Clara and Sydney on a nature trail
Courtesy of Michelle Dickstein. Clara and Sydney sit behind a fallen tree on a nature trail. The two young kids can no longer go to playgrounds to play after Gov. DeWine’s stay-at-home order.

Cincinnati-Area Families Share how Stay-at-Home Order Affects Their Daily Life

Posted on:

< < Back to

CINCINNATI — The stay-at-home order in Ohio is still in effect until at least 11:59 PM on May 1. Additionally, Gov. Mike DeWine ordered the Ohio Department of Health to extend the order closing schools through May 1.

This means most Ohio families’ daily routines look very different than they did before the COVID-19 pandemic. For the Dickstein family, some days before the pandemic were jam-packed.

One parent would get their kindergartner on the bus and go to work; the other parent would drop their toddler off at daycare and head to work three days a week. Now, one parent is still going in to work at the Veterans Affairs Hospital and the rest of the family is staying home.

But now, Michelle Dickstein said there’s no certain structure to the day for her children.

Courtesy of Michelle Dickstein. Clara and Sydney walk on a nature trail. The two young kids can no longer go to playgrounds to play after Gov. DeWine’s stay-at-home order.

“With the oldest being just in kindergarten and she’s picked up a lot of her schoolwork pretty easily this year, I’m kind of just encouraging a lot more just you know exploring and playing outside,” she said.

The Dickstein kids don’t get to play all day every day though. Michelle is still helping her kindergartner with her schoolwork, which includes videos from the principal and teacher and packets of work like writing. Kindergarten at home isn’t all smooth sailing though.

Clara works on her online schoolwork
Courtesy of Michelle Dickstein. Clara Dickstein sits at her kitchen table to work on her online schoolwork. The kindergartner has videos to watch and a packet of work she has to do during the stay-at-home order in Ohio.

“All these different programs and login names and I really don’t know what any of them are or how to get to any of them and I think the teacher is trying her best to communicate it all,” she said. “It’s really kind of even hard to just find the time to do it when there’s a toddler running around too.”

Life for that toddler, 2-year-old Sydney, isn’t too different than it was before this pandemic. She doesn’t go to daycare three days a week anymore, but she’s still spending her days playing.

With playgrounds closed, Sydney, and her sister Clara are confined to their house, their yard, and nature trails.

Clara and Sydney near a river
Courtesy of Michelle Dickstein. Clara and Sydney point towards a river by a nearby nature trail. They’ve been going on walks with their mom since Gov. Mike DeWine’s stay-at-home order.

Dickstein said she feels lucky that her kids are young and don’t completely understand the significance of what’s happening.

“Clara definitely has a little bit of an idea that something’s going on and we’ll call it the ‘Coroma,’ but she keeps asking when she gets to go back to school. I think there’s just a lot of unknowns that’s harder to kind of always explain to kids,” She said.

Another Cincinnati-area family explained how the stay-at-home order has affected their daily routine.

Ellen Main’s children would go to preschool two days a week before the order. Now, her two boys who are 3 and 4-years-old, are at home. She made a new schedule of activities for them.

“They play a lot, but just trying to think of some activities for them to do, like art projects, just mostly for my own sanity to try to keep them from fighting and getting into everything,” Main said.

She said they do a lot of painting in different ways. This includes with q-tips or using dish soap and food coloring with water to make colored bubbles to paint with.

Her husband is now working from home too, which she said adds to the craziness.

“They want their dad sometimes and he’s in his office and can’t play with them, obviously, like he normally would,” Main said.

Another way to keep school-age children busy is with your local PBS station. PBS is offering education programming every day on its world channel, along with other educational material on its website.