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What is COVID-19? How do I talk to my children about it? How is the Coronavirus-19 impacting Asians because of racism?

Talking with children about Coronavirus Disease 2019:
 
As public conversations around coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) increase, children may worry about themselves, their family, and friends getting ill with COVID-19. Parents, family members, school staff, and other trusted adults can play an important role in helping children make sense of what they hear in a way that is honest, accurate, and minimizes anxiety or fear. CDC has created guidance to help adults have conversations with children about COVID-19 and ways they can avoid getting and spreading the disease.
 
Follow this link to the document tool to guide your conversation about Coronavirus with your children: https://hia.mpls.k12.mn.us/uploads/talking_with_children_about_coronavirus_disease_2019_2.pdf

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Managing Anxiety

There is widespread anxiety about COVID-19, which is common in the case of epidemics and pandemics. There are still uncertainties about this disease which also fuels anxiety and panic. Current or anticipated disruptions in day-to-day life, such as quarantine of loved ones who are in long-term care or skilled nursing facilities, travel plan cancellations or school closures, also fuels these feelings. Many people are experiencing mood problems, sleep issues, phobia and spikes in symptoms for pre-existing mental health disorders like obsessive-compulsive disorder. It is important to  help our students find constructive ways to manage their anxiety, especially if these worries are adversely impacting their relationships and success in school. 

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Racism

There have been recent manifestations of anti-Asian & anti-Hmong racism related to COVID-19.   Hmong students are being targeted with racist myths about the virus.  Examples of this that we have heard about at HIA include students stating that our Asian students already have or are more likely to contract COVID-19.  Additional racist rhetoric that we have heard students report is that all Asian students and staff are carriers of COVID-19.  Please help us to take a stand against this anti-Asian & xenophobia by addressing it in the moment with the individuals, allowing space for restorative and social emotional practices, and follow up with the student(s) and let them know that they can seek any of us out for support.  

Members of the MPS Asian & Asian-American affinity group have compiled resources for school staff and building leaders to educate themselves and students about the intersection of racism & COVID-19.  Roi Kawai has shared these resources with us.  The **denotes resources that he has find the most useful. 

Connecting disease, xenophobia, and anti-Asian racism: 

Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on Asian people: 

Anti-Racism Lesson Planning: 

  • Speaking Up Against Racism Around the New Coronavirus (Teaching Tolerance, General)
    • Provides learning plan, complete with history about anti-Asian racism & disease. 
  • Coronavirus: Protect Yourself and Stand Against Racism  (Facing History and Ourselves, 6 - 8)** 
  • Has a lot of factual information about Corona virus and specifically dispels myths 
  • Visual artwork/images to use with younger kids about racism & Corona)
  • Chung.Woolrim Instagram 

We have also included some resource links for you to be informed with accurate information.  Also there is a 24 hour call line that the district has provided.  This is a dedicated line staffed by nurses and physicians for MPS staff for questions related to COVID 19.  The number is 855-283-2710.  The number is also posted in the health office.

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General Information from on COVID-19:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

https://www.socialworkers.org/Practice/Infectious-Diseases/COVID-19

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School Specific Information on COVID-19:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/guidance-for-schools.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fspecific-groups%2Fguidance-for-schools.html

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Thanks to our awesome team at HIA for putting this information together:

Marie Bauer, SSW

Kiley Krocak, SSW

Emilie O'Conner, Nurse

Hannah Jacobs, School Psychologist