COVID-19 has gone from a novel virus to a global pandemic in a matter of weeks, and most people have gone from never hearing about it to hearing about it everyday. Given how quickly it’s spread, constant updates on our 24/7 news media and, unfortunately, conflicting statements from world leaders, people are feeling confused, stressed and anxious. Hand sanitizer is already difficult to come by, stores are running out of toilet paper and soap is starting to be rationed.
It is natural to feel anxious, or even scared of what’s happening. There isn’t a cure or vaccine for COVID-19; only stringent preventative measures will stop the spread and keep people safe. Events are being cancelled, travel is now limited, and schools at all levels across the world are closing.
The speed at which this is all happening highlights how little control we have over the virus. It might be difficult to explain what’s happening to children, many of whom are realizing that they are not invincible, not in control, and there’s not much Mom or Dad or Grandma or Aunt can do about it.
With so many concerns about physical symptoms, mental health issues are flying under the radar. Many people are suffering in silence. Fear is becoming prevalent, and reports of racist incidents towards Asian people are increasing.
Amidst the unknown and inherent stress that the unknown brings, we must remember that movement, expression and creativity are an important outlet for our overall wellbeing. It’s critical to align ourselves with our local and global communities in loving solidarity, or we will be overtaken by fear. Even if we are required to isolate our families, we will do so through common strength. Our emotional wellbeing is almost always the last thing we consider, particularly when we are hyper focused on our physical health. But during these times, we actually need more support than ever before.
Students, teachers, and schools have always been our top priority at Move This World. Typically, our short social and emotional learning videos are played at key times during the school day. However, with so many schools closing, students and teachers are missing out on their daily dose of social and emotional learning. These are grounding moments that help students feel connected to one another, and create a safe space to express themselves. During this crisis, both students and teachers need emotional support now more than ever.
In light of everything happening, Move This World is committed to providing our programming to students and teachers no matter where they are located. We will continue doing this work whether schools are open or closed and are proud to be able to continue to support students and communities in all of the processing, healing and rebuilding that this time requires. Here are some additional resources you can use to manage stress and talk with your children during these difficult times.
We don’t just build community during moments of triumph – we must constantly be working on how we can grow and rise together. Thankfully our work lives online and allows us to be present with you whether you gather in schools, homes, or offices.
We are here for you during these difficult times.