How to Effectively Social Distance with Your Golden Flash Article
By: Sydney Evans – Junior, Public Health Major and Undergraduate Student Government College of Public Health Senator
"Life is 10% of what happens to you, and 90%” how you react to it." This is a quote from one of my favorite poems, “Attitude” by Charles Swindoll. For the last month, the social distancing rule has been a hot topic around the world and has prompted me to appreciate those words by Swindoll even more. So, what exactly is social distancing you ask? According to the Center for Disease Control, it is defined as “the act of physically distancing and reducing the number of times people come into contact with one other”. This rule is more important than ever because droplets from an individual who coughs, sneezes, and even talks can be expelled into the air up to six feet in front of another person. By invoking the social distancing rule and staying home, you reduce your percentage of coming into contact with the COVID-19 virus.
Being a student myself, I know first-hand the difficulties fellow students faced when their spring semester was abruptly pre-empted by the pandemic. As a result of the uncharted waters we are encountering, I would like to share what I feel are three helpful tools that have allowed my family to function both safely and efficiently since the social distancing rule went into effect.
While on campus, my peers and I lived by our own schedules giving us our first true taste of independence. On the flip side, having to return home prematurely proved to be a difficult transition for everyone in the household. In light of the situation, I would encourage you to use this time to reconnect with your students and learn some of the new interests they have developed while away, along with what they miss the most. By engaging in this type of conversation, you can see first-hand how your student feels. When my mother and I talked, I expressed to her that I missed having “Taco Tuesdays” with my fellow Sorority Sisters. The following Tuesday, I was surprised when I walked downstairs to a taco party! Yes, it was something small, but it was very meaningful, it made my day and provided joy in the midst of this difficult time.
Currently, students are actively continuing their educational progress during this world crisis. For many of us, remote instruction is a new concept compared to the traditional learning style we were accustomed to before the virus interrupted it. It is important for both parents and families to express to their students that their very best is, indeed, good enough! Encouraging students to keep in contact with their professors regularly by way of e-mail and video conferencing will also help make the transition smoother. Additionally, creating a work schedule and workspace in the household away from anything that will distract from the educational experience. Personally, I have set aside time each day for my work, as if I were attending classes on-campus. While I am at my workspace, it signals to my parents that I am in “work mode” and should not be disturbed unless absolutely necessary.
Throughout this time, it is best to keep a constant sense of positivity inside your home. Inform your student that social distancing is only temporary. Encourage them to look at it from the perspective of a glass-half-full approach and that they are not stuck in the house, but rather, safer. Continue to reassure them that there will be days where the glass looks emptier, and that is okay. It is also important to let them vent their frustrations and voice their concerns. Even my mother had to remind me that it truly takes a sense of bravery to get through these times and just because you are brave, does not mean you are not allowed to be scared.
I hope these three simple tips contribute to helping you achieve your goals of social distancing with your Kent State student. Remember that during this time, it is important to keep a positive outlook on life and make the best quarantine for you and your student while also encouraging each other to keep looking forward to better days ahead. In closing, realize that you are not alone, and that people across the entire globe feel the same way you do. As the old adage says, “this too shall pass!” #GoFlashes
Love the Senator of The College of Public Health,