Although young people are quite fearless when it comes to coronavirus, Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House health advisor, recently reported to CNBC that those becoming infected by this new wave are, on average, 15 years younger than the first round of cases we saw in the United States.
These are troubling times across the country. States continue to reopen, despite the uptick in new cases making it even more difficult to keep our loved ones safe from the spread of the virus. Young people are more likely to go shopping, visit restaurants, engage in sports and meet up with friends than older generations of Americans because they believe that they are unlikely to display serious symptoms. While this may be true, the illness shouldn’t be taken lightly. Even mild cases have been known to affect an infected person’s health and wellbeing for weeks. And what’s even more concerning is that many of these young people could be carriers of the virus without ever showing a single symptom.
There is no denying the negative effects not being in a classroom setting will have on school-aged children. But as we hear discussions about schools reopening in the fall, federal funding being pulled for those who don’t, and recommendations for doing so in a safe way, we are reminded that it takes all of us to put an end to the spread of this terrible virus that, to date, has claimed the lives of more than 132,000 Americans (1).
We’ve put together a few suggestions for young people who are engaging in summer and fall sports, attending summer classes and gearing up for re-entry into school at the close of summer. If you care about your friends, your family, your neighbors and your future, consider how a few of the following are very small inconveniences in the grand scheme of things. Let’s shut down COVID19 for good.
For students and coaches participating in sports:
Ensure all players bring their own water bottles.
Shut down all water fountains.
Have hand sanitizer available at stations for coach, referee, umpire and player use.
Clean the balls and equipment following use.
Provide new balls and equipment between quarters, innings, etc.
Encourage players to sit six feet apart when on the sidelines or bench.
Have masks available for use when the game is not in play.
Require masks when distancing of at least six feet is not possible for spectators.
Discourage congregating before and after games.
Stagger drop off and pick up times.
Attending school will be difficult, but some ideas include:
Smaller class sizes to accommodate more space between students.
Lunch in the classroom.
Scheduled hand washing/sanitizing breaks.
Masks when social distancing of at least six feet is not possible.
A combination of both in-class and remote learning.
Daily temperature and symptom checking.
Teachers rotating classrooms, rather than students.
Regular reminders about the importance of looking out for one another.