How to Talk to Kids About the New Covid-19 Pandemic
It’s important to have an open conversation with children about the outbreak and keep them informed.
Covid-19 Pandemic has disrupted our daily routines, altering the way we work and live. For children, this time is especially confusing. While many parents’ natural instinct is to protect their kids from scary things, shielding them from coronavirus news is not the answer. To help children process changes and find some normalcy, the best thing to do is to talk to them about what’s going on, says Dr. Shannon Bennett, site clinical director of the NewYork-Presbyterian Youth Anxiety Center.
“An open conversation where we ask them questions and allow them to ask us questions is an important thing to do across all ages,” says Dr. Bennett, who is also an assistant professor of psychology in Clinical Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine. “The way we answer those questions will obviously be different depending on the age and developmental stage of the child, but I think being honest and trying to stay close to facts without letting our own anxiety seep into the conversation is the best way to go.”
Here are some tips on how talk to kids about the outbreak of the new coronavirus.
Help them understand the facts about Covid-19 Pandemic
By now, even young children have heard of the new coronavirus (which causes the disease being called COVID-19), either from seeing it on TV, learning about it when their schools were closed, talking to friends, or overhearing parents and other family members’ discussions. The concept of a virus or a pandemic may be difficult for them to grasp, but you can help them understand the topic better by giving them a point of reference they can relate to. “Illness is always around in schools at this time of year, so you can liken it to things that they are already familiar with,” Dr. Bennett says. “That may be less scary for them and help them to understand that we always need to keep our bodies clean and healthy, and we’re doing what we can to make sure that is true now, as always.”
Physical distancing means fewer social cues
While stuck at home, your exposure to other people who smoke or vape has likely decreased quite a bit.
This can make it easier to escape social triggers that usually reinforce these habits, like:
- drinking at a bar
- hanging out with friends who smoke
- taking a break at work with co-workers who smoke
- being stuck in traffic
Losing even a few of them can make your journey to quitting easier. Not having anyone to smoke with can help, too.
Changing your routine is easier
While you might have fewer social triggers to contend with, you’re probably still encountering plenty of triggers at home.
Experts recommend making small changes to your routine to avoid triggers. If your schedule has already been flipped on its head during quarantine, now might be the perfect time to change it up.
If you usually smoke first thing in the morning, for example, try taking a physically-distanced walk around the block or checking in with a friend over the phone.
By the time things get to a point where you can return to your usual routine, you might already be used to not smoking.
What’s the recovery rate of Covid-19 Pandemic?
Experts don’t have information about the outcome of every infection. However, early estimates predict that the overall COVID-19 recovery rate is between 97% and 99.75%.