What should I do if both of my parents catch COVID-19?
Nicholas is 12 years old and lives in Fredericton. He wants to know what happens if both of his parents catch COVID-19.
So what should you do if both of your parents get sick and need to self-isolate? Toronto-area pediatrician Dr. Dina Kulik recommends giving them space, so you don't get the virus too.
"It depends on your age," says Kulik, pediatric emergency medicine physician and founder of Kidcrew Medical, a pediatric clinic in Toronto. "If you are old enough to take care of yourself, cook your own meals, and don't need your parents to care for you day-to-day, I would suggest isolating from them."
However, every family should have a plan, and if the parents and child feel as though the child would be better off living with a friend or relative, then that's an option too. But Kulik cautions that it's possible the child could be asymptomatic, meaning a person has the virus but is not showing any symptoms, and that could put the other caregivers at risk.
If you are sharing a space with someone who's sick, Kulik also recommends wiping down all high-traffic surfaces such as counters, door handles, and even the refrigerator, with products approved for use against the coronavirus including: alcohol, peroxide, or a bleach solution. She also advises using a different washroom if possible, which should help contain the spread. --
Canada's top doctor, Theresa Tam, told CBC Kids News, "It's normal to feel frightened," but make your parents know you're worried, and remember you're not alone. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's family had to deal with the coronavirus, when his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, tested positive. She has since recovered.
"It would be scary to have two sick parents, but it is not your job as a child to take care of them or make adult decisions for them," says Alyson Schafer, family counsellor and parenting expert. "You only need to let other adults and professionals do their job of taking care of them and trust that everyone is helping people sick with COVID-19."
This is a frightening disease, but most people recover, Schafer says. "Your mind may want to worry about future events that might happen, but we don't know what the future will bring, so try to focus your mind on what the reality is at the moment."
If you need support during the COVID-19 pandemic, contact Kids Help Phone.