Week 2: Ways for Kids To Serve Others; More Tips for “Stay at Home”

We’ve gotten through our second week of “shelter-in-place” (Day 15) and we’re still talking to each other.

And it’s official. Our local schools (California Bay Area) will extend closure through May 1 to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Given Trump’s recent extension of federal social distancing guidelines, we expect that the state of California will maintain its stay-at-home recommendations past Easter.

So we’re “shelter in place” for a longer period than expected, making the best of our situation. We’re getting used to our new normal.

We watched a mid-day satellite launch together. That wouldn’t have happened under normal circumstances.

The routines and expectations set in place at the beginning are paying off — everyone pitches in when needed with minimal complaint, we have dinner together every night and the kitchen is reasonably clean. Each of us has our own schedule during the day which gives everyone “space” so we’re not in danger of seeing “too much” of each other.

In the workplace, the best advice I’ve heard is “lead with empathy”. It’s a stressful time, everyone has been impacted in some way, and unless your company makes PPE (personal protective equipment) or cleaning supplies, it’s probably not going to be “business as usual” for a while. Many companies in all sectors (services, hospitality, retail, products, professional services) are hurting, too. Not able to make payroll, laying off employees. We all have to be as empathetic as we can right now.

Although not everyone in the country is under mandatory “stay at home” orders, the best rationale I’ve heard this week for being conservative and minimizing external contact boils down to two points:

We’re doing ok, so it’s time for us to shift to more of an external focus. The extra time we’ve had in our day gives us a chance to talk about the impact of this crisis on others and how we can help. I asked each child to research and come up with an idea they’d like to follow up on to help. Here are ideas we are working on:

We’ve also received other suggestions about ways kids can help:

The virus is now hitting closer to home. We’ve learned that we are currently only 1–2 degrees of separation from diagnosed cases, affecting family friends in NY, NJ, Florida, and CA. We hear each day about healthcare workers who are lacking protective gear and falling ill. There are many groups in need of community support right now.

I’ve found that people are trying to keep their spirits up by sharing resources, advice, and ideas. Thank you to all of you who responded to my request for input.

Here are tips related to food & safety:

A March 24 interview with a doctor on the front lines in NY, answers questions about COVID-19:

How to protect yourself if you live in a multi-story building:

More free resources:

If your kids need a change of pace, these recommendations can help kids explore existing interests or develop new skills:

Onward, to survive week 3! For all of you who are potentially dreading another week, here is a healthy parent perspective shared by our local school principal.

“Stay at Home” week #2

Catch up on our shelter-in-place in California: Week #1, Week #3, Week #4, Week #5, Week #6, Week #7.

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