Tips to Keep Your Student Prepared for COVID-19
In light of the recent spread of COVID-19 in the United States, many parents have expressed their concern about disruptions in their student’s day-to-day life, including their education. At Gooroo, our students, parents, and tutors are our top priorities and our goal is to keep your family safe, healthy, and protected. Read on to stay informed and prepared.
How does it spread?
COVID-19 is a new respiratory illness. There is one important thing you and your family should know: how it spreads. According to the World Health Organization, “the disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales.”
Will my child still go to school? Will there still be school?
Each school district is working closely with its local contracts from the Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control to set necessary measures and precautions. Specifically, in New York City, the Department of Education is closely monitoring the situation and including various protocols such as:
- Providing CDC-approved cleaning agents to every school
- Ensuring all bathrooms are continuously stocked with soap and paper towels, and encouraging students and staff to wash hands frequently.
- Ensuring principals and school nurses have the resources and guidance needed to detect and report symptoms exhibited at school and provide help for any affected individuals.
Here in NYC, the DOE is working closely with The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene currently has no plans to close schools at this time. It states that New Yorkers remain at low risk for contracting the virus currently. However, that still means we all should be vigilant. So, Gooroo is sharing basic tips and information below.
What are some important tips?
- Wash your hands. This may seem obvious. However, many people do not wash their hands correctly. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water. Remember to go between your fingers and under your nails! How long? Just sing “Happy Birthday” twice and you’re ready to go.
- Cover your cough. Whenever you cough or sneeze, be sure to cover it with either a mask or a disposable tissue. Then, throw it out immediately.
- Avoid touching your eye, ears, and nose.You may not notice how often you touch your face. The eyes, ears, and nose are all potential entryways for the coronavirus or other germs. It’s a difficult habit to break, but try to be more aware.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces. Viruses can last up to 48 hours on objects. So, be sure to effectively sanitize your desk, phone, tables, and other surfaces regularly.
- Seek medical advice if you are sick.If you don’t feel well, stay home. If you are noticing symptoms such as a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, you should seek medical attention.
How should I plan ahead with my tutoring sessions?
Discuss this with your Gooroo. We want our tutors to be safe and to respect the health and safety of the families who invite them into their home.
You may still have concerns about your health and safety, especially for students who are in contact with other students from all over. Here at Gooroo, we have more options for your peace of mind to allow the regular learning to continue. We want to address the concerns and preferences of all our parents. If you choose to stay indoors due to COVID-19, we offer online tutoring via our virtual classroom.
Our virtual classroom allows our students and tutors to maintain their lessons in the comfort of their own home. With Gooroo’s virtual classroom you can: video chat, screen share, annotate, collaborate on documents, and much more.
Interested in booking an online tutor? You can start your request here. Feel free to call us at 646–791–3081 to speak to our team and learn more.
How to Communicate as a Family
Reducing family tension in conversation can prevent children from being so overwhelmed.
- Give everyone a chance to speak. Even if you disagree, it never hurts to learn another point of view so try to keep an open mind and interrupt as little as possible, so everyone feels respected and welcome.
- Practice using positive language. Conversations can quickly become heated when members disagree, but don’t take the bait. Instead, take a deep breath and remain calm, using positive language to de-escalate what could easily become an ugly situation.
- Stick to the facts. When things get emotional, conversations can quickly spiral out of control. Instead, use facts as much as possible and steer clear from personal opinions.
- Don’t be a part of the problem. It is easy to focus on the negatives, but that accomplishes nothing except increasing agitation. Instead, change your focus to potential solutions, so the conversation takes a more neutral, less combative turn.
- Keep an open mind. Remember that everyone does not have to agree. COVID-19 has affected people around the world in different ways. Rather than justifying or disputing anyone else’s opinions, respect them as coming from someone you care about.
Tips for Visiting and Hosting Family
- Drive whenever possible. In the privacy of a personal vehicle, you are less susceptible to germs and disease from those around you. By using your own car or even a family member’s vehicle, you can limit your exposure to COVID-19 while away from home.
- Shop in advance. If you stock up on all of your groceries before you travel, you can beat the crowds. Ordering groceries for delivery or pickup is another great way to avoid crowded stores.
- Get tested. Grandparents or those with compromised health are especially high-risk individuals susceptible to viral infections, so if you get tested before your arrival, you can ensure better peace of mind for everyone.
- Follow state and local guidelines. There are several apps designed to provide real-time COVID-19 tracking, and you can also check the CDC’s trip planner to input your destination for specific infection rates and travel guidelines in that specific area.
- Create a “sanitation station.” In the entryway, lobby or foyer, add a sanitation station where guests can stop to wash their hands to prevent any outside germs from coming inside.
- Request that your family is tested. Traveling family members should exercise the same travel tips we discuss above, with the additional measure of COVID testing before the celebration.
- Stock those cleaning supplies. You will need to have more on hand to sanitize each room after it is used. COVID-19 can live on surfaces for hours or even days, depending on the type of surface, so be sure to use a disinfectant to wipe down surfaces. Have extra cleaning supplies ready so you can sanitize each room after your guests are done using them.
- Check your home insurance. Ask your insurer whether you can be held liable if someone contracts COVID-19 in your home, as every policy is different, and your insurer may make special accommodations in light of the pandemic.
When with At-Risk Family Members:
- Move things outdoors. Wherever possible and weather permitting, try to move the celebrations outdoors where the family can spread out. It allows you to gather more freely with less risk of exposure.
- Avoid direct physical contact. To keep your family safe, instead use a verbal greeting that lets your relative know that you are happy to see them, but also are invested in their safety.
- Wear a mask. It may seem excessive at home to wear a mask at home, but COVID-19 is easily transmitted through respiratory droplets, and can infect people who are in close proximity. Whenever you are in the same room or within six feet of one another, consider using masks.
Socially Distant Activities for Kids
- Scavenger hunt. Put together a list of common household items that can be easily found. Read each item one at a time, giving the children an opportunity to search their home for the item. The first one back in the video frame with the items wins. Not only will the kids get a little physical activity, but it also allows for a little friendly competition.
- Show and tell. Show and tell is a fun childhood activity that can easily be transitioned to a virtual format. However, you may have to calm excited children and remind them to wait their turn before speaking or sharing.
- Storytime. Reading children a book instead of watching a video is a great way to spend time with your loved ones, while also reinforcing the lessons they are learning in school. Take turns reading, so the little ones in your life have a chance to practice their reading and speaking skills. Setting up a mini “book club” for kids is also a great alternative that Zoom can help orchestrate.
- Bike rides. Gyms and recreational facilities being closed has caused Americans to get back to basics with fitness. A bike ride is one of the ways you can get outside and enjoy physical exercise, and it’s particularly great as a family activity.
- Freeze dance. Get kids moving with a game of freeze dance if you or another adult is willing to host. Be sure to keep everyone six feet apart, even using hula hoops or cones to provide easy six-foot markers for the kids and create boundaries for the game.
- Walks and hikes. Daily walks and hikes as a family are a great way to get in extra activity and explore trails or hidden parks in your area. Be sure to limit hikes to just your family to reduce exposure to others.
- SNAP. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides federal assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service so that no family goes hungry. To apply, contact your local SNAP office for assistance.
- WIC. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) uses federal grants to provide state-level support for women and children who need nutritional support.
Find online therapy and self-esteem counselling here.
Calming and Meditation
Handwashing instructions can be a little more difficult for children to remember, especially when their impatience gets the better of them. Reinforce healthy handwashing guidelines with the use of simple, easy-to-understand instructions you can post around the house.
Reducing Sibling Conflict
It’s only natural for tempers to flare when confined to close quarters, so it may help to research some new ways to keep the peace while everyone is sequestered indoors.
Written by Hope Chow