My son: “Mom, what is the Coronavirus?”
Me: “It is a word you might have heard at school or online on the iPad. This Coronavirus is a newly discovered virus. It causes a disease called COVID-19. Most people who have gotten sick with this virus have had a mild case. And there aren’t a lot of cases in kids. If kids do get the virus, it tends to be very mild.”
My son: “What does ‘mild’ mean?”
Me: “Mild means not very strong. Like mild salsa is the least spicy. I myself prefer spicy salsa though. People who are much older or who already have health problems are more likely to get sicker with Coronavirus.”
My son (tearing up): “Noooooooo…….what about Grandma, Grandpa and uncle, and aunt?”
Me: “If anyone gets sick and feels like they might have Coronavirus, they can immediately call their doctors and get help. Oma and Opa and aunt and uncle will all be fine. Don’t worry. They all have a strong immune system.”
My son: “What’s an immunity system?”
Me: “Immune system, sweetheart. It is a defense system of your body. It keeps the bad bacteria out. There are some things you can do to protect your immune system and yourself, family and friends from getting sick.”
My son: “How?”
Me: “Number 1. Wash your hands often. Use soap and water. Wash for at least 20 seconds. If it helps, sing the ABC’s while you do it. That’s about 20 seconds. Wash after using the bathroom or being in public spaces like the subway, bus, train or playground. 2. Sneeze into your elbows. Coronavirus is believed to spread through little droplets of fluid from your lungs. If you sneeze into the elbows, you can prevent germs from going into the air and onto your hands. 3. Avoid touching your sweet face. Don’t pick your nose, don’t touch your mouth, don’t rub your eyes. These are the places where germs enter your body. 4. Eat healthy things. Lots of vitamins, such as fruit and vegetables. 5. Don’t stand super close to other people. Especially not the ones who sneeze and cough a lot. 5. When you do get sick, we stay at home.
My son: “But I love picking my nose!”
Me: “Geez, you can still do it, just use a tissue. Then throw it away. It is very important to remember that this kind of virus can affect anybody. It does not matter where you come from or what country your parents are from.”
My son: “Okay, I think I understand. So, we eat healthily and drink smoothies with blueberries and bananas. We won’t get sick, Mommy?! Right?! Right!? Right!?”
Me: “Of course not, my love. Don’t worry and listen to people who try to scare you. Everything will be okay.