Coronavirus Explained – Practical Advice for Parents
You must stay at home – that’s the latest coronavirus statement from Prime Minister Boris Johnson as of today, Monday, March 23, 2020.
Here at Mumbler, the LAST thing we want to do is spread panic. So we’ve tried to explain Boris Johnson’s statement as easily as we can, while also sharing lots of practical advice and ideas for what you can do at home.
You should not leave your house apart from to:
Exercise once a day, alone or with members of your household
Buy essential supplies (but as infrequently as possible)
See to a medical need, provide care or help a vulnerable person
Travel to and from work (only if your work cannot be done from home)
Parks will still be open for exercise, but playgrounds will be closed and gatherings will be dispersed.
Schools are now closed, although the children of of key workers (such as those who work in healthcare) and vulnerable children will still be able to attend. For more clarification, see the Government’s guidance, here.
The Prime Minister specifically banned:
Meeting with friends and family that you don’t live with
Weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies (excluding funerals)
All gatherings of more than two people in public
Shops that don’t sell essential items, playgrounds, places of worships, libraries and outdoor gyms will now close.
So what should you do if you feel ill?
Only call 111 if your condition deteriorates. If you can use the internet to access 111 then do. This frees up the phones for the elderly and those who aren’t online.
Don’t visit your doctor – phone them instead
Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds
If you can, stay in a room (by yourself if possible) with good ventilation and a window that opens
Stay at least two metres away from relatives if you can
Use a seperate bathroom (if possible)
Sleep alone (if possible)
You can use your own garden, but don’t go for a walk
Double the recipe for dinner and freeze half. You can bulk things out with tins of lentils or pulses, using breadcrumbs when making meatballs, etc. They’ll be easy to pull out later if you are feeling ill or can’t get to the shops.
Put aside a few craft supplies if you have some. A new pack of pencil crayons, sticker book, colouring books or plasticine can buy you a few hours of quiet if everyone’s getting restless. Poundland had some great science kits in earlier today!
Download some audio books. You can loan them from the library (see here on how to do it) and books are automatically returned so you don’t have to worry about taking them back or fines.
A friend (she lives abroad) whose children are already quarantined gave me this advice:
“My big kids are six and four and the thing that is helping them the most is allowing freedom they don’t normally get at school. Yesterday I gave them a ton of random craft supplies and (clean) trash and said, do whatever you want. They had a BLAST for hours. Today I’m probably going to give them a roll of aluminum foil and tell them to call me when they are hungry. 😂 It’s nothing fancy but at school everything is so structured so being able to do whatever they want in a controlled way is helping them feel less stuck and me get some sanity breaks.”
Other tips to try:
Keep a positive attitude as much as you can and try and keep some kind of routine (easier said than done!). Remember, this too shall pass and there’s always Skype, Facetime, Whatsapp and other virtual ways of keeping in touch with others.
Exercise regularly (adults and kids), either in your garden or with a DVD at home. Yoga is a favourite in our house and Cosmic Kids’ YouTube channel is great for 20 minutes or so. There are lots of ideas for kids’ exercise circuits online, incorporating ideas such as bear crawls, star jumps, etc.
Quarantine might even provide the perfect opportunity to potty train, since you will be at home for a prolonged period of time.
Now might be the perfect time to teach a new skill to your little ones. Tying their laces? Learning how to knit?
If you have a garden, print off a scavenger hunt – there are lots of free ones online.
Look after your neighbours. If you’ve got elderly neighbours close by, they may be concerned about going out. Call in on them (or drop a note through their letter box) offering to pop to the shops for them or simply to let them know that you’re there.