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COVID-19’s second wave brings new issues

COVID-19’s second wave brings new issues COVID-19’s second wave brings new issues
Sandra Schiele, Counsel House

We have entered our third week of tele-health at Counsel House in Corydon (owned by Terry Lawton), where I practice as a licensed behavioral health specialist.

This week, many children are experiencing panic attacks as the reality sets in that they won’t be returning to school this year. They feel a sense of loss in terms of not being able to say goodbye to their teachers and schoolmates.

For most of my patients, the only direct socialization they receive is via the school setting. Our current social media era has replaced most contact with peers outside of school.

Some children are also very disappointed that they won’t be participating in sports this spring. Many were looking forward to varsity year.

Children are voicing their apprehensive feelings about online school. They are getting easily distracted. Parents are struggling to create personal space for their children to be able to work without distraction, but I strongly encourage such an area be available so children can concentrate and complete their school assignments.

Some children continue to visit their noncustodial parents while others practice a stricter “stay at home” routine. Families must decide for themselves if they are placing their children and others at risk of exposure to the virus when they choose to visit noncustodial parents.

While I am definitely in favor of keeping families together and healthy, I do have to caution people that even exercising visitation presents issues when it comes to spreading the virus. I recommend families take extra precautions if they do allow their children to visit with the other parent or guardian.

If parents are choosing not to exercise visitation during this time, I strongly recommend children remain in regular contact with their noncustodial parents, utilizing video chat, as it will allow one to feel more of a connection as they see one another in real time.

To pass the time, many children are playing on their gaming systems, reading, drawing, talking to friends through such apps as Snapchat, going for walks near their home, watching television and listening to music.

I recommend keeping a COVID-19 journal to focus on how this pandemic will change you. It will allow an outlet for the feelings one may otherwise have difficulty expressing.

Go for a drive with your family. Play games in the car like slug bug and travel bingo. Make paper airplanes outside. See whose can fly the farthest. Play tag, play in the water from the hose and wash the car. There are many creative activities we can do to pass the time as we remain optimistic about the future.

If we can be of assistance to you or a loved one, contact us at 812-738-3277 or via email at [email protected].

For 24/7 crisis and information services, you can also call Louisville’s Hope Now Hotline at 1-800-221-0446.

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