Quaranteening: Tips for Quarantine with Teens

My family spent 36 days in quarantine. No, that wasn’t a typo. While not easy for anyone, I think it was most difficult for my teens compared to my younger kids. My teens are 13, 15 and 18 and their younger siblings 5 and 9. I was conversing with someone who said their teen just went into quarantine and asked me if I had any tips. Since my friends have dubbed me a Quarantine Rock Star, here’s what I advised:

  1. Let their friends to drop off treats, sweets, or care packages. My teens got so much joy from knowing their friends were thinking about them. Anything edible is highly valued. One friend delivered a bagel with cream cheese from a popular local eatery, and the recipient of that bagel had a grin a mile wide. One friend brought homemade cookies and another replenished a diminishing stash of chocolate. Other goodies they received were puzzles, craft supplies, and books to borrow.
  2. Allow more time on screens and phones than normally allowed. While it got a little out of control in total daily hours, it did keep them connected to their friends as well as give them time to chillax.
  3. Outdoor time is crucial. If you have a patio, porch or a yard, spend some time outdoors and get some sun and fresh air. Don’t stay cooped up indoors all day. To note, it’s said vitamin D boosts immunity which comes from the sun.
  4. If the teen shares a room, be sure he/she can have “alone time” in their personal space. Consider this point is if the entire family is quarantining together.
  5. Maintain a daily fitness routine. Whether dance, yoga, or other, keep the body moving for all the health benefits exercise provides.

For those inquiring minds as to why we were in quarantine for 36 days, in the most condensed version (which could go on forever in the long version):

We thought our child had a cold, allergies, or strep. We went for a strep test, requested a Corona test, and got denied because the “criteria” weren’t met for testing (no high fever, cough, breathing trouble, or direct exposure to someone positive). The school wouldn’t allow the child back without negative test and until it came to light there had been “an exposure”, only then it became mandatory to do the test and go into quarantine,

When the results came back positive, we were quite honestly surprised. Everyone else got tested and the ones who tested NEGATIVE had an ADDITIONAL 14 DAYS of quarantine AFTER the last person was considered covered (10 days from when the testing occurred, not from the onset of symptoms) resulting in a grand total of 36 days from start to finish.

While our extra-long quarantine was difficult for everyone, I think it was hardest for the teens because they are more independent and want their freedom. Younger kids can play with toys, play in the splash pool, have stories read to them, and will generally think anything to be fun if the parent has a positive attitude and downplays the experience. The teens are in a different stage of life so the more they can stay connected to their peers and the outside world, the better.

May you not need this advice but reference it if you do.

Here are the links to the other posts about my Corona experience

Quaranteening. Tips for Quarantining with Teens

I’m Corona Positive. What they Don’t Tell You and What to Expect: The Story Continues

Post Corona Recovery. How I’m Feeling and What’s Changed

Thanks for reading,

Karen

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