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2020, Fri

Feb

07

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Understandably, many of us in China have been alarmed by the recent news of a novel coronavirus originating in Wuhan, Hubei province. The media have also been relentless in providing up-to-the-minute updates on how many are infected, and where they are located. Though news of rising numbers of those infected can be alarming, many more may suffer from anxiety, panic, and other negative emotions arising from this situation. Especially vulnerable are children, as they often look to adults for examples of how to feel in uncertain situations, and how to cope. The following are some strategies that you can use to help your children and family cope with stress and anxiety in this very unique time.
1. Limit media and social media use.

 Limit media and social media use for yourself as well as your children. While media and social media can be helpful in informing the public of needed information, they are also associated with higher anxiety levels. Limit your media use and that of your children only to trusted, reliable news sources, and limit the time spent consuming media. Up-to-the-minute information regarding the coronavirus or infection rates, travel restrictions, etc. are of little use to most of us, and only serve to make us more nervous. Instead, consider muting notifications of WeChat groups that push new information from unreliable sources—you don’t need rumors and misinformation constantly popping up in the form of a red number on the WeChat icon.
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2. Get educated.

While information abounds, sometimes misinformation abounds even more. The coronavirus is NOT airborne, which means it can only be spread from one person to another when bodily fluid droplets from an infected person gets into the eyes, nose, or mouth of a healthy person for instance from a cough, sneeze, or being in close (1-2m) ‘breathing’ contact for several minutes. These droplets can also be transferred when they get onto objects which a healthy person touches, and then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. Therefore, simple precautions can go a LONG way in preventing infection. 
-Wash your hands
-Deal with coughs, sneezes and spit appropriately (use a tissue and throw it away!)
-use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
-wear a mask, and
-DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE
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3. Educate your children.

The above can be communicated to children to help keep them safe. However, this communication is best in an environment of security, rather than an environment of panic. Therefore, when educating your children about handwashing or not touching their face, try to ensure that your voice is calm and reassuring. The point is to educate, not scare, and to connect your child with a sense of safety. During a time such as this, there can be a lot of fear that our children experience. However, it is also important to send the message that even where there is fear, there are things we can do to keep ourselves safer.
4. Set a schedule for your family. 

During this unique time, when many schools and workplaces are closed, it’s best to establish a daily schedule and stick to it as closely as you can. Try to include many of things that would normally be on the schedule, as such as work time (use any e-learning resources provided by your child’s school, or free downloads from the internet), practicing your musical instrument, meal times, naps, snack times, exercise, etc.  Remember to set regular sleep and wake times, despite a “flexible” schedule.  You may also need to get creative regarding some of the items on the schedule—for example: if your regular gym is closed, you may need to replace it with outdoor activities or with an exercise video that can be done together as a family.
5. It’s OK to go outside! 

Again this virus not in the air. Therefore, unless otherwise recommended against by health authorities, it is safe to venture outside and get out of the house once in a while (with the proper precautions, of course). Avoid areas that may be overcrowded or that may cause anxiety, but take time to take walks, connect with nature, exercise outdoors, etc.
6. Connect with others. 

Do not neglect your social life, or that of your children! Consider arranging meals with family and friends at home. At the very least, make sure that you are connecting with via phone, video chat, or other means.
7. Help your children express emotions.

Do not be afraid to talk about this virus with your child, what it is, and what it is not, in an age-appropriate manner. Sometimes, we as parents try to avoid discussing topics with children that we believe may scare them. However, our children are likely very aware that something unique is happening around them, and they will look to us for explanations and reassurance.
8. Acknowledge your child’s emotions.

Acknowledge your child’s emotions, whatever they are. If your child expresses any sort or emotion, positive or negative, while you are discussing this topic with them, let them know that their feelings are OK. Their feelings, whatever they are, are appropriate and it is safe to express those emotions to you. Additionally, don’t judge your child’s emotions, or try to “correct” them.  Hear them out, acknowledge the emotion, and tell them it is OK to feel that way.
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9. Express empathy: 

After acknowledging your child’s emotions, express your empathy. Maybe you are feeling similar emotions—don’t be afraid to express them to your child in an age-appropriate manner. Empathy can help the child feel understood and not alone.
10. Connect with safety.

It is true that the present situation is uncertain and can feel unsafe. But in this unique time, help your child identify what IS certain and safe—your family, your love for them, etc.  Encourage your child to express this verbally, or even draw it out onto a piece of paper.
11. Connect with safety:

Focus on Gratitude. The practice of gratitude has been shown to improve mood and assist in combating negative emotions. Encourage your family to start a gratitude journal—start simple: write, draw, or share two simple things each family member is grateful for each day. One rule: try not to repeat anything you’ve said on previous days!
12. Connect with confidence.

Try to do at least one thing per day that instills confidence in you and your children. What do they enjoy? What do they feel they are good at? What builds their self-esteem?
13. Seize the opportunity.

This time can be used to discover and develop new skills. Learn something new with your family! Perhaps it’s time to purchase one of those acrylic painting kits you’ve been eyeing at Carrefour. Maybe it’s time to explore baking, science experiments, new recipes, or origami.  Bring your child’s focus and attention not only on what they CAN’T do during this time, but on what opportunities this unique situation may present.
14. Keep up communication. 

During this time, there are many families who are separated for one reason or the other. Many are not sure how long this separation will last, with travel advisories and restrictions in full force. It can be important to keep up communication through any means necessary during this time, such as through phone calls and video conferencing. Try something new—perhaps you can play chess or other game with your child via videoconference call, or read a bedtime story. Some parts of a family routine may be possible to maintain over video conferencing, and you can even try eating a meal together virtually! However, it is important to acknowledge the emotions your child may have regarding this separation, validate those emotions, and express empathy. 
For example:
Child: “I miss daddy!  I haven’t seen him in two weeks and I feel very sad.”
Not recommended: “Don’t worry, you don’t need to miss him! We can call him and it will be just as if he were here!”
Recommended: “I understand. Of course you feel sad. I miss daddy too. Maybe there’s something we can do to help. What if we read a bedtime story with him over FaceTime?”
15. Acknowledge existential questions. 

This virus (among other things) reminds us of the fact that we live in an uncertain world. Though we try our very best as parents to create the safest world possible for our children to grow up in, this situation is a reminder that there are many things that lie beyond our control. It can be unhealthy to avoid this and weave a fantasy world around children that does not exist. If your child raises existential questions around life, death, uncertainty, etc., acknowledge these questions. If you have a spiritual or religious tradition, don’t fear expressing and leaning on that tradition, or explore one. Be honest—if you do not know the answers, or you are uncertain yourself, express this to your child in an age-appropriate manner. However, even in the midst of uncertainty, there are some things that are certain: we can protect ourselves, we can love and care for each other and we can use this as an opportunity.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing emotional distress from this situation, or any other reason, please do not hesitate to consult with a qualified mental health professional.
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Dr. George HU

Clinical Psychologist

Chief of Mental Health

President of Shanghai International Mental Health Association(SIMHA)

Dr. George Hu is a licensed clinical psychologist from the United States, and is the Chief of Mental Health at Shanghai United Family Pudong Hospital.  He is also the President of the Shanghai International Mental Health Association. Our mental health departments in Puxi and Pudong are staffed with qualified and experienced clinicians, and remain open during this time. 

Dr. HU has several areas of specialty including cognitive behavioral psychotherapy, individual psychotherapy with adults and children, trauma processing, psycho-educational and psychological assessment.

For appointments, please call 400 6393 900, 24-hours a day. 

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Content via Shanghai United Family Pudong Hospital

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2020, Mon

Feb

03

Coronavirus

2020

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We’re sick and tired of this darned coronavirus.

可恶的病毒快快消失吧。

It’s really taking a toll on everyone in the country,

but few are as hard hit as those fearless heros working in the medical field. Doctors, nurses,

hospital staff, and researchers are all at the frontlines of the war against this dastardly disease.

这场战役使每个人都历经磨难,

最可敬的还是医务人员。

医生、护士和研究人员等等都奋斗在危险的第一线。

With over 12,000 confirmed cases now, medical staff have their hands full, but continue to work hard past the point of exhaustion to help

everyone in need.

目前已有超过12000确证病例,

医务人员竭尽全力拯救处于困苦中的人。

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To help out their medical brethren in need in the ground zero province of Hubei, countless doctors from around the country have voluntered to step in and help. Specialists from Shanghai, Beijing, Xi’an, Suzhou, and too many other cities to list have said goodbye to their families and hopped on trains and planes to bolster the ranks in Hubei. A team of doctors from the Ruijin Hospital in Shanghai (right by the Sherpa’s headquarters) also joined the fight.

来自上海、北京、西安、苏州

还有其他城市的专家医者向家人告别,
自告奋勇不畏艰险前往病原地湖北支援。

食派士总部旁的上海瑞金医院

也有一队医护人员加入前线。

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Seriously, you guys are amazing. Words cannot express how grateful we all are for the brave medical workers who are doing their utmost to stop the coronavirus. Without them, this epidemic would be that much worse.

你们太伟大了。

我们不知道言语该怎样表达我们的敬意,

不敢想象没有你们这场灾难会糟到什么地步。

We salute you all.
Thank you!

致敬!
感恩!

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2020, Wed

Jan

22

Just in time for the world’s largest annual migration of people, the Spring Festival travel rush, the Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak is starting to kick into full gear.

正值春运期间,武汉爆发的新型冠状病毒正加速扩散。

To stay safe, there are a few steps that you can take:

安全起见,您可以采取以下几个措施:

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via CHINADAILY

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via Weibo

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via WHO

And how to clean our hands effectively?

如何有效清洁双手?

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via WHO

 What is CORONAVIRUSES? 

Coronaviruses are a wide group of viruses that are common in animals. In rare cases, they can be transmitted from animals to humans –

scientists believe that this outbreak originated in the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan.

冠状病毒是在动物中非常常见的一种病毒。在极少数情况下会传染给人类——研究人员认为这起疫情源于武汉华南海鲜市场。

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via wsj

Coronaviruses can make people sick, typically with a mild to moderate upper respiratory tract illness that resembles a common cold.

Symptoms include a sore throat, cough, runny nose, headaches, and fevers, which can last for a few days up to a week. The big problem comes for people with weakened immune systems –

the very young and elderly. The viruses can cause a more serious respiratory tract illness like bronchitis or pneumonia.Fortunately,this version of the coronavirus seems much less deadly than its cousin SARS.

表现为轻微到中度的上呼吸道疾病,类似于普通感冒。症状包括喉咙痛、咳嗽、流鼻涕、头痛和发烧,可持续数天至一周。免疫系统衰弱的人例如儿童老人需要尤其注意。这种病毒可以引起更严重的呼吸道疾病,如支气管炎或肺炎。庆幸的是新型冠状病毒似乎比它的表亲非典温和得多。

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via outbreaknewstoday 

As of Tuesday, January 21st, health officials have confirmed that almost 300 people have been sickened and 6 have died. The majority of cases have occured in Wuhan, but the virus has spread to Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. International flights from Wuhan have also brought the disease to Bangkok, Thailand, Kanagawa, Japan, and Incheon, South Korea. In addition, suspected cases of the virus have appeared in Shandong, Sichuan, Yunnan, Guangxi, and Zhejiang provinces.

Authorites have ramped up measures to stop the spread of the disease, including infrared temperature scanners and screening of passengers while the city of Wuhan has cancelled certain Spring Festival celebrations.

截至1月21日卫生部门证实已有近300人患病,6人死亡。大多数病例发生在武汉,但已扩散至北京、上海和深圳乃至泰国曼谷、日本神奈川和韩国仁川。此外,山东、四川、云南、广西和浙江也出现了疑似病例。

当局已加强措施,以阻止疾病进一步扩散,包括红外线测温和旅客筛查,武汉也已取消了一些春节活动。

Stay safe out there, everyone. Practice proper preventative measures and safety precautions to ensure your health.

请大家一定注意防护。

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