Minnesota and neighboring states have hit record numbers of COVID-19 cases recently. This spike in cases of the virus prompted Minnesota Governor, Tim Walz, to announce increased restrictions regarding group gatherings earlier this week. These restrictions will be enacted at 10 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 13.
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reported more than 7,000 new positive cases (a new daily record) and 39 deaths from coronavirus on Nov. 12, and health officials only expect to see those numbers climb in the coming weeks. As of Nov. 13, Minnesota has seen 207,339 positive cases of the virus and 2,839 total deaths since the start of the pandemic.
The increase in cases and deaths is a sobering reminder that the COVID-19 virus that has disrupted our lives, won’t be going away any time soon.
Health officials are concerned that as Thanksgiving approaches, people who unknowingly have the virus will gather with family and friends, and that this will only contribute to the current spike of COVID cases in our region.
Medical experts at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare want to help curb the spread of COVID and are especially concerned for children who have complex medical conditions.
“COVID-19 has presented immense challenges for children, parents and families everywhere,” says Madeleine Gagnon, MD, a Complex Care pediatrician and the associate medical director of Pediatrics at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. “Everyone has had to make a lot of difficult choices and adjustments. Understandably right now, parents and kids alike are fatigued and frustrated by the pandemic, but the choices each of us makes in the coming weeks may play a large role in determining how long COVID will continue to alter our daily way of life. We should all make an effort to be as safe as we can possibly be.”
Wear a Mask and Socially Distance Whenever You are Able
Especially as the holidays approach, it's understandable that many individuals may want to come together with family and friends to celebrate. But what we’ve seen over time is that wearing a mask, staying socially distant (six feet apart or more) from other people, and avoiding close contact with individuals (especially indoors) that you are not currently living with are all incredibly effective in halting the spread of COVID-19.
Continuing to practice such behavior is crucial, especially right now.
The recent case numbers reported by the MDH indicate that some of the highest current rates of COVID spread are occurring in outstate or rural Minnesota, so practicing these methods in these regions is incredibly important.
How to Help Children who have COVID-19 Concerns and Fears
COVID-19 brings with it physical challenges and also contributes to mental health concerns.
Children can experience a lot of the same emotions that adults feel—such as sadness, fear, anxiety, frustration, anger and worry. Many children miss their friends and in-person education. Members of the Gillette psychology team suggest parents can remind children that we’re all in the same boat when it comes to COVID. Adults have an opportunity to model how to appropriately deal with frustration and confusion due to the pandemic.
A member of the Gillette psychology team, Erin Tentis-Berglund, PhD, LP, says one of the best things a parent can do is to recreate structure and a “new normal” for children.
“Establish home rules during this unpredictable time,” Tentis-Berglund suggests. “Use similar bed and wake times as well as mealtime as anchors throughout the day. Have a loose plan for what kids should be doing during the day, which allows time for physical activity, creativity, quiet time, play and school activities. If adults want children to do something, modeling or practicing that expectation themselves is key.”
External Resources :
- As the Holidays Approach, Here’s What the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Recommends
- Support for Helpers During Coronavirus - Fred Rogers Center