Parents, kids make the most of home isolation

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Sisters Saythein and Senaiyath play a board game to help pass the time.

Stay home! That is the message the governor has relayed to all island residents in an effort to contain the coronavirus from spreading.

But now that a majority of island residents are homebound PNC stopped by a couple of homes to see how families are spending their free time.

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Charelle Gogue is a mother of eight. Normally, on a weekday she is at home with two of her children but now that schools are closed and self-isolation is in place all eight of her children are homebound.

When PNC asked how home isolation has been for her and her family, Gogue answered: “It’s been hectic. But the kids kind of like it because they get to stay home. But then they don’t like it because we have to keep away from everybody and can’t go places so it has been really hectic.”

Finding things to do and keeping the kids occupied has been a challenge.

“They just watch TV or use the internet. That’s basically it. They’re definitely irritated and they can’t get along only because they’re stuck in the house with each other and there’s eight of them all day every day,” Gogue said.

Meanwhile, another family shares with PNC that they are using this time to catch up on family bonding and household chores.

Debra Sablan is a mother of five and while two are grown adults, she is home with her three school-aged children.

Sablan says this time away from work and kids being home all the time allows them to get a lot done and it’s good quality time.

She is taking the time to instill responsibility in her children. PNC spoke to two of her children, Saythein and Senaiyath, to see what they have been doing to fill the time.

“I’ve been helping my mom with the yard work and also my sister and brother. I’ve been feeding the animals and when I am not doing work I’m either outside riding my bike or watching like a little movie I also have my class assignments to do for like homework so that’s what I’m doing. I just got started so yeah that’s all I’m doing. I never found myself bored unless I don’t have anything to do,” Saythein said.

Seniayath Bell said: “I do yard work outside with my family. When I’m not outside I also do my online assignments and I cook when my mom doesn’t. I play with the rugby ball. I kick it around and I pass with my brother because he also has some experience with it. This time home gives me time to catch up with my siblings and my other family in the states and I love my mom so it’s really nice to be able to see their face all the time.”

Keeping the kids occupied is something that Sablan tries to encourage each day, whether it’s putting a puzzle together, climbing a tree or taking care of household responsibilities. She says boredom isn’t an option and with the coronavirus on island, now is not the time to be heading out into the community unless absolutely necessary.

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.