Tag Archives: COVID-19

How to Talk to Your Children About COVID-19

By Tracey Dowdy

The World Health Organization has announced that the Coronavirus (COVID-19)  has been diagnosed in 114 countries, killed more than 4,000 people, and is now officially a pandemic. Even though WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged people not to be fearful because of its status as a pandemic, many parents and children have anxiety about their own health as well as the health of loved ones. 

As parents, it’s important to remember that our children look to us and other adult authority figures such as teachers, coaches, and Scout leaders for guidance on how to respond to such news. These guidelines from The National Association of School Psychologists and National Association of School Nurses can help you navigate those difficult conversations, allay unnecessary fears and keep your children safe through preventive measures. 

Children are constant observers, so remember that your children will react to and follow your reactions – both what you say and what you do. Allow them to share their feelings, show compassion, and remind them that you and their teachers, coaches, and other adults at their school are working to keep them safe and healthy. Unless they have compromised immune systems, even though children may still catch the virus, they’re far less likely to experience symptoms

Be careful in your conversations not to lay blame on specific people, groups, or organizations and as always, avoid stereotyping or bullying language. It’s also a good idea to be mindful of watching or listening to the news when your children are around as the frequent reports on the virus may increase their anxiety. Remind your children that not everything they see online is real, and to always consider the source to determine whether what they read or saw is fact or fiction. 

Try to maintain as much normalcy as safe and possible by sticking to your routines and keeping up with schoolwork, even if there are temporary school closures and distance learning. 

Finally, remember how quickly rumors spread around the school when you were a child and how gullible you often were. Having these conversations is important because often what we imagine is far more frightening than reality. Remind them of basic precautions like washing their hands for at least 20 seconds – the length of time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice – or use hand sanitizer if there’s no sink nearby. The virus can live on some surfaces for up to nine days, so remind them to wipe down their tablets and phones or have you do it, and avoid sharing food or drinks with their friends. 

The most important thing for them to hear is that there’s no need to panic, and as always, you’re actively working to keep them safe and healthy.

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.

Phone Sanitizers to Help Avoid COVID-19

By Tracey Dowdy

You already know your phone is nasty dirty. We shouldn’t be surprised – it comes into the bathroom with us getting covered in the spray from “toilet plume,” rests on the seat next to us on the bus, on fast-food counters, on the sidewalk while we tie our shoes, and even our dirty office desks.   

Recent studies have found that the coronavirus, (COVID-19), can survive on some surfaces – including your phone – for up to nine days. We touch our phones frequently with our hands, but we also touch our face with it during a call or listening to media or messages, so naturally, any bacteria, including COVID -19 can be easily transferred to your skin.

But, cheer up Buttercup. You don’t have to fear your handheld bio-hazard, which should be reassuring in our Coronavirus-pandemic filled news cycle. 

Check out this article for phone-cleaning do’s and don’t’s, and if you’re in the market for the simplest way – blasting germs with UV light but don’t want to spend a ton of money, read on. 

There are several products designed to sanitize your phone including PhoneSoap, probably the best known of the lot. The drawback for many is that even its least expensive model, the PhoneSoap 3, sells for $79.95 and won’t ship until April 1.

Lecone UV Cell Phone Sanitizer fits phones up to 6.2 inches and doubles as a charger since ut has a Qi charging pad embedded in its lid. It’s also an essential oil diffuser for no apparent reason related to charging or sanitizing, but if you want your phone to smell lemon-fresh, this is the sanitizer for you. Priced at $39.99, it’s one of the lowest-priced options available. 

HoMedics UV-Clean Phone Sanitizer is $79.99 but you get 10% off if you sign up for emails. It kills up to 99.9% of bacteria and viruses without chemicals, maximizes light coverage for thorough sanitization, fits virtually any smartphone, guarantees up to 70 uses per charge, and comes in three colors. It promises to completely sanitizes your phone in 60 seconds, making it perfect for the germaphobe on the go.  

Phone UV Clean Machine promises to sanitize your phone in six minutes. It’s lightweight, compact, and like the others on this list, uses a USB cable to charge, and can be used to sanitize other small items like makeup brushes, bank cards, glasses, manicure tools, electric toothbrush tops, and jewelry. It’s currently $42.49, but eligible Amazon Prime Members get a $10 bonus if they reload $100 to their Amazon.com Gift Card Balance. 

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.