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Parents put play dates on hold during Coronavirus pandemic

YA fiction
Oliver Forster / KEYT

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Kids may not miss homework while school is out, but many are missing their social life.

Charlie Parker and Braedan Kennedy are Dos Pueblos High School seniors missing out on school activities.

After a couple rainy days indoors they went for a hike.

Parker said it was hard to find people to go with him.

"Many of my friends, I can't really hang out with them, their parents are not allowing them to leave the house," said Parker.

Braedan Kennedy said his parents are letting him enjoy nature, within reason.

"We respect the six feet boundary, and we wash our hands a lot, so going out in nature-- we think is okay," said Kennedy.

Pediatricians are not recommending play dates right now. Doctors have said that children can spread the Coronavirus even when they are not showing symptoms. Educators say small children don't always understand the concepts of social distancing.

The manager of Chaucer’s Books in Santa Barbara brought his daughter to work. Jareme Magara said he is trying to model good behavior during this health crisis.

His bookstore canceled events that draw crowds.

The staff is on hand to recommend books for all ages. They also stock puzzles and games. If customers choose not to come, in they can order online and get deals on delivery.

Santa Barbara Unified School Board President Laura Capps wrote a recent op-ed about why closing schools will help save lives.

Capps has a young son and wants to empower parents to make the most of their time with their children.

"Schools are closed it is really a tough time, I get it. " Three things to know; First, food is essential and food is being served at 10 of our schools. Secondly, now that we have done this, keep your kids confined, no play dates no sleepover, keep it in the family, keep it with a confined number of people, and the last thing is nature, nature is really our friend right now. Take them out for a hike, go to the beach. this is the time to be outside."

Children may like having more time to play video games.

Watching movies together, doing puzzles, spring cleaning, and even letter writing could all fill the time, while slowing the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus / Education / Health

Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor of KCOY|KEYT|KKFX.