|Image by shubham sharma from Pixabay|
Nina Snyder is the author of "ABCs of Balls," a children's picture book that makes learning the alphabet fun for toddlers. Follow her on Twitter @nsnyder_writer.
|Image by shubham sharma from Pixabay|
|Gas prices at a 7-11 in Denver on April 27, 2020.|
I wrote about adjusting to wearing face masks for the Colorado Sun last week. This week, I finally got some additional to sew masks for local hospitals. So my net contribution to the Great Pandemic of 2020 will be 20 polka-dot face masks.
As I dusted off the sewing machine, I realized it has been years since I sewed anything. The last time I used a sewing machine, I was in high school, where I spent a lot of time doing nothing in a small town. If anything, this has been the best training for staying at home.
In high school, the main excitement consisted of driving in a loop around "downtown," which was approximately two blocks, in my friend's white Camaro. The car may have changed to a more family-friendly version, but last week the big weekend excitement was taking the family for a long drive around the neighborhood.
I'm afraid the rest of my quarantine will be a repeat of high school. I will lock myself in my room and listen to the Cure when I'm feeling angst. I will daydream of life in more exciting places. Maybe I will even sew my own prom dress in an '80s extravaganza of satin and chiffon.
But one thing I never worried about was a global pandemic. Now I'm struggling to balance my anxiety with trying to keep my kids occupied.
Yesterday, I tried to muster up interest in the backyard swing set -- now that all playgrounds are wrapped with police tape in Denver. "Mommy, can I sit on the swing? Does it have germs?" my four-year-old asked.
Then she nervously took my hand when we took the dog for a walk. "I'm not sure if we should do this," she said. I tried to explain to her that we were still allowed to leave the house to go for walks
I thought I was doing a good job of explaining to her why we couldn't see grandma for a while. Of why preschool is closed. Of why one person has to go to the grocery store instead of the whole family.
Yesterday, as the US became the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, I seemed to have faltered as well. Today, I'm going to take a break from reading the coronavirus body count.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, keeping calm is key. "Remember that children will react to both what you say and how you say it. They will pick up cues from the conversations you have with them and with others," the CDC said in guidelines on its website.
Here are some other parenting tips from experts:
Do you have any tips to share about talking to your children about the coronavirus?
We have been staying at home as much as possible, but my two children don't always understand why we are home so much. School is out for at least a month, and most likely the rest of the year.
Yesterday, I took them to a deserted playground to let off steam. We also visited grandma's house.
But now, the playgrounds are closing at 5 p.m. And now grandma says it would be probably better if we stayed away. I'm sure both decisions are the right thing to do, but I have no Plan B.
The order allows people to go outside and exercise, as long as social distancing is maintained. But my elderly dog is already sick of walks. She hides from me when I try to go for walks.
Please don't inundate me with emails about flattening the curve. I want to flatten the curve. I just don't know how to keep my sanity while doing it.
It's 2020, for God's sake. We don't have a health care system in the US that's remotely prepared for a pandemic, but we do have Netflix. We don't have a president who even understands what a virus is, but we do have the technology that lets some of us work from home.
My children are on Spring Break next week, and we idly talked about taking a trip. Now it's Corona Cancel time. We're going to stay home and do crafts until our fingers ache and our dining room table is completely coated in glue and glitter.
Now is the time to embrace the aspects of American life that are so often denigrated. Let's embrace the drive-thru. We don't have to go into a restaurant to eat. We can avoid social contact and still receive delicious food.
Let's live all our life on Facebook. We don't have to ever talk to each other in person again. Forget "Bowling Alone." Let's try existing for the next four weeks without face-to-face contact.
Just practice with me.
"I can't make it. I have to Corona Cancel."
As I walked past a meeting room on the second floor, there were a flock of young women dressed in black in a standing-room only meeting. Because I'm old and cynical, I assumed it was a a meeting of the anonymous variety.
However, as I'm in the bathroom washing my hands, a young woman nervously shares that it's a casting call. She's slender and blonde, with an enviable pair of peep-toe high heels.
She's fidgeting with her outfit, and seems very nervous. I assure that she looks great and that she'll blow them away. Then I wish her luck one more time, and head back down to rejoin the normal library patrons.
Now if only I could send myself some of that same positive energy as I sit down to apply for a writing opportunity that seems like a complete long shot. Everyone needs a little encouragement, but it's easier to encourage other people than myself!