Sheltering in place is a welcome slowdown for many teens – NOT! For others it’s a time of increased stress, loss and fear of the future – YEAH… In this blog, I mention 7 facts for teens to know about life during the pandemic.
This is what we’re reading and hearing from young people:
“It’s knowing that you can’t go out that makes you want to go out more”.
“I cope pretty well. But it’s lonely.”
“All I want is to say good-bye to my high-school friends before we all go off to college.”
“My anxiety goes wild.“
“I lost my part-time job – it sucks.”
“School work is insane. Exam deadlines are still the same but it’s twice as hard to get things done.”
“I really miss seeing my girlfriend.”
“I’m so bored it drives me crazy. We’re going to have to come up with new ways of doing things.”
Some teens stay home easily, while others leave the house and engage in risky behavior for themselves and others. Maybe you can relate?
Here’s a list of questions that we’ve heard from young people and some resources for living through the pandemic as a teen or young adult:
Are teens really the “trojan horse” of the pandemic? Usually, symptoms don’t show up or are very mild for teens and young adults without risky pre-conditions. Pair this with an urge to go out and meet up that’s stronger than in adults – and we’ve got an explosive cocktail to spread the virus. Check out this video The teenage brain explained on why you might have a really strong urge to be breaking the rules and meeting up with people… your brain chemistry is wired for it and understanding this can help you deal with it.
How long will it take until the virus is fully under control? Have a look at these simulations – they show that eventually, all outbreaks go away. How long it takes depends on how well we all work together.
What will happen after the lockdown? The US States and international countries are slowly re-opening. Bear in mind – social distancing rules and the six feet guidelines will likely stay in effect much longer. In Russia, for six feet apart they say it’s a bear apart J or two shopping carts. Check here to learn more about the six feet rule.
Love & Dating… how is that supposed to work with six feet distance? Well, if you don’t live with the person you want to have sex with, now is not the time to have in-person sex with them. Think about it this way: sex is there for pleasure and is based on sensuality. Sensuality comes from senses – how does each of your senses give you pleasure? Connect and share and talk to each other about what you discover… Also, your generation is the masters in virtual connection – so I’m sure you will find your ways. Please keep in mind: this is a time where feeling your boundaries and respecting them is super important – also in the virtual world – only do what feels comfortable and safe to you and don’t overexpose too quickly! Or just be romantic and set up a virtual candlelit dinner with your boyfriend or girlfriend… here a site with resources for teens and sexuality.
Where can I get the best facts? We recommend complementing your favorite sources with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Unicef, and the World Health Organization to ensure a solid fact base.
I am really struggling and have no one to talk to I trust – where can I get help? Check out Youth.gov or Adolescent Health and reach out. If you can, reach out early – it’s better to reach out many times than not at all. It’s super important now to talk with people. And know, that some things might hit you once we are going back to normal – don’t feel like you can’t reach out anymore just because things seem easier again on the outside.
Stay safe, stay healthy, think about the dolphins that returned to Venice and know this too shall pass quicker than we think!