All day every day for a while now (varied amounts of time depending on where you live) we have all been reading real and fake news about COVID-19/corona virus. We have shared memes and health tips and all felt the full range of emotions.
This is undoubtedly a time which will one day fill the pages of history books. People will study the effects, the deep losses and how each individual/government/organization/nation dealt with the pandemic and how successful (or not) they were. Hero’s will rise out of this and there will be silver lining but the general feel will be unbelievable devastation.
I won’t lie, I have been super stresses over the past two weeks… trying to consider my family, the safety of the children I teach, navigate a new way of teaching and not compromise on quality or professionalism (even though it has been hard to understand some management decisions). At the end of the day the most frustrating thing has been to watch so many people in South Africa take this lightly… we have watched from afar while other nations took a relaxed stance and are now in total crisis mode.
Our government under the leadership of a fairly new president has been far more proactive than I think most of us expected… let’s face it, we haven’t had the best leadership in South Africa over the past few presidential terms (my opinion). To date; schools have been shut down (well for children but not all for teachers – which has been personally problematic), the interest rate has been dropped in anticipation of the economic mess that is coming our way, there have been travel bans implemented etc etc.
On a personal level I have found it quite tricky to try and explain it all to my 4yr old. We generally like to take the stance of explaining and being honest with our kids… but there is a limit. Some things children just don’t need to know yet and we also need to walk the fine line between honesty and terrifying the living bejeeezuz out of our kids.
In our house we have chatted and decided to adapt our lives in the following way (I think it’s nice to have clear decisions to move forward with so all the adults are guiding all the kids in the same direction-generally helpful in parenting, even in non-pandemic times):
- Take this virus seriously… very seriously.
- Keep the kids at home.
- If an adult has to go to the shops or work change clothes and clean yourself up when you get home before interacting with the rest of the family.
- Online shop as much as possible to avoid crows and leave the shops less crowded for those who can’t online shop.
- Care about others… be mindful and aware of how our actions affect others – adapt our behavior so that it isn’t adding to the negativity.
- Try to stay positive and kind.
- Let our cleaner stay home so that she is not at risk (also be thankful that under usual circumstances we can have a cleaner).
- Teach the children ways in which they can help out with the chores.
- Be outdoors as much as possible (if you have a garden or safe non crowded space to do it in).
- Limit interaction with anyone who may be high risk (we have stopped seeing all grandparents who are all high risk because of underlying health issues).
- Let go a little – the house is not going to be tidy … it’s not
- Eat as healthily as possible to remain healthy with a boosted immune system.
- Do one form of exercise a day and one fun kids activity per day.
- Kids (not the baby obviously) do one alone activity a day so that parents can catch their breath a little.
- Be patient, kind and supportive of each other.
- Practise incredible hygiene.
Wherever you are, may you stay safe, be kind, be sensible and stay healthy.