Dear Mountain Meadow Parent:
We have been watching the news and monitoring the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) closely. We recognize the WHO’s change in declaring COVID-19 a pandemic and international recommendations for social distancing. We continue to closely monitor the situation and public health recommendations and will plan and communicate any actions accordingly.
The safety of campers and staff at MMR is paramount. As of right now we are going to continue to operate for Summer 2020.
The social distancing recommendations from the State of California, the CDC, and WHO have been set for the next 8 weeks (or close to), which means there is hope things will improve around early to mid-May. With hope in our hearts, we are going to move ahead as scheduled and will continue to monitor and update you as necessary.
- Washing our hands thoroughly (under water for more than 15 seconds) is always the best and most effective preventative measure.
- Remind your kids to keep their hands off their face! Pathogens enter our body through the eyes, nose and mouth.
- Until we know more, we would suggest restricting any travel outside of your area until the federal recommendations for social distancing are changed.
- What we should do if we develop cold symptoms (runny nose, fever, mild cough):
- Call your doctor (avoid going in unless requested) to talk through your symptoms and their recommendation for next steps.
- Don’t forget there are other illnesses out there.
- If fevers are high see your doctor to rule out influenza
- If you have a red sore throat with or without fever or an upset stomach see your doctor to rule out strep.
What’s a pandemic?
A “pandemic” disease sounds much scarier than a mere “outbreak.” but it’s important to remember that “pandemic” refers to how many parts of the world are dealing with an elevated rate of the disease — and says nothing about how serious that disease is.
Why does it matter that something is called a pandemic?
Pandemics must be battled, at the international level, significantly differently than epidemics. Where there’s a pandemic, we are all in the fight together and there are essentially no “sidelines.” In other words, stopping the spread is unlikely but slowing the spread to prevent healthcare system overload (referred to as “flatten the curve”) and unnecessary harm is possible and something we all play a part in. This is why measures like social distancing and hygiene etiquette are so important.
What we are doing:
MMR Directors have had a number of meetings regarding our existing healthcare protocol and decided to implement the following changes in response to COVID-19:
> Pre-session ‘Recent Health and Travel History Form is required before arriving at camp (made available 2 weeks prior to session start date).
> Health screening on opening day will include fever check and more thorough education on proper hand washing and cleanliness practices
> Increased monitoring of shared items while at camp
> Increased training and monitoring in health and cleanliness protocols (in the kitchen, healthcare center, cabins, activity areas, public areas, etc.)
> Increased hand sanitizer stations at various activities
What YOU can do:
- Engage your children and educate them on COVID-19 and proper cleanliness and sickness habits to develop before sending them to camp. We should all be increasing our awareness of face touching and hand washing.
- Hand washing, proper cough etiquette, etc.
- Remain calm, your campers are looking to you for cues on how to respond. It is of the utmost importance that as adults, we maintain a calm and collected mindset as we respond to the developments. Hysteria is not the answer, it will only prove to increase anxiety and inhibit our ability to respond appropriately.
- Comply with the recommendations for social distancing. Only go out socially when necessary, and if you do, be mindful of proximity to others and your hygiene. Even if you and your littles are not at high risk, you may come into contact with someone who is. This is more than a “me” issue and requires consideration for the greater “we.”
- Avoid unnecessary travel.
Coronaviruses are typically seasonal and so we can hope that by the time weather warms and the regular flu season ends, this virus will burn itself out, too. Until then we try to control spread and take care of each other.
We recognize that our children are deeply important to us all, and that the current status of social distancing with many aspects of regular life “paused” it is a natural response to feel fear and concern over what that means for the future. We encourage all of us to remain diligent in where we go for information regarding COVID-19 and that we are maintaining a clear and level head as we respond.
As mentioned, we are monitoring the situation closely and will continue to work with Health Department and CDC recommendations to keep MMR a safe space for our camp family.
Please do not hesitate to call or email us to answer any further questions you may have. The CDC and WHO provide more detailed coronavirus information on their websites and your personal physician is a valuable resource for specific medical questions you may have.
Rest assured we will keep you updated with any changes.
Mountain Meadow Ranch Directors