Everybody says “Don’t panic” about the Coronavirus. That’s valuable advice to be sure, but this blog is about practical things you can do while you’re not panicking. We are in the middle of an ‘infodemic’ about COVID-19 and everybody really just wants to know what to do.
“Don’t ignore or dismiss this.” Learn what you need to know at the CDC website. They update information three times every week. While your social media feeds may be updating constantly, I promise you’re reading some things that are incomplete and misleading. I always say, “Just because you read it on the Internet doesn’t mean it’s true.” Here’s Dr. Mike Varshavsky with a great summary of what we know as I write this in early March, 2020.
If you’re going to worry about Coronavirus, worry about things you can control. Things that keep kids healthy. The hard stuff. Like eating fruits and vegetables (instead of junk food) and getting enough sleep. Too easy? Try three straight weeks of family focus on these things. I did. The kids were organizing the No Veggie Sticks Mutiny into the second week. Putting back the VeggieSticks (which are the same as chips, you know) should not be a difficult as getting facemarks delivered from Amazon.
Each month matters. Experts are learning as they study and monitor the spread of Coronavirus. Vaccine research is happening now, we’ll know more and more about how to avoid infection and how to get well if we catch the virus. At the same time, my family is focusing on our own healthy habits and trying to improve them.
We’re playing T-Zone Tag. It’s a game I invented to see how long we can go without touching the T-zone area on the face: eyes across + nose & mouth down. I’m the observer looking around to ‘tag’ one of my kids when she touches the T-zone. Then she’s the CoronaTagger until she spots one of us touch the T-zone. You can read more about why it’s important NOT to touch the T-zone in a great blog post by my favorite Kristen Stuppy, MD at Quest For Health.
To really up the ante on good handwashing (because little kids always remembers to flush AND wash, right?) I invented Cow Bell Craziness. I’m a soccer mom and cow bells are just part of celebrating the next soccer goal. Everybody noticed when I left a cow bell in each bathroom. Any bell will do, but after “flush and wash,” the kids are ringing a cow bell this month and still giggling about my ‘goal’ of bringing more attention to the importance of good handwashing. If you didn’t click Dr. Stuppy’s link above, it’s a worthwhile read. Here it is again: ** Help PREVENT the Spread of Infections
Lots of my patients and their families are anxious about Coronavirus. If you must worry, focus your attention on things you can control. Educate yourself and your children by sharing the video clip and info from this blog. We’re here to help and hope you’ll be back to read new ideas and information.
Dr. Gayle Schrier Smith and her Partners In Pediatrics