Talking Points for Parents about COVID-19 Alerts

Ideas to help our kids understand and cope with recent media messages

  • Alaska Governor Michael J. Dunleavey sent out an Emergency Alert on November 12, 2020, that students may have received on their cell phones or that they heard other people receive
  • In his YouTube Video, Governor Dunleavy asked Alaskans to change their behavior, and said, “The next three weeks are critical. … I’m speaking to you today, because Alaska is facing an escalating crisis that I need your help to solve. … Like the rest of the nation, Alaska’s COVID-19 status is now in the red.” (Source, website)

Parent Talking Points:

Help kids identify their questions

  • What is an emergency alert?
    • We have a national Emergency Alert System that allows alerts to be sent through TV stations, radio and cell phones to alert the public of an emergency. We use them for many different reasons including weather advisories, Tsunami warnings, and missing people are among them (Source)
    • Our Governor used this system this week to let the Alaskan people know that the rate of the spread of COVID is rapidly increasing and give instructions on how we can help slow the spread
  • Why is the virus spreading so fast?
    • It is a very, very contagious disease.
    • People are still building the habits of mask wearing and limiting their activities and contacts.

Help kids identify what they know

  • They have their family to watch out for them
  • School will continue even if remote
  • School Staff care about them and want to connect with them
  • Scientists are continuing to research the disease and are working on a vaccine (or medicine) to protect us
  • They have control over their behavior
  • They can connect using phones and technology with their friends

Help kids connect with what they are in control of

  • Washing their hands
  • Wearing a mask
  • Keeping 6 feet away from others
  • Limiting the number of people they come in contact with

Help kids recognize the supports they have

  • Family and friends
  • Teachers and school staff
  • Their knowledge of how to help protect themselves

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