Hawaii during Covid19

Covid-19 in Hawaii: How to Manage Your Anxiety As Your Childs School Reopens

Hawaii during Covid19
A quiet day during quarantine in Kaka’ako

Hawaii – As students around the United States go back to class this month, the decision of “when its safe” to reopen Hawaii public and private schools has become a subject of ongoing confusion and causing stress for many parents island-wide. While we cannot predict what Hawaii’s fall weather may bring, it is almost certain that COVID-19 is going to impact the livelihood of students living on our beloved island and will challenge our already fragile educational system to it’s core.

Today, the Hawaii DOE announced that O’ahu public schools will go online for the first 4 weeks of instruction, starting August 17th. This is the third update in a month as board members discuss whether campuses are really prepared to deal with more positive cases. This means that students will not be going back to class till sometime in September. The changes will also be made in classes which include distancing student desks from each other and using the antibacterial spray at all times. While all of this sounds safe, some individuals are still opposed to the idea. The HSTA wants all public schools to go 100% “Distance Learning” through the end of the first quarter.

So, how do we as parents maintain a healthy mindset when we’re sending our kids back to a growing infected community? It is a tough question to make. Most people in Hawaii are experiencing intense levels of anxiety about going back to school. Teachers, parents and the Kupuna who care for many of these young children after school. While it is fine to be anxious at times, is this state of mind really helpful during this pandemic?

It is fascinating how fast we got accustomed to lockdown mode. Do you notice people avoiding standing next to each other for more than a few seconds? Have you seen certain individuals hesitating to touch an elevator button with naked hands? It is crazy how protective we can be when in danger. Some people might judge you for this, but it is completely normal to be anxious about reopening too soon. In fact, we should all try to keep a healthy level of anxiety. Health experts are not advising us to be carefree in these kinds of situations.

A Healthy Degree of Anxiety can be Protective

Health experts say that anxiety is very adaptive, meaning that this is a great biological function reserved to protect us. Should we not feel anxious while touching an elevator button bear-handed? No, not normally. But in this case, it is very much protective. However, there is a difference between healthy environmental and chronic anxiety. We should be careful not to become obsessive about these thoughts when unnecessary.

3 Steps To Overcome Re-Opening Anxiety

1. Try focusing on what you can control

Uncertainty and COVID-19 go hand in hand, but there are actually a few things under our control. This includes limiting the media coverage we consume on a daily basis as well as taking care of our intermediate environment.

2. Identify and fight negative thoughts

Negative thoughts might be inevitable right now, you should not fall victim to chronic anxiety. “This will definitely happen to me” and “I know this will not end soon” are the exact kind of thoughts you need to avoid. Try to stay realistic at all times and question every negative aspect of your mind.

3. Teach someone else to do what you are doing

Teaching is the most effective way to imprint your thoughts deeply into your mind. Just thinking to yourself will not do much, but discussing it with someone else helps your actions slowly turn into habits. We are in this fight together. If we bond and share all the tactics known to us, we will definitely come out safely on the other side.

Lastly, it’s important to acknowledge that this time of uncertainty is stressful for everyone – and taking steps to care for yourself is important not only for yourself but your children too.