It’s most important to make sure you are eating well, getting enough sleep and keeping your body healthy. If your immune system is strong, it can fight off illnesses and COVID-19. You can follow these guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the South African Government to avoid catching or spreading COVID-19:
- Wear a face mask that covers your nose and mouth.
- Wash your hands properly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Or, use a hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Keep a distance from people in public areas.
- Wear a face mask that covers your nose and mouth.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow.
- If you are stick, stay at home
How do I cope with all the information about COVID-19?
New information is being circulated every day. But not all information is accurate and a lot of it is false information. This is why it is important to check whether information is true or false before believing it and spreading it.
Information on the internet
The internet works with algorithms: sets of instructions that work to complete a task. Search engines track where you get information from and what type of information you get, and algorithms will keep giving you that type of information. So if you keep reading negative stories, that’s what you will keep finding on the internet.
How do I know whether information is accurate?
Use this checklist to analyse the information you find:
- Is it new or old news? When was it published?
- Is the source well-known for providing correct information?
- Is it accurate? Do other sources say the same thing?
Most information is aimed at adults, so you should chat with your parents to make sure you understand the information correctly and tell them what you know already and let them tell you whether it’s correct or not. If you’re unsure about anything, ask them and they will try their best to answer. If you’re going to school, you can also speak to your teacher. This will help you to avoid panicking unnecessarily or spreading the wrong information.
Everyone is stressed! How do I deal with it?
It’s natural for you and your family members to be stressed. If your parents are stressed and it’s making you stressed, talk to them when they’re calmer. Let them know that the situation is affecting you too, and ask them what you can do to help out. You can all work together to create a schedule where everyone helps with chores and there’s quiet time for everyone to do their own work.
If you feel stressed all the time, find out if you can speak to a teacher or therapist. Keeping your feelings bottled up is bad for your mental health. Reaching out to friends and talking through things with them can also help.
Make sure you take care of your physical wellbeing as well as your mental health. A great way to reduce stress, keep fit and move away from screens is to do exercise. When you exercise, your body releases a chemical called endorphins which makes you feel good. You might just find a new hobby!
If you aren’t able to go to school or you have some free time, try taking up a new hobby. Supernova has some great ideas and articles on our website. Exchange ideas with your friends so that you always have new things to try.
It’ may be fun trying out new things, you might not want to. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by everything that’s going on and you just want to unplug and not do much, that’s perfectly okay. You don’t have to compete with everyone else. You can choose how you’d like to get through this difficult patch. Remember that keeping to yourself and stressing is not ideal. Try to deal with your feelings in an appropriate way. You may not want to speak about them then try writing, painting, doing crafts, throwing darts, or any other way you think will help. You could also do feel-good projects: projects that will cheer others up, like writing letters to essential workers or sharing positive messages online.
How will it affect me and my family?
Statistics show that kids are less likely to get the virus, and if they do, the symptoms are mild. You don’t need to worry if you start to feel any symptoms – it might not even be COVID-19. However, you should tell your parents and allow them to monitor you and give you medication so that you don’t get more ill.
If someone in your family gets the virus, they can isolate or quarantine in their room. They do not need to go to hospital if they are not seriously ill. The infected person can come out of isolation after 14 days because they will no longer infect others even if they still have symptoms.
It’s best for the entire family to stay home if someone in the family has tested positive, until they’re certain that they’re not infected too.
Older people and people with co-morbidities who have existing health conditions (like heart diseases, diabetes and hypertension) are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 because their immune systems are weaker. It might be difficult for them to get suitable treatment if they do contract the virus. That is why it is important for all of us to play our part in trying to stop the virus from spreading to others by following the recommended guidelines.
How do I beat COVID-19?
Take it easy. Don’t add any stress onto yourself. You don’t have to ace your exams and you don’t have to be your best.
Be present in the moment. Live day-by-day. Go for a walk or do some exercise. Let off steam.
Listen. Everyone in your family is going through things that they never had to before and everyone needs to be heard.
Talk about it. Your thoughts, and your fears. Talk about things that excite you too.
Focus on the positives. There are negatives – but there are also positives. Everything has slowed down, which means you can take time to relax and spend time with your family with less pressures surrounding you. Make memories.
We will get through this.