Ask Teacher Lisa: Anxiety in Covid Times

Dear Teacher Lisa,

I was noticing for the past few weeks that some of our kiddos experience some form of anxiety or withdrawal when it comes to interacting over zoom. I guess a foreshadowing for in person future situations. 

I’ve been thinking about the way things are going to be when children are able to come together again, and am wondering if you have any ideas on how to “prepare” for the transition when that day comes or even handling anxiety and fears when they happen on the spot.

My son has been experiencing really BIG feelings when it comes down to missing friends, zoom, seeing grandparents from afar etc.

What are your thoughts? I’d like to know.



Dear Anxious,

The impact this quarantine will have on our kids’ anxiety levels, socialization, physical play, and emotional wellbeing will have to unfold over time and be worked on little by little. Some of the kids may revert back easily once they are in a familiar place and with access to play they have been craving. Others may have separation anxiety. Others may act awkward around peers or other adults they haven’t been around in a while. It’s tough to tell at this point what that will look like, and teachers will be ready to support any way we can. 

The reactions to zoom are a whole different thing in my mind–lots of other factors at play there…boredom, frustration at seeing people but not being able to interact with them, feeling muted and powerless to contribute, sick of screens, more interested in something in real life that is happening and alive for them at that moment than something distant and abstract, attention spans of different children and different ages, forced agendas of parents/teachers, and also sad feelings of missing people… Just do what you can and what is enjoyable in terms of zoom, and don’t stress the rest. 

As adults, I think we can help with the children’s anxiety by dialing down our own. For example, try not to shriek every time they get near the 6 foot range of someone or forget one of the quarantine rules. Prep them in advance for what to expect in different situations, but calmly and without fear. 

I also think the socially distant home visits are immensely helpful to be able to see and interact with the kids in 3D, remind them of our connection and fun, and diffuse some of the tension.


Teacher Lisa

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