This week Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has announced that K-12th grade schools will be closed for three weeks (Monday, March 16 through Friday, April 3rd) to help slow the spread of COVID-19. This applies to all public, community, and private K-12 schools in the state but does not apply to Ohio’s childcare system such as daycare centers and home-based childcare providers. Individuals within local Ohio school systems from teachers to administration and boards as well as support staff in offices, playgrounds, lunchrooms and busses have done an incredible job of moving into action with care and concern for their individual students and students’ families. Not only are they helping guide continued learning outside of the classroom, but they are also looking out for families. Just one of many examples is the work that has gone into organizing access to meals for children who would normally be eating their meals at school in the next few weeks.
As a Family and Consumer Sciences Educator and a parent, I am uncertain about what to expect in both work and family life in the next few weeks and months. As someone who teaches mindfulness, I logically know that our brains jump into “fight or flight” mode to try to protect us and that is usually not helpful for addressing the typical big and small day-to-day stressors. In times of stress, we often know what we should do for ourselves and our families to stay healthy, but we don’t always default to the healthiest options. That previous statement includes me and my family. The good news? Family science-based knowledge can improve social, environmental and economic conditions. In other words, what basic steps and actions can individuals and families take to make this uncertain and serious time as healthy, happy and beneficial as possible?
Inspired by the article “How to Keep the Greater Good In Mind During the Coronavirus Outbreak”, OSU Extension Lucas County, in partnership with colleagues around the state will be teaching and sharing information online in a few different ways. To start, this page will be a landing site for family life information for at least the duration of Ohio school closures. Also, if you are on Facebook we invite you to follow The Ohio State University Extension, Lucas County. You are welcome to follow Patrice Powers-Barker as well, but you will find the same posts plus additional information on community, youth and gardening topics on the county Facebook page.
More information will be added soon.
Saturday March 14, 2020. Saturday’s are frequently a day when my household starts loads of laundry, runs to the grocery store and usually has at least one individual or family commitment on the calendar. Things have slowed down on our outside commitments but today we’re going to spend time doing family “homework” of preparing for a child home from school. I’m going to start by pulling up information on New Year’s resolutions and goal setting. What do I want to consider for my family and my future self?
For information specific to the COVID19 preparation as well as updates, visit the Ohio Department of Health.