What's the best way to inform and support young people (the teens and young adults in our lives) when it comes to COVID-19 and physical distancing?
Dr. Gail Beck, Clinical Director, Youth Psychiatry at The Royal
Most of us are worried about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, but, as a parent, you may be even more worried if the older teen or young adult in your home is struggling with the concept of physical distancing. One of the best things you can do to offset this is to provide information. Most young adults like to be informed, so ensure that they have access to good information. Something many people are doing is to create their own online journal club with a few friends and pass along good, evidence-based information. If you are doing this, why not include teens and young adults in the group? If they ask you about it, just say, “I thought you might be interested in some of these articles.”
For actual material, Canadian government websites from all levels of government have all ben well-prepared and are updated regularly. This is a link to the Government of Canada website: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/being-prepared.html
I have heard from many parents, and even youth that the distance we are to stay apart is not completely clear. If you are hearing this also, it is 2 metres. To understand how far this is: two people standing with their arms held out straight would still have an arm’s length separating them at 2 metres’ distance. This safe distance keeps us from being infected.
Finally, there is a lot of anxiety about COVID-19. This is natural. Here is a short article about how to manage a teen’s anxiety: https://drgailbeck.com/2020/03/16/how-to-manage-your-teens-and-your-own-covid-19-anxiety/