As I sit at my computer today, I find myself thinking about how much our society, out world, our lives have changed in the past 2 months. We are separated by consideration of this virus that has turned many of the institutions and daily events we have learned to rely on upside down. Meetings with colleagues and partners are virtual. classrooms are virtual. “Zoom,” and “Facebook Live,” are becoming commonplace tools for connection. I know that these separations are needed; we have to protect ourselves and our vulnerable populations from as much risk of infection as we possibly can. At the same time, I know as you all probably know, young children cannot go completely virtual and remain physically and emotionally healthy. Young children need contact with familiar, responsive caregivers, appropriate stimulation, and peers to support their development.

I am a member of several groups that have made the change to virtual meetings, but while those meetings have been productive, I find them less than satisfying. I miss the in-person contact; the one member who is always hurrying and so brings their dinner to the meeting, the member who struggles with allergies and so always has cough drops with them. And so, I wonder how much harder is this for the children who are not with their regular caregivers these days, who are not seeing their friends and teachers.

What are some things we can do to support children and families, now and in the future? How can we mitigate the difficulties and challenges that come with this current crises? What are you doing for the children in your lives to help them stay emotionally as well as physically healthy?