Taking care of yourself in the time of COVID


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/05/2021 (742 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

In my work as an MLA, I am finding that the COVID pandemic is creating major challenges for youth and young adults in River Heights.

When your world is turned upside down and you can’t do sports like you usually do, when education is often virtual, when you can’t hug people (except for your close family) and when you can’t just get together with a group of friends, life feels very unfair. 

Everyone is different.  For some, spending lots of time on Zoom or Teams or another video conference platform is OK. Many feel that Zoom can’t compare to experiencing life in person. For some it is easy to accommodate being in class with a mask on and physically distancing, while for others it is just not working.

Some have a family member they can go outside with for a walk or a run, or play tennis. Others don’t. Some have an outdoor or sport opportunity nearby that can still be played in small groups — like throwing a Frisbee, hitting a golf ball or playing tennis. Others don’t. 

Planning for the future is more challenging than ever, and young people are grappling with including a COVID-influenced world in their vision.

Our COVID-ravaged world is not easy to navigate. Conditions and rules are constantly changing. There is a lot of uncertainty and confusion in our day to day. How do we manage better?

How can we help ensure everyone has a safe outside space to be? How can we ensure that everyone has someone they can be outside with? Most of the public health orders deal with everyone strictly in general. Do we need some specific aspects of public health orders to help youth and young adults do well?

Are there ways in which we can create safe spaces for youth where the strain on their mental health can be reduced? There is a lot of effort and experience in creating safe spaces for professional sports teams.  Many employ frequent rapid testing and effective cohorting to keep everyone COVID free. The provincial government has about 900,000 rapids test kits, and the federal government has more ready for the province to use. Could we use some of these rapid test kits to create safe spaces for youth and young adults? 

I have been talking with young people and they are providing some suggestions. These include:

1) Spend time taking care of yourself. Find something you like doing and can do; 

2) Phone or FaceTime with friends more instead of texting as it is more personal and has a more friendly feeling.

As your Member of the Legislative Assembly, like you, I too am searching for answers. I want to help, but I am not sure what the best option is to help our youth. We need to be creative in looking for opportunities for all. How do we make living with COVID friendlier? How can we socialize while social distancing?

Please join my town hall for youth and young adults which will be at 7 p.m. on Thurs., May 27. The Zoom meeting information is as follows, Meeting ID: 854 2375 7578, Passcode: Townhall.

Jon Gerrard

Jon Gerrard
River Heights constituency report

Jon Gerrard is Liberal MLA for River Heights.

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