical symptoms. Self-care in a pandemic means taking steps to prevent infection and spread, but also maintaining your mental health.
Children and teens react, in part, on what they see from the adults around them. When parents and caregivers deal with the COVID-19 calmly and confidently, they can provide the best support for their children. Parents can be more reassuring to others around them, especially children, if they are better prepared.
Not all children and teens respond to stress in the same way. Some common changes to watch for include
- Excessive crying or irritation in younger children
- Returning to behaviors they have outgrown (for example, toileting accidents or bedwetting)
- Excessive worry or sadness
- Unhealthy eating or sleeping habits
- Irritability and “acting out” behaviors in teens
- Poor school performance or avoiding school
- Difficulty with attention and concentration
- Avoidance of activities enjoyed in the past
- Unexplained headaches or body pain
- Use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
There are many things you can do to support your child
- Take time to talk with your child or teen about the COVID-19 outbreak. Answer questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that your child or teen can understand.
- Reassure your child or teen that they are safe. Let them know it is ok if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn how to cope from you.
- Limit your family’s exposure to news coverage of the event, including social media. Children may misinterpret what they hear and can be frightened about something they do not understand.
- Try to keep up with regular routines. If schools are closed, create a schedule for learning activities and relaxing or fun activities.
- Be a role model. Take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well. Connect with your friends and family members.
Learn more about helping children cope.
If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others call
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. (TTY 1-800-846-8517)
Message from the Counselors:
If you have questions about virtual learning, please reach out to your teacher and/or your counselors.
We will miss each of you greatly and hope you all remain healthy.
Mrs. Zarzeck firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs. Montgomery email@example.com
Ms. Henderson firstname.lastname@example.org