My 17-year-old came home from school a few days ago and said a boy he knows is being tested for coronavirus.

"No way," I said.  "We don't have coronavirus in Tennessee."

"Not yet!" my teen said, triumphantly.

Unfortunately, my son's rings true as there is now a confirmed case of coronavirus right here in Middle Tennessee — in Williamson County to be precise.

Even before there was a confirmed case in Tennessee, Clorox Wipes and bottles of hand sanitizer were flying off the shelves, and with the news of coronavirus' arrival here, the stores are packed with people stocking up on everything.

So what's the best way to remain calm and smart for your family in the face of what experts are calling the inevitable? 

"Reinforce basic stuff kids know and understand," says Lisa Damour, author of Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls (Ballantine; 2020). Tell your kids that you DO know what they can do to reduce the chances of getting sick.



• Wash your hands for 20 seconds before eating; after using the restroom; before sleep.

• Try to avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

• If a bath before bedtime isn't part of your child's evening routine, at least make sure he washes his hands before going to bed. Children tend to rub their eyes while sleeping.

• Get plenty of sleep.

• Protect your immune system by staying away from people who are coughing.


• Don't share utensils, water bottles, drinking glasses