As New Year’s Eve celebrations occurred throughout the globe to usher in 2020, clusters of cases of pneumonia in people began popping up in China. By January 30, nearly 10,000 cases of COVID-19 were reported in at least 21 countries including the first in the United States on January 20.
Since COVID-19 began to spread across the globe and states began to mandate stay-at-home orders, the light at the end of the tunnel has become clouded for many. Although some questions have been answered by state and local health officials over the past few months, some things – such as when students can return to classes and sports – are still up-in-the-air.
On March 6, 2020, the last day of classes, I vividly remember running to my car as soon as classes were dismissed. I was in a rush to an appointment after school that I could not miss, and I did not give my friends or teachers a last goodbye. In my head, I figured we would be back in school. Now, 10 weeks later, it is my biggest regret that I did not give my teachers or friends one last hug.
Before the global coronavirus pandemic came into play earlier this year, parents everywhere were guided by experts to set limits on their child’s screen time each day. However, in a rare twist of fate, COVID-19 stay-at-home orders meant that children and parents were left scrambling with no choice but to rely on virtual technology even more to attend work and school from home every day.
As COVID-19 quickly spread throughout U.S. communities in the beginning of 2020, social distancing orders forced family and friends to get creative and tech savvy in order to stay connected with one another. Now, for at least another four weeks in the state of New Jersey, residents have been ordered by Governor Murphy to stay at home and schools will continue remote learning until at least May 15, 2020. So, with an even longer extended period at home now, you might be looking for new and fun ways to keep connected while physically apart from friends and family outside your immediate quarantine crew.
Senior year in high school usually brings graduation, proms, senior trips, awards banquets and so many more last chance opportunities to bond with friends before entering the real world. Many high school graduates, if asked, recall high school with a nostalgic twinkle in their eyes, fondly remembering carefree times spent with friends.
It’s no secret parents are dealing with a lot at home throughout this COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, which shutdown schools across the country — and the globe — for an undefined amount of time. If you're like me, you're at home helping to facilitate distance learning for your multiple elementary-aged children and toddlers while working your own job from home. You're juggling parenting, working, helping with online learning and trying to maintain some semblance of normalcy in your home. Oh yeah, and you're trying to remember to shower.
As an educator and a parent, it gives me a unique perspective on this at-home time and what it can and should mean for families, that I felt it important to share some lessons learned to help you navigate these unsettling times and be the heroes of your own household.
The spread of the novel COVID-19 has forced more closures and stay-at-home orders than we have seen in our lifetime. Most of the news this month quickly inundated us with frightening stories and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel is, for many, difficult.