Tag Archives: Coronavirus

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The Nightly Howl

Italians, under siege from coronavirus, began taking to their balconies and windows, at an appointed hour each night, to serenade one another with their national anthem. It was a show of solidarity, something to provide uplift in these brutal times. Residents in Chicago followed suit, singing a city-wide version of Bon Jovi’s Livin’ on a Prayer. In Dallas, people sang Bill Withers’ Lean on Me in unison. In Brussels, Seattle, New York, Medellín–in places all over the globe–people started standing on balconies and doorsteps and clapping to applaud health-care workers, often at 8 p.m., local time. The phenomenon even spawned a hashtag: #solidarityat8.

In Mill Valley, CA, we have the Mill Valley Howl. Started a week after shelter-in-place orders, the Howl has grown to a citywide cry at 8 p.m. each evening, when cooped-up residents open their windows or go out onto their front yards, decks and streets, and howl at one another into the night. It’s an amazing show of solidarity, of a kind of momentary community joy, while at the same time evincing something more primal. I hear anguish in the Howl. I hear prayer (or perhaps I feel it, looking up at the bright star of Venus, while we’re all baying into the twilight.)

From my house, the Howl seems to start low in the valley and swell and run through the neighborhoods and canyons and up into the hills. It takes on different shapes in its few short minutes, before dying back down. Dogs and perhaps actual coyotes join in. I howl back at the noise and my neighbors’ lit houses. I howl to thank the first responders on the front lines. I howl to mark the days of this strange time. In a town in which people are temporarily sequestered in houses that are largely tucked away from view, howling lets others know, distinctly, “I am here. And I see (or at least hear) you.”

The Howl suits this place, at the edge of the wilderness, the same way operatic versions of the national anthem suit Italy. A howl is a call of social pack animals. We’re bonding with each other as we mark our territory–this territory, this moment–we’re here in our houses, we’re here on the planet, we’re with one another, alone and yet together.

Photos: Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival, Suz Lipman; Public Domain

Tips for Families During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Coronavirus is changing the lives of everyone on the planet. In addition to impacting day-to-day lifestyles and habits, cancelling large events and closing schools, the health crises is making many aware or newly aware of our interconnectedness and dependency on one another for health and safety.

This time may be particularly challenging for parents: School, job and other routines are disrupted, and it can be difficult to strike a balance between managing our own needs and anxieties with those of our kids. We’re also, by necessity, having to slow down and get creative with the way we’re spending our time.

Try these tips to help you get through.

How to talk to kids about Coronavirus

How to Talk to Kids and Teens about the Coronavirus

Tips on How to Help Kids Feel Safe and Manage Stress

Tips for Teaching Kids Media Smarts during Breaking News

Explaining the News to Our Kids

Tips for staying healthy

How to Protect your Family From Coronavirus

Hand Washing: A Powerful Antidote to Illness

How to Make your own Hand Sanitizer

8 Best Ways to Keep Your Family Healthy (anytime)

Fun stuff to do at home 

12 Ways to Celebrate Screen-Free Week

10 Ways to Learn in Your own Backyard

18 Ways to Unplug as a Family

8 St. Patrick’s Day (or anytime) Science Experiments for Kids

9 Ways to Enjoy Nature in Winter

Take Part in Citizen Science

Slow Nature: Have a Cloud Race

It’s in the Cards: Card Games and Card Reading

12 Famous Museums that Offer Virtual Tours

Extensive List of Online Resources for Anyone who is Bored at Home

At-home Learning

Covid-19 and At-Home Learning

Schools are Closing for Coronavirus. Now What?

How to Get More Talking, Reading and Singing into your Child’s Life

Free Educational Apps, Games and Web Sites  from Common Sense Media

PBS Fun and Educational Family Activities  (games, apps, crafts)

Dealing with stress in general

CDC: Managing Anxiety and Stress (for self and parents)

5 Ways to Overcome the Stress of Coronavirus

How School Closures can Strengthen Your Family

We Will Emerge from these Times as Heroes (and the importance of letting kids play)

Meditation for Beginners

Meditation Apps for Kids from Common Sense Media

I wish you good health, stamina and calm.

Photos: Public Domain, Susan Sachs Lipman (last photo)

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