The Talking Stick and Flu Season
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We know the flu season can be a particular challenge when using the talking stick at the Java Music Club. Many group members love the talking stick and there is no perfect solution but here are two suggestions that may be helpful to you:
1. Hand Sanitizers and Practicing Coughing Into Their Sleeves: Ask the nurse to give you a supply of hand sanitizers to keep with the Java Music Club cart and at the beginning of the group, invite them to wipe their hands. Another option is to do a little talk at the beginning about it and ask them to do a fun practice of coughing into their sleeves. Just like we practice a musical instrument.1, 2, 3, cough!
2. Using Stones Instead of a Stick: Give each of your group participants a stone from the garden or from a dollar store. I have kept a basket of stones in my office that I can soak in rubbing alcohol (again I ask the nurse or the maintenance department for a bottle to use). At the beginning of the group I pass the basket around and invite each group member to choose one. When it is their turn to share they pick it up. At the end of the group we collect the stones and soak them in rubbing alcohol again (or they can keep them).
Final Note: If there are a lot of people who have colds in your group or there is a serious outbreak, it may be wise to put the talking stick aside for the time being and of course if needed, put the group on hold until the outbreak is over.