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Covid-19 doesn’t have legs, but our kids do. The only way, according to experts, to kick this virus into touch and stop it spreading is to stay home and avoid groups of any size.

Flatten the curve, curb the spread, whatever you want to call it, the message has been slowly trickling down to the UAE population that we need to stand together, while remaining isolated. Dr Rania Hawayek from Circle Care Clinic has been strongly advocating social distancing over the past number of weeks. Her advice to everyone is that as well as maintaining stringent hand hygiene and cough etiquette, we also need to control the spread of the Corona virus to protect the at-risk groups of people (elderly, immune compromised, those with lung disease). And the only way to completely do this safely is to stay in the family group.

‘Social distancing has been shown to reduce the transmission of the Corona virus,‘ she tells us ‘we have a social responsibility to stop it spreading. We need to work together and in doing so we can go to back to our normal lives, work and travel.’

So, are playdates a dangerous activity for our community? Dr Rania says yes. ‘Playdates increase the risk of one family unit transmitting its germs (viruses and bacteria) to another, and these, in turn can transmit to another family unit of another playdate thus defeating the whole purpose of social distancing,’ she says.

As our children began the new phase of online learning, it’s time to drive the message home. Embrace this time with the family and plan for a few weeks of playing solo.

Embrace the change

1) Create a daily schedule which is visibly displayed for everyone to see.

2) Have the kids scout out some quiet places in the home where they can let off steam alone.

3) Gather a list of kid friendly podcasts, museum tours and educational videos.

4) Allocate some time each day when they can chat safely online with their friends.

5) Create a messy play area where they can down and dirty and enjoy some havoc.

6) Allow them to let their imaginations run wild by encouraging quality creative time with siblings.

Circle Care Clinic, 04 328 8820.

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