I know LPS sent out emails about how our school district is preparing for an outbreak of Covid-19. I also know how difficult it is to listen to the radio or watch TV without something, usually something sensational, being said about the virus. I have had lots of conversations with students, individually, in small groups, and in the classroom, about the virus. Please keep those conversations going at home. When students are hearing something at school, from their friends, or on TV, but it isn’t referenced by their trusted adults, it causes them to worry even more. They often think, “It must be REALLY bad if my parent/guardian won’t even talk about it.”
Reassure students that the label “coronavirus” covers a wide range of viruses, and if they’ve had a cold in the past, they’ve probably had the coronavirus and survived! Discuss how this type of coronavirus hasn’t been seen in children, and adults who get it are most likely to only feel symptoms similar to a cold or the flu. While the news does talk about people dying, point out to your student that the people dying from the virus are overwhelmingly over 70 and have a pre-existing condition.
Finally, talk with your student about how we can help ourselves be healthy. Washing hands for 30 seconds is recommended. Practice that. See and feel how long 30 seconds actually is (I know I was in for a shock when I timed myself). Practice coughing into your sleeve. Work on getting lots of sleep (yes, even during spring break it’s a good idea to go to bed a bit early), drink lots of water, and try to make healthy eating choices.