SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The St. Maarten Foundation for Psychologists and Orthopedagogen (SFPO) wants to encourage community members to stay connected during social distancing. Social distancing has been described as keeping physical space between/amongst persons to help reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus in order to protect our vulnerable community members whereby one way is to stay at home.
Staying at home can feel lonely and lend to stress and anxiety, especially if persons are not working from home or able to keep their minds busy and productive.
Online platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Zoom are currently being used by schools, businesses and other organizations to stay connected to students, employees and others. SFPO also encourages the utilization of local radio stations as a practical way to stay connected as well.
"After the passage of Hurricane Irma, local radio stations served as a beacon of hope, inspiration and encouragement for the community at large. Radio hosts created spaces in which persons from all walks of life could call in to the program to share views or send greetings to loved ones. During this time of social distancing and lock downs, this same platform can be used", a SFPO representative said.
"Utilizing local radio stations is not only practical but also inclusive because most persons within the community, regardless of their socio- economic status, have access to portable radios", SFPO said.
Family members within the same household are encouraged to strengthen family connections by engaging in various activities such as storytelling, playing board games or other games. Families with backyards could also embark on backyard gardening, as a means of teaching children the importance of growing one's own food.
SFPO says, "Using various modalities to show our presence within our homes, churches and communities, in spite of the challenges we currently face, foster a culture of well- being and connectedness".
We encourage people to find creative and safe ways to stayed connected with their loved ones. Connections are what helps us to build confidence and resilience and gives us hope for the future that together we will get through this and move forward."