Medical – The Pagosa Springs SUN http://www.pagosasun.com The most trusted source for news and information about Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Mon, 06 Apr 2020 22:21:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 Navigating through tough times: Archuleta School District addresses transition to distance learning http://www.pagosasun.com/navigating-through-tough-times-archuleta-school-district-addresses-transition-to-distance-learning/ Tue, 07 Apr 2020 11:00:48 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=200564 By Chris Mannara
Staff Writer
As students have transitioned to online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Archuleta School District (ASD) has taken a variety of measures to ensure that the transition has been smooth for staff and students.
ASD will continue to practice distance learning through at least April 17 following Gov. Jared Polis signing an executive order on March 18 suspending in-person learning in public and private schools from March 23 through April 17.
ASD has provided Chromebooks to all students at all levels, ASD Superintendent Linda Reed explained in an email on March 24.
The district also loaned 30 Chromebooks to Pagosa Peak Open School (PPOS), Reed added.
ASD is also working to get outdoor Wi-Fi access points set up so that Pagosa Springs High School Students (PSHS) can download their work and take it home; even if they don’t have Internet access where they live, Reed explained.
“Additionally, Centerpointe Church has kindly directed their WiFi access towards their front entrance so that students can drive up and download what they need to work at home and then upload it when completed,” she wrote.
Working partially as ASD’s information technology (IT) contracting lead and as the Archuleta County Broadband Services Technical Manager, Eric Hittle of Echo IT Consulting outlined some of the work done in an email to The SUN on March 27.
“Early on, when we at ECHO IT realized the possibility of having to send Chromebooks home with students for distance learning was likely, we recognized that universal access for all student families was going to be an issue,” Hittle wrote.
From there, Hittle explained that he contacted Colorado’s state broadband director, Tony Neal-Graves, to gather contacts for CenturyLink, one of the larger incumbent providers.
Hittle added that he also reached out to representatives from Archuleta County providers Visionary Communications and Zito Media.
“James Rigas, President of Zito in Pennsylvania, was very receptive and he and his board came up with a very good program for both low income students, and non-student families the very next day,” Hittle explained.
This program gives access to its 20-by-2 megabit Internet service free of charge for two months to low-income residents, according to a press release from Zito Media.
To qualify for the service, residents must provide documentation that their household qualifies for an income-tested government program such as Medicaid or housing assistance.
Residents must also not have any outstanding debt to Zito for the previous year, have not been a Zito Internet customer for the previous 60 days and reside in a Zito service area.
Once the two months of free service expires, the price adjusts to $24.95 per month and customers can disconnect service at any time.
Because ASD also has students that are from Dulce, N.M., Hittle also reached out to a state representative to get in touch with a representative from Dulce’s lone Internet provider, Windstream, Hittle explained.
Windstream offers what are called Lifeline benefits. Those who wish to see if they qualify for benefits can visit www.lifelinesupport.org.
“Visionary has also come up with a program that will be administered via the School District to connect eligible students without Internet to their fixed wireless network at a reduced cost as well,” Hittle wrote.
Principal perspective
For Pagosa Springs Middle School (PSMS) Principal Chris Hinger, the transition to distance learning was smooth as teachers planned for the shift on March 13.
Following the deployment of about 500 Chromebooks to students, Hinger explained that almost all of PSMS teachers and students use Google’s education platform.
“Teachers regularly use this online platform to assign learning activities and often assess students as well. During the four days before spring break, students engaged in daily learning activities, utilized office hours where they conferences with staff and completed various learning tasks,” he wrote in an email to The SUN on March 27. “We gathered feedback from students and parents and have revised and developed grade level distance learning procedures to kick off the last quarter of the year.”
PSMS had little training to do in order to make the shift to distance learning due to the school using a local Google certified trainer for a couple of years, Hinger explained.
“The challenge now and will be the topic of training in the future is how to best actively teach using various online tools,” he wrote. “Challenges like this always bring with them opportunities to grow. We have the opportunity to evolve our teaching repertoire during this time and become masters of both in-person teaching and online teaching. “
However, the transition to distance learning has not been without its challenges, Hinger explained, citing students who don’t have Internet access and student engagement.
“Our teachers and students are accustomed to face-to-face, in-person teaching and learning. Teachers are masterful at student engagement and have numerous strategies to get students to lean in to their learning,” he wrote. “Students are used to this time of learning environment and respond. Distance learning depends greatly on the student engaging on their own based on their motivation.”
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic causing stress for the whole community, PSMS is working to support student learning and providing the best distance-learning opportunities, Hinger explained.
“We will also need to have tremendous understanding for the various family situations out there during this difficult time,” he wrote. “I’m very proud of how digitally savvy our staff is and how smoothly we were able to transition to distance learning. I also commend our IT department for creating such a rock solid online learning platform to use in school and outside of school.”
For Pagosa Springs Elementary School (PSES) Principal Justin Cowan, the switch to distance learning required an “all hands on deck” approach.
PSES maintenance staff as well as Assistant Principal Chantelle Jordan and ASD Assistant Superintendent Laura Mijares began the process of assigning Chromebooks to students, Cowan explained in an email to The SUN on March 28.
“This freed me to meet with each team throughout the entire day and deploy their plan of action. The challenges included teachers learning digitized platforms, preparing learning packets for all kids, and teaching school at the same time,” Cowan wrote. “The challenges revealed the character of my staff; they were simply ready to move forward and put in the extra time and effort to ensure their kids education continued.”
Training for online learning for PSES staff required two stages, according to Cowan.
These steps included a brainstorming session on remote learning and demonstrations of online platforms for video creation and online delivery of content, Cowan explained.
Following that step, Cowan explained that on March 16 he heard each grade level team present its plan for distance learning.
“Our media specialist recorded each team’s needs, then spent the remainder of their planning with them to teach them how to use the platforms they determined would work best for their students,” he wrote. “Given these two stages of training, we then relied upon each other for advice and technical knowledge as we put together our plans. Having very tech-savvy staff sped this process along.”
Throughout the entire process, Cowan described himself as being grateful for the information flow from Reed, as well as the help and support from the other members of the ASD and PSES team in getting Chromebooks into students’ hands.
Cowan also praised PSES’s custodial staff for their job keeping the school clean, as well as ASD’s transportation and food service team for delivering meals to students during the pandemic.
“I am blessed to work with a staff who immediately began planning, learning, and teaching at the same time. This could have been a frantic time; instead it was a time we came together in a systematic manner to put together a ‘Care Reigns Here’ approach to continue our kids’ learning,” he wrote. “It was exhausting, but we did it and will continue to do so. Now, my concerns turn to our parents. They are in a tough situation as their world just got more complicated overnight.”
Pagosa Springs High School (PSHS) Principal Sean O’Donnell wrote in an email on March 30 that PSHS has done the best it can given the conditions.
“One of the obvious challenges is internet access for all of our students. We have made the technology (i.e Chromebooks) available, but internet access is still a requirement to access much of the content,” he wrote. “We are trying to work individually with students to provide alternative ways to complete coursework if students are not able to get online.”
PSHS staff is currently learning as they go in regard to an online learning environment, O’Donnell explained.
Fortunately, most PSHS teachers were already using Google Classroom as a way to instruct and distribute content, O’Donnell explained.
“I am proud of the staff in our district for their professionalism, responsiveness, and flexibility during this unfortunate turn of events. We know things will not be perfect, but we will strive to do the very best we can for all the students in our school community,” he wrote.
Pagosa Peak Open School (PPOS) Director Angela Crossland explained that the transition for the charter school has been going well.
“With it being a huge change for the staff, families, and students I have encouraged us to all have patience and grace with each other,” she wrote in an email to The SUN on March 31.
PPOS has been utilizing paper packets that include choice activities that students can do for each subject, Crossland noted.
Additionally, PPOS has also conducted office hours via Zoom as well as prerecorded music, cooking and art lessons, she explained.
“As a school that focuses on Project Based Learning and Place-based education, the transition has been big for us,” she wrote. “Teachers were trained to use Google Classroom as well as Zoom for online platforms to help facilitate the online portion of our distance learning.”
Food distribution
Reed noted that ASD will continue its food distribution program through April 17 as well.
More information on that program can be found at the district’s website, www.mypagosaschools.com.

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9Health Neighbors: 9Health launches new program http://www.pagosasun.com/9health-neighbors-9health-launches-new-program/ Tue, 07 Apr 2020 11:00:38 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=200620 By Cat Lyons
Special to The PREVIEW
9Health, the largest volunteer-driven, nonprofit health wellness and prevention effort in the country, has launched a new program, 9Health Neighbors, to provide answers to your health questions and a simple human connection during the new coronavirus/ COVID-19 pandemic.
The 9Health Neighbors are dedicated 9Health medical volunteers who are there to help local Coloradans with their health questions, connect with the public and inspire people with positive and local stories.
For more than 40 years, 9NEWS and 9Health have maintained a partnership focused on keeping Colorado healthy through preventive care and health awareness. 9Health will continue to advance this health awareness effort across Colorado and provide people with the tools they need to take responsibility for their own health.
“With the help of our long-time 9Health medical volunteers, we are able to help Coloradoans find the answers they need, reduce their stress and share additional resources that are relevant to their needs,” said Gary Drews, 9Health president and CEO. “During this trying time, we continue to provide resources to our communities to ensure we support our neighbors.”
The 9Health Neighbors program consists of 9Health Medical Neighbors and 9Health Good News Neighbors. For those who have a health or medical question, you can call (303) 698-4455, ext. 2005 to leave a message with a 9Health Medical Neighbor and you will receive a call within 24 hours.
The 9Health Good News Neighbors find positive and uplifting stories from their own communities to share with the public during this difficult time. 9Health Neighbors are here to be a resource for our communities, build a connection and inspire Coloradans to share their stories.

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April 6 Colorado COVID-19 case summary http://www.pagosasun.com/april-6-colorado-covid-19-case-summary/ Mon, 06 Apr 2020 22:21:27 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=200815 Data is updated daily by about 4 p.m. and includes cases reported through the previous day. This reporting gap gives our epidemiologists time to review the data and improve the accuracy. Due to this delay, our numbers may be different than what is being reported by local public health departments. As cases continue to be investigated the data in this report is subject to change.

Colorado Case Summary (Updated 4/6/20 at 4:00 p.m.)
Note: This summary only includes data through 4/5 and does not reflect cases since then.

5,172 cases*
994 hospitalized
54 counties
26,875 people tested**
150 deaths
41 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities

*The number of cases includes people who have had a test that indicated they were positive for COVID-19. The number of cases also includes epidemiologically-linked cases — or cases where public health epidemiologists have determined that infection is highly likely because a person exhibited symptoms and had close contact with someone who tested positive. The number of epidemiologically-linked cases represents a very small portion of the reported cases.

**The total number of people tested may not include all negative results. 

Find Colorado COVID-19 Data on CDPHE’s Open Data Portal

Access the case summary data files


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Writers on the Range: When the virus hits you, it hits hard http://www.pagosasun.com/writers-on-the-range-when-the-virus-hits-you-it-hits-hard/ Mon, 06 Apr 2020 11:00:13 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=200618 By David Marston
Special to The PREVIEW
When my wife, Edel, a teacher, developed a cough after working with a woman who came to the elementary school slightly sick, we assumed it was just that, a cough.
The word from New York Mayor DiBlasio to parents was still, “Come to school,” though many teachers seemed to be skipping, choosing personal safety over their job. That was Friday, March 13. On Saturday, we had six friends over for a St. Patty’s gathering. We didn’t hug, but we drank and ate and stood far too close to one another.
By Wednesday, my wife felt better, but I warned: “Stay home. That cough could be COVID-19.” Meanwhile, her co-teacher got tested for the virus. It was two weeks later that we learned she’d tested positive.
Thursday, I felt fine, but by 10 am, a headache set in and I began to ache everywhere. That night I had a fever of 101. With our 4 1/2-year-old, we watched “Frozen,” the Disney movie, and I longed to be zapped by Princess Elsa with a big cloak of ice.
Friday the virus had its way with me: All night I shivered though loaded up with blankets and in the morning my temperature spiked to 103. Everything ached, especially my head, and my throat was sore. When I took a breath there was a rattle deep in my lungs.
My primary care physician had blunt advice: “You can’t be tested until you display respiratory distress and a high fever. Until then, hunker down.” But I alerted my friends from Friday’s party that I probably had COVID-19. No one had symptoms, but I worried: One friend had visited his aging dad in the hospital on Wednesday. If I’d infected Rick, he could pass it to his father. I felt guilty on top of feeling sicker. By the end of the week — and two weeks later — Rick was still healthy. I was relieved more than I can say.
From my bed, I tried to plan. If my fever stayed above 102 and I started gasping for breath, then I could be admitted to a hospital, intubated if necessary, but first given oxygen. But maybe I could be tested for COVID-19 and know for sure what was going on. Meanwhile, a friend in Colorado joked that testing was overrated. He said his state had discovered an easy way to beat the pandemic: “We hardly have any tests so everybody must be doing great!”
Of course, the carriers of the virus throughout the country have been walking around for some time, a hidden scourge. This remains true even in Denver, where my friend Jeff took his son, suffering from what seemed like the virus, to the hospital. The teenager was admitted to the emergency room, but then released when he was found not to be wheezing. He was given a prescription to be tested at a later date. Now he is hanging out at home, isolated.
It’s the same for me. I stay away from my daughter, but we have one bathroom. So far she seems fine, one of the lucky youngsters who seems able to shake off the virus.
It is March 25 and my temperature is finally normal. I think a ventilator is not in my future, ending my mother’s panic and my wife’s sleepless nights. All I feel now is exhaustion. All I can do is stay in bed.
But everything I read tells me that COVID-19 is sweeping through New York City. Social distancing is well underway, but some people, for whatever reason, don’t accept the danger. Will we lose 3 percent of our population to COVID-19, which is what happened during the Spanish flu of 1918?
I’d like to think something good might come from my experience. Once I recover and if I’m no longer a threat myself, maybe I can help others with my hard-won immunity.
I still might come out of this with damaged lungs, but during the night when I was most miserable, I assured myself that whatever happened, I had made a will and I had life insurance. But then I had to wonder: Would my life insurance company still be solvent? That’s our crazy world these days.
David Marston is the publisher of WritersontheRange.org, a nonprofit dedicated to spurring lively discussion about the West. He grew up in western Colorado and lives in New York.

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April 5 Colorado COVID-19 case summary http://www.pagosasun.com/april-4-colorado-covid-19-case-summary/ Sun, 05 Apr 2020 22:24:14 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=200791 Data is updated daily by about 4 p.m. and includes cases reported through the previous day. This reporting gap gives our epidemiologists time to review the data and improve the accuracy. Due to this delay, our numbers may be different than what is being reported by local public health departments. As cases continue to be investigated the data in this report is subject to change.

Colorado Case Summary (Updated 4/5/20 at 4 p.m.)
Note: This summary only includes data through 4/4 and does not reflect cases since then.

Updated 4/4/20 5:10 PM

4,950 cases*
924 hospitalized
54 counties
25,773 people tested
140 deaths
37 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities

This summary does not reflect the data released on April 4 by San Juan Basin Public Health, which reflects the following:La Plata County: 31
Archuleta County: 6
Colorado: 4,565
Deaths in Colorado: 126

*The number of cases includes people who have had a test that indicated they were positive for COVID-19. The number of cases also includes epidemiologically-linked cases — or cases where public health epidemiologists have determined that infection is highly likely because a person exhibited symptoms and had close contact with someone who tested positive. The number of epidemiologically-linked cases represents a very small portion of the reported cases.

Find Colorado COVID-19 Data on CDPHE’s Open Data Portal

Access the case summary data

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Gov. Polis provides update on state response to COVID-19 http://www.pagosasun.com/gov-polis-provides-update-on-state-response-to-covid-19-2/ Sun, 05 Apr 2020 15:50:58 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=200781 Gov. Polis provided an update Friday on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor discussed what is being done to support the state’s economy, including workers and businesses and called upon all Coloradans to wear cloth face coverings when they go out of the house for essential functions like grocery shopping.

“We know that Coloradans across our state are making personal sacrifices to prioritize the public health and safety of their family and neighbors,” said Governor Jared Polis. “The better job we do at staying home and wearing facial masks whenever we absolutely must go out to contain the virus in Colorado, the sooner we can return to something resembling economic normalcy. Refusing to stay at home will only extend the state’s economic pain.”

The Governor announced that he is asking all Coloradans to wear cloth face coverings when they go out of the house for essential functions like grocery shopping. Data suggests up to 1 in 4 people infected with COVID are asymptomatic and spreading infected respiratory droplets. Masks offer minimal protection for the wearer, but they make a big difference in helping to protect others if a person is infected and doesn’t know it. The state has partnered with ColoradoMaskProject.com, where people can find patterns for making their own masks and ideas for how to help others who can’t make their own, get one. To learn more, read the FAQ document here and visit https://www.coloradomaskproject.com/

Here is Nathaniel Rateliff’s PSA encouraging Coloradans to wear cloth face coverings.

Gov. Polis discussed the relief the federal government is providing through the CARES Act, which offers economic assistance for the millions of Coloradans who have felt the economic pain of this national health crisis and now feel the strain of financial obligations. The measure offers $1,200 in one-time direct cash assistance; over 90% of Colorado families will qualify. It also provides $500 per child under 17 years old.

In Colorado, the number of unemployment claims tripled, going from 20,000 last week to 60,000 this week. The Governor encouraged Coloradans to continue applying for benefits at www.coloradoui.gov. A person could be eligible for 26 weeks of regular unemployment benefits from the state of Colorado. In addition, a person could also be eligible for an extra $600 per month for the first four months of unemployment because of the federal stimulus. To learn more about different types of unemployment and how to apply, visit www.Colorado.gov/CDLE.

The Governor also provided an update on the state’s current testing status. Colorado has the capacity to run 10,000 tests per day, but due to the lack of testing supplies such as swabs, the state is processing 2,000 tests per day. The Governor is setting bold goals of having the state running 3,500 in the next two weeks and 5,000 tests per day by May.

Gov. Polis also encouraged Coloradans to consider fostering or adopting pets during the pandemic. People can visit www.protectcoloradoanimals.org.

Click here to view the Governor’s presentation.

Gov. Polis will extend Executive Order D 2020 12 allowing counties to temporarily waive interest on delinquent property tax payments until May 1.

Gov. Polis also signed an Executive Order temporarily suspending taxpayer filing requirements and property valuation schedules for certain taxable property. Read the Executive Order here.

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Town extends closure of Community Center programs, classes, fitness center http://www.pagosasun.com/town-extends-closure-of-community-center-programs-classes-fitness-center/ Sun, 05 Apr 2020 14:01:16 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=200779 Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions that limit group gatherings, the Town of Pagosa Springs will be extending its suspension of fitness programs, group classes and activities, and use of the fitness center at the Ross Aragon Community Center through May 4. Thank you for your patience and understanding. You can take a walk outside and use the town’s trails and open spaces in the parks. However, please do your part and stay six feet apart!

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Record number of unemployment applications flooding into Colorado Department of Labor and Employment http://www.pagosasun.com/record-number-of-unemployment-applications-flooding-into-colorado-department-of-labor-and-employment/ Sun, 05 Apr 2020 11:00:38 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=200552 By John Finefrock
Staff Writer
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) is receiving an unprecedented number of unemployment applications in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We started seeing a surge of applications to our system really starting the week of [March] 16th and we saw the greatest volume really after the 18th,” said Cher Roybal Haavind, deputy executive director and chief communications officer for the CDLE, in a phone interview Monday, noting Gov. Jared Polis’ executive order that closed all ski resorts in the state had a significant impact.
Haavind explained that from Monday, March 23 to Sunday, March 29, the CDLE received about 100,000 applications.
“These are preliminary, unofficial claims numbers, these are only the number of applications received,” Haavind said.
The previous single-week record for initial claims filed and processed in Colorado was 7,749, and Haavind discussed the difference between that number and the 100,000 applications from last week.
“One is an official data point that’s submitted to the U.S. Department of Labor every Wednesday, embargoed until the next day for release and that’s when you see the national — they call them ‘initial jobless claims numbers,’” Haavind said. “So, they’re the official numbers from each state that each state reports into the U.S. Department of Labor on a weekly basis.”
Haavind continued, “The 100,000, these are just claims that have been submitted online, through our online application process and why there could be a difference is for a number of reasons,” citing that wage verification and eligibility determination are two of the factors.
The official number of initial unemployment claims for the week ending March 21 is 19,745.
Haavind explained how the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act will bolster the CDLE’s unemployment offerings.
“The two main areas that will have the most impact: One, is a category of workers who are not yet eligible for unemployment and that’s self-employed or independent contractors. The CARES Act that was signed into law last week includes that worker category as now being eligible for unemployment. The other provision within the CARES Act is an additional $600 a week on top of a claimant’s weekly benefit amount. So, in Colorado, around $400, $450 is the average weekly benefit amount and that $600 for every claimant is on top of their weekly benefit amount. Those are two pretty substantive changes and impacts to our state unemployment insurance program,” Haavind explained.
Haavind explained the CDLE is still waiting on guidance from the federal government.
“We are still eagerly awaiting guidance from the federal government both to tell us how to administer these and to tell us how we will get reimbursed,” Haavind said. “Even in the last few days, we’ve had a lot of interest, especially from self-employed workers, about when they can start filing for those benefits and, unfortunately, Colorado, like every single other state, is not yet set up to receive these new claims, but we hope to have more information as the week progresses.”
February employment numbers
The SUN received employment data from CDLE for February, which does not reflect how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected job and unemployment numbers across the state.
The unemployment rate for Archuleta County increased to 3.7 percent in February from 3.6 percent in January, with 6,640 people in the labor force and 248 of those claiming unemployment.
The unemployment information is disseminated by a press release from the CDLE.
In January, there were 6,435 people in the county’s labor force, with 238, or 3.6 percent, claiming unemployment.
The total workforce increased by 205 people over the course of the month, while the number of unemployed people increased by 10.
Looking at the February employment situation for the rest of the state, Huerfano County had the highest unemployment rate for the month at 7.9 percent, while Kiowa County had the lowest rate at 1.4 percent.
The unemployment rate in Colorado was unchanged from January at 2.5 percent.
Statewide, the number of people actively participating in the labor force in Colorado increased 5,600 from January to February, to 3,186,400.
The national unemployment rate decreased .3 percent from January to February, dropping to 3.5 percent.
The unemployment rate, labor force participation, total employment and the number of unemployed are based on a survey of households. The total employment estimate derived from this survey is intended to measure the number of people employed.
However, nonfarm payroll jobs estimates are based on a survey of business establishments and government agencies, and are intended to measure the number of jobs, not the number of people employed.
From January to February, nonfarm payroll jobs in Colorado increased by 3,100 for a total of 2,816,900, with private-sector jobs increasing by 1,000 and government jobs increasing by 2,100.
Over the month, the largest private-sector job gains were in other services, financial activities, and professional and business services.
The largest over-the-month decline was in construction.
Over the year, the number of Coloradans participating in the labor force increased by 65,700, total employment increased by 81,700 and the number of unemployed decreased by 16,000.

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Tips for parenting children during the coronavirus pandemic http://www.pagosasun.com/tips-for-parenting-children-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic/ Sun, 05 Apr 2020 11:00:06 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=200622 By Stephanie C. Nash
Special to The PREVIEW
This is an unprecedented time in our world and, understandably, there are many questions and concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The shutdown of schools, business establishments and restaurants combined with social distancing and self-quarantine have resulted in major changes to how we navigate our daily lives.
Families with children of all ages are impacted by these changes. Parents are creatively looking to adapt to new routines to support their children while seeking to establish responsibility, peace and joy in the household. The balancing act can bring both rewards and challenges.
Staying at home and following the directives from government officials is important. We all need to find safe and meaningful ways to support our children, one another and seek self-care. Here are some tips to help.
Tips for family and self-care while home:
• Do frequent hand-washing with soap and water. When not available, use hand sanitizer.
• Wash or clean incoming groceries before bringing them into your home.
• Wipe down common household surfaces that are used frequently, such as the kitchen counters, dining table, door knobs, refrigerator handles, bathroom counters, faucet handles and other surfaces.
• Create a calm tone in your home. Adults should strive to be self-aware. Anxiety may be high for adults in the home, but it is important to provide reassurance and calm to your children — they are watching and listening to how you respond to this crisis.
• Check in with your loved ones and talk with your children about their thoughts and feelings. For younger children, follow their lead. Be honest and use appropriate talk. Limit child viewing of daily news broadcasts. For older children, be honest and have age-appropriate discussions. Validate their concerns while providing reassurance and understanding for their feelings.
• Maintain routines as much as possible. Young children especially will need structure that replicates a school week. Make time for snacks and movement breaks.
• Give daily, positive affirmations and encourage family members. This might be as simple as saying, “Wow, you are doing great at sharing the game with your sister” or “Thanks for being helpful by clearing off the table” or “You were so responsible with your online assignment.”
• Offer healthy and nutritious snacks and meals.
• Use the time at home to engage in activities with your family — such as board games, baking, puzzles, home projects, book discussions, arts and crafts, jam sessions, home recitals, dance and exercise workouts, yoga, barbecue, cookout, front porch picnics and more.
• Set boundaries. Give yourself permission for some quiet time/space during the course of the day. For many parents or guardians, that might mean getting up before everyone else or having a quiet time to pray, meditate or do breathing exercises.
• Encourage family chores that are age-appropriate for everyone in the family. Offer praise for completed chores and talk about how everyone is working together.
• Set intentions and realistic expectations for yourself. One way to do that is to write down what you intend to accomplish for the day.
• Exercise self-compassion. Be kind to yourself during this time of challenges.
The gratitude for the commitment and compassion of first responders and health care providers is beyond measure. Thoughtful expressions of kindness from friends and neighbors within our communities continues to reflect humanity at its best.
About the Episcopal
Center for Children
The Episcopal Center for Children is a nondenominational, nonprofit organization that has been dedicated to serving the needs of children and their families for the past 125 years. In June 2019, the center suspended operation of its K-8 therapeutic school for children with emotional challenges from the greater Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. The board of directors continues to be committed to its longstanding mission of serving children in determining plans for the center’s future. More information is available at eccofdc.org and on Twitter and Facebook, @ECCofDC.

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$200 gift cards available to residents laid off or with reduced hours http://www.pagosasun.com/200-gift-cards-available-to-residents-laid-off-or-with-reduced-hours/ Sun, 05 Apr 2020 00:31:51 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=200777
In coordination with the Pagosa Outreach Connection (POC), a project of the United Way of Southwest Colorado, the Town of Pagosa Springs is offering one-time assistance in the form of $200 gift cards to individuals residing in Archuleta County who have been laid off or had work hours significantly reduced due to COVID-19 closures. Applicants must be currently employed by, or recently laid off (within the last four weeks), from an employer located within Archuleta County. Applications will be reviewed and disbursements will be made on a rolling basis while supplies last.

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