BY DONNA DUARTE-LADD
Summer is here and we are (finally!) moving through the Phases here in New York City. Yet, as of this week, COVID-19 cases in other states are growing, such as Florida and Arizona. Other states are teetering back into the hot zone, where they were once making progress; their cases are increasing again.
Kids want to be outside. Who can blame them? It is summer — this is the season we city peeps use to recharge our spirits and soak up much needed Vitamin D. Yet, (enter Debbie Downer), I am personally seeing parents not wearing masks along with their kids.
So What Do We Do?
I recently shared that my four-year-old was in the hospital for emergency stomach surgery. We were in the hospital during the height of the pandemic in one of the city’s busiest COVID-19 hospitals. On the pediatric floor, we were near at least five COVID-19 patients — some very young. Weirdly, I didn’t feel unsafe as the hospital staff was regularly disinfecting and took the upmost precautious. At one point, I shared this with one of the doctors who said something that stuck with me. She told me, “Do not become comfortable, that this is a virus we cannot see, and this is the scariest part of it all.” She continued to advise me, “Do not let your guard down with this virus at least until there is an antibody.”
So as I go out to the playground and pick up food, I use the safety tips I learned from the healthcare workers during our hospital stay. And hey, I am not an expert on COVID-19 — I am just a parent who wants to keep my kids safe and do our part in the community to keep this virus from growing.
Here Are the Tips I Picked Up:
- We wear masks when out and try our best to keep the 6-feet distance rule. My youngest tested negative for COVID-19; we quarantined after the hospital stay, yet one of our wise doctors shared that they have patients who are very sick with all the symptoms of the virus yet test negative. There is so much we still need to learn about this virus. Let’s do our part and keep the vulnerable and our families safe.
- I sanitize the swing at the playground. I definitely get some side-eye on this one. But here’s the thing…anytime a nurse left the chair she or he would wipe it down — every single time. I don’t do the slide because, frankly, it’s not worth it. However, if my kid is spending a serious amount of time on the slide, I change his clothes when we get home.
- I have become a bit more relaxed on this rule, but if we are out for a long day, I spray disinfectant on all our shoes. Again the healthcare workers personally did this to their shoes — it is something I picked up.
- Stay informed. The CDC does an excellent job with their guidance. I think their tips on visiting parks is not only wise advice but easy to follow.
This story originally appeared on newyorkfamily.com.