Thursday, July 23, 2020

How do you explain to a child about the coronavirus crisis? It is difficult enough for adults to get a full grasp of the pandemic, what more for a child who is wondering why he or she cannot go out and play. Here are some of the questions your little one may ask, and the best responses you can give.

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Question: "What is a Corona Virus?"

Response: "A Corona Virus is a germ. You know what germs are, right? But this one is different because it can make people sick very quickly. The germ comes from people who have it in their bodies already."

Question: "Why can't I go out and play? 

Response: "We are doing our best to keep you healthy and free from the virus. We cannot see it, so the best we can do is to stay home. We do not know where it is. It is an invisible enemy. So to avoid getting sick, we should stay home. Only Mommy or Daddy can go out to get food and other things we need."

Question: "Mommy, why do you have to wear a mask when you go to the grocery?"

Response: "Mommy needs to do that to protect me from the virus. Remember I told you, we cannot see it? A mask protects Mommy's nose and mouth from inhaling the virus so I don't get sick. I also wash my hands thoroughly after I get home before I touch anything else. Mommy and Daddy are being very careful so that we don't get sick."

Question: "When can I go back to school? I miss my teacher and my friends."

Response: "Right now, there are still people who are getting sick, so your school will be doing online classes for now. You can still see your teacher and your friends. You will still be doing your lessons, sing songs, and learn art. The only thing different is that you will be using the laptop to do these things. It will not be forever, only until things get better."

Question: "Can I visit Grandma and Grandpa?"

Response: "Sure you can, but not as often as we did before. Once a week will be fine. But you will have to wear a mask and a face shield when we take you to visit your grandparents."

Question: "Can people die if they get the virus?"

Response: "Yes. People may die if they get the virus. These people are those who are already sick of something and then they get the virus. But if you are healthy and strong, you may only feel sick for a while and then get better. Now, do you understand why I keep telling you to eat healthy food and finish your veggies? It is because I want you to have a strong body to protect yourself from the virus."

Question: "When will the virus go away?"

Response: "Many people like scientists and doctors are working to find a cure. Do not worry, they are doing their best. Let us pray for them so that they may find the solution to get rid of the virus." 

These are just some of the questions a young child may ask. As parents, you must learn to choose the right words that your child will easily understand. Be honest, but also be careful not to overwhelm them with information and cause anxiety. Reassure them that all these things that are happening are only temporary.

Keep their little minds busy with other things. Encourage them to be creative through art. Get new books, especially on topics they are interested in. Keep them interested in learning new things. You can get your child a small plant that they can take care of. You can sit outside in your patio at night and gaze at the stars and the moon. Teach them about the planets, the solar system, asteroids, and galaxies. There are so many ways to keep a young child curious and hungry for new knowledge! 

My 4-year old grandson busy drawing the earth, sun, moon and other planets
Being on lock down has its perks too. Some of you may have been given a work from home set up by your employer. That's good because you get to spend more time with your child and you get that chance to personally see to it that your family is safe. 

We have been on lock down since March 16th. That's a total of 126 days to this day. Some restrictions have been lifted, but the rising number of cases is still getting everyone worried. My family and I follow strict sanitation procedures - wearing a mask (and face shield if possible), no shoes or slippers in the house, washing hands, avoid touching our faces when we are outside, and practicing social distancing. Prayers do help a lot too!

Before I end this post, let me share with you a photo of my grandson's drawing. He drew the earth, and then grabbed a red crayon and started coloring a part of the earth red. When I asked him what the red color is all about, he said, "This is the people on earth with coronavirus." And this kid is just 4 years old! 

That red area, according to my grandson is, "People on earth with corona virus"
Stay safe, and stay home as much as possible. Let us listen to the experts' advice and be vigilant always.

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