Hey friends: as a public health professional, I’d like to offer up a video that I thought did a great job of explaining the purpose of social distancing.
Thanks for all you are doing to protect our most vulnerable friends, family and neighbors.
If you’ve ever felt called to serve but never had time, this is the moment! All we’ve got to do is work at home, keep kids learning, chill out, do a puzzle, get a little bored, watch some movies, go for walks with our household members, ride bikes, give each other 6 feet (as my FLA husband knows, about the length of a small gator) and generally behave like there are no hospitals available to you for awhile.
As I recently heard Minnesota’s Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm say, #stayathome means social distancing is no longer a suggestion, it is a requirement. It is specifically required of those who do not work in “essential service” to our community. For those of you who do not, honor those of us who do: #stayathome.
Tweens and teens are especially vulnerable to isolation – it is practically developmentally inappropriate to ask them to stay home with their families for weeks with no social contact with peers. Yet, we’re doing it. This is hard. In public health, we plan for some weak links. Let’s make sure, as grown ups, we are not the weak links. In fact, if you’ve never considered yourself a role model, this is likely something you can absolutely nail for our kids and their grandparents!
Children and youth need time outdoors to play in order to grow and thrive. We all need to exercise in order to boost our immune systems and care for our chronic conditions and mental health. Please do. At the length of one small gator or more.
At the end of this, I invite each and every one of you over for a visit on our front porch. For now, I’d like to invite you all to break out your drums, bells, noise makers and voices, step out onto your stoops, and hoot and holler together each Monday evening at 5 PM from wherever you are.
Remember: It is ok to keep the bar low right now – the kids are all right. If things are not all right in your household, we have to learn to ask for help. Here are some resources:
The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is only a phone call away: 1-800-273-8255.
If you are in need of assistance with medical care or health insurance, Community Health Centers are a trusted resource across the U.S.
At Minnesota Community Care, we have completely transformed in order to meet the essential health care needs of our patients, offer screening for respiratory illness, and provide resources via social media to families and youth on managing anxiety, isolation, and school at home.
United Way supports 211 helps people across North America find local resources 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Here are some great home-learning resources from Common Sense Media: Wide Open School.
World-wide Free Forest School has published tips on how to get your kiddos outside and learning everyday!