Exciting news! BGCA’s Child & Club Safety team is officially in partnership with the ClubX Blog! I’m legit THRILLED because I love them and the work they do. We will be featuring regular content from the team on how to promote physical and emotional safety in afterschool, as well as highlighting awareness initiatives. You can find all of the posts as they go live in the Child & Club Safety category in the header of the page. Today’s post is from Director of Child & Club Safety Kevin Trice. Let’s give the team a warm welcome with lots of shares and views!
On December 31st, 2019, the World Health Organization’s China office was informed of an “unknown” pneumonia case and began monitoring for any other potential cases.
On January 21, 2020, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) confirms the first case of coronavirus in the United States.
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declares COVID-19 a pandemic.
On March 13, 2020, the United States declares the COVID-19 outbreak a national emergency.
On March 19, 2020. California becomes the first state to issue a statewide stay-at-home order mandating all residents to stay at home except to go to an essential job or shop for essential needs. The order also instructs health care systems to prioritize services to those who are the sickest.
Our way of life has changed and even been named “The New Normal”. In March 2020, the largest world economy, the United States of America, shut down to help stop the spread of the virus. We watched as states and local governments, businesses, schools, and other public and private entities closed temporarily.
We saw – education and learning switch from face-to face to virtual instruction
We saw – employers lay off hundreds of thousands of workers
We saw – domestic violence, child abuse, and suicidal ideations increase
But there is hope. Hope is defined by Merriam-Webster as a desire with anticipation; to want something to happen or be true. This is what we also saw:
We saw – essential workers sacrifice their health and well-being to come to the aid of those that needed them most
We saw – our Clubs and Youth Centers distribute meals to families in need and stay open to help those essential workers that had children but no place to send them while they worked
We saw – our Clubs and Youth Centers switch to virtual programming to ensure students would continue to access learning while at home
We saw – philanthropic organizations donate millions of dollars to research for vaccinations
What we saw was hope in action! We saw the very things that make us who we are. We showed an invisible enemy that we were going to fight back!
Together We Will Conquer:
Every day there seems to be new guidance and new steps on how to deal with this pandemic. There is guidance for personal protective equipment, social distancing guidelines, traveling, mental health, schools, day care centers, washing your hands, and the list goes on and on. How do we combat this challenge? How can we stay safe? How can we keep the people we care about safe? Here are some specific ideas for two areas we are all dealing with, self-care and hygiene.
Self-Care: The American Psychiatric Association has several tips on combating fear and uncertainty.
- Stay informed. Obtain current information about the outbreak from trusted sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.
- Educate. Follow and share basic information about hygiene to reduce spread of illness, such as handwashing and cough etiquette. You can download the handwashing poster we made here!
- Correct misinformation. As a way to help health care workers, correct inaccurate information and misconceptions by sharing credible, established public health resources with those around you.
- Limit media exposure. Use media enough to make informed decisions, then turn it off. Doom-scrolling Twitter isn’t helpful!
- Anticipate and address stress reactions. Keep in mind that it’s normal to feel stress in reaction to an infectious disease outbreak and be aware of signs of stress in yourself or family members. Take steps to minimize and address stress, such as keeping normal routines, taking part in enjoyable activities, focusing on positive aspects of your life and things that you can control; seeking support from friends and family; and engaging in stress reduction techniques and physical activity. Learn more in our Coronavirus series of posts on managing stress.
Hygiene for Work and Home: The National Safety Council and American Red Cross highlight safe habits that should be encouraged at home and work.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick or are exhibiting symptoms.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then properly discard the tissue.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Cover your nose and mouth if you cough or sneeze.
- Turn away from others when coughing or sneezing.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face covering when around others, including when you must go out in public (for example, to the grocery store). NOTE: The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected. Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. Do NOT use a facemask meant for a health care worker.
- Do not gather in groups. Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings. This includes gatherings of any size outside your household, such as a friend’s house, parks, restaurants, shops or any other place.
- Children should not have in-person play-dates while school is out.
- Avoid using public transportation, ridesharing or taxis, if possible.
Another helpful note about health insurance – there are still a few workers that do not have health insurance or work part-time jobs that do not cover this benefit. The Affordable Care Act could be a resource for you if you meet certain criteria such as a change in household size, change in residence or income, or a change in citizenship status.
This pandemic has taken a toll on all of us, but our compassion and resilience marches onward. Safety is always critical but even more of a priority now. Safety must be a culture and with a heightened focus and awareness on it, Together We Will Conquer!
Check back in with the ClubX Blog often for more ideas and resources on how to maintain your mental and emotional well-being during this challenging time. Stay safe. Wash your hands. Take care of yourself. We are in this together!
Get the latest updates from BGCA at BGCA.net/Coronavirus, find programming ideas at MyFuture.net, like the BGCA Youth Development on Facebook for YD updates including video from Sarah, and join the brand new BGCA Youth Development Community also on Facebook to connect with other Club staff on programming through coronavirus.