Extra screen time a necessity during the coronavirus pandemic

Jul 22, 2020, 12:15 PM
(Pexels Photo)...
(Pexels Photo)
(Pexels Photo)

Maybe you have felt, like I have, that we’re being inundated with scientific study, after study, after study… followed by recommendations and more recommendations.

It can all be overwhelming but I still have to pay attention so that I’m not stumbling through this COVID craziness professionally (and can keep you informed on KTAR News 92.3 FM)  — or personally (so I can make informed decisions for my family).

Despite my determination to stay up to date, I have to admit that there is a new study I think I can ignore and some older recommendations I want to ignore.

I think I can ignore the new study because its recommendations are incredibly obvious — but then I’d miss its can’t-be-ignored, incredibly-hope filled conclusion.

In the case of the older recommendations, they make me feel so guilty, that I’m trying to ignore them for my sanity.

First, that study — which was published yesterday in the journal PLOS Medicine. It says that if people consistently wash their hands, wear masks and keep their social distance, we can improve our coronavirus numbers.

(You have to say this next part like an annoyed teen girl) Yeah! We know!

While recommendations have evolved on face coverings, we’ve been told from the start of the pandemic that we should wash our hands and stay home — or stay away when we have to be in public.

The surprising part of the study that I would miss if I played Mr. Know-It-All would be where it says that if we do these simple things, we can stop most of the COVID-19 pandemic — before we get a vaccine.

That’s not too much to ask. 

But what is too much to ask is a set of recommendations that I was just reminded of in an article: limiting children’s screen time.

Before coronavirus, pediatricians and childhood development experts said young kids should have pretty limited screen time — but since coronavirus hit us, kids’ screen time is up 500%. 

Here’s the recommendation I want to ignore: 2- to 5-year-olds’ screen time should be limited to no more than an hour a day.


The experts aren’t including screen time limitations in regards to kids’ school work — but what are we adults supposed to do when we need to work?!?

Well, sometimes we have to do something like we did yesterday. I’m not proud to admit it, but our 5-year-old saw more than one episode of a show called “PJ Masks” (which, incidentally, is NOT a show designed to encourage kids to wear their face coverings). 

It’s totally appropriate entertainment and it’s totally appropriate to let her have some entertainment screen time — but what wasn’t appropriate was how much entertainment she got from a screen. 

And while she also spent plenty of time playing outside, I was left feeling very guilty. 

Even though it seems like all bets are off during the pandemic, I’ve promised to work on the screen time issue. However, one way I am incapable of working on it is by setting a good example. 

Because my screen time keeps her daddy sane. 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Jim Sharpe

(YouTube Screenshot/Mark Brnovich for Senate)...
Jim Sharpe

Arizona AG Brnovich hedges bet on vaccine mandates for businesses

Some Republicans' lack of trust in COVID-19 vaccines is reason for Arizona Attorney General and U.S. Senate hopeful Mark Brnovich's burying of a decision that says private businesses can require the shots, writes KTAR News host Jim Sharpe.
2 months ago
(Photo by Sergio Dionisio/Getty Images)...
Jim Sharpe

President Biden, don’t just TELL us you heart us on Valentine’s Week

President Joe Biden's kind words about Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey were sweet, but more vaccine doses would show true commitment, says KTAR News host Jim Sharpe.
9 months ago
(AP Photo)...
Jim Sharpe

GOP needs ‘restraining order’ on bad boyfriend Donald Trump

For the sake of the GOP's future, KTAR News host Jim Sharpe says that Senate Republicans need to do their part and vote to impeach Donald Trump.
9 months ago
(AP Photo)...
Jim Sharpe

After 4 years, Trump’s legacy boils down to last two months

After his latest attempt to make America his own image failed Wednesday, KTAR News host Jim Sharpe says Donald Trump's lasting legacy will be his conduct since he lost the November election.
10 months ago
Jim Sharpe

Politicians: Put me in the Christmas spirit by following your own advice

KTAR News host Jim Sharpe is heeding officials' advice about avoiding holiday gatherings and travel, so why can't they?
10 months ago
(Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP, File)...
Jim Sharpe

The ‘Fauci Effect’ vs. the ‘Cardinals Effect’

KTAR News host Jim Sharpe says that Dr. Anthony Fauci has done the impossible during the pandemic -- prioritized public health while keeping President Trump mostly happy.
10 months ago

Sponsored Articles


How your family can explore the Musical Instrument Museum

Whether you want to spend a day with family, do crafts with kids at home, or have an adult night out, the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix has options. As the world’s only global musical instrument museum, MIM offers interactive and immersive exhibits to foster an appreciation of different cultures and their instruments. “A visit […]

What you need to know about spine health

With 540 million people suffering from lower back pain, it remains the leading cause of long-term disability. That’s why World Spine Day on Oct. 16 will raise awareness about spinal health with its theme, BACK2BACK. “BACK2BACK will focus on highlighting ways in which people can help their spines by staying mobile, avoiding physical inactivity, not overloading […]
Schwartz Laser Eye Center

How to sharpen your vision with elective procedures

Imagine opening your eyes in the morning and being able to see clearly. You wouldn’t have to wait to put on glasses or contacts, and there would be no more blurry showers nor forgetting where your glasses are.
Extra screen time a necessity during the coronavirus pandemic