Covid-19: Let’s Talk About What Kids’ Are Thinking – by Allie Melson

Hi. I’m Allie, and I am 10 years old and one of your average kids. I am in the 5th grade and like most kids in America, if not around the world, I am home and until now, I didn’t quite understand why I was out of school, why my dad is working from home, why our stores are all out of food and why I am doing school online–until I looked it all up and talked to my mom.  

I hear parents helping people out there, especially my mom since she works in the mental health field and has been helping people deal with their emotions around this new coronavirus thing. But no one is talking to kids. No one isanswering their questions or talking about what we should do about this virus, how we should handle it, how serious it is and really just making us feel like we are a part of it all.  

We ARE part of it all. We hear you talk. We see the news on. We hear the political whispers, and kids should not be ignored anymore, especially now.  

So, to help parents understand us, and to make kids feel like they are normal, here are some things from a kids’ perspective on COVID-19 for BOTH kids and parents. Listen up! 

Adults keep saying things to us like: “drinking every 15 minutes solves it!” “Don’t cough (really??)”, “get plenty of rest”, “eat healthy foods like vegetables” and “stay away from your friends”. I know every kid has heard at least one of these things. But does that all work to keep us kids healthy?  

From everything I have read, it definitely helps. Kids, trust your parents on this one (maybe not the vegetables part). 

It does seem that only people over the age of 55 are TRULY being affected by it. While sad for my grandparents and I am praying for the best for them, I really hope this is true because my parents are a little younger than that and I really worry about them (as a side note, we have to stay away from our grandparents for now and I advise you do the same to protect them). Kids, it is normal to worry about your parents, but know that if they are otherwise healthy, you have a great chance of keeping them around. I say let’s take this chance to let them know we appreciate them and realize how much they are doing to stock up and protect us in this world crisis. Instead of getting frustrated that there isn’t a lot to do, be creative and find things to do on your own—this seems to really impress my mom and dad. 

Now on the actual symptoms—what are they? I have no clue, I’m a kid! All I’m supposed to know is how to solve simple math equations and remember to feed my cats. Trying to understand how the medical world works is NOT in my bag of tricks. However, I got curious and we DO have the internet, so I took a peek. 

There is a lot of information out there and I don’t advise that you read too much because it will sound like we are truly in a viral zombie apocalypse movie. What I DOknow is that what some people say caused it are BATS. I personally am not buying into that theory and as of right now, I don’t think that’s true. What Ithink is that China may have created it to take down ourpeople at some point and it backfired. Again, do your own research. This is where my imagination went. My mom did her research and I did mine and I am just being real here and letting the adults know what kids are thinking. We hear everything you know. 

What I also know is that it’s not just called “Covid-19” it’s also called, “Coronavirus” and it is in the SARS family. That just means it is respiratory by nature and involves the lungs and your breathing if you catch it.

So, how will it affect kids around the world (1)? What are us kids supposed to do (2)? Should we  be afraid (3)?  What if a kid gets it (4)? What the heck has happened to school (5)?

Question 1. How will it affect kids all around the world? Well, from what I have heard, it wouldn’t harm us as much as adults, but we should still watch out because the reality of even having the coronavirus would probably be very uncomfortable. Some kids, like my friend Oaklyn, have weaker immune systems because they have physical issues and are still building up so I have to steer clear of her for now. But her mom and dad are taking great care of her. But most of us kids are well equipped and shouldn’t worry. Go outside and play instead! You will be ok. 

Question 2. What are kids supposed to do? Well no one really has any way that kids can help but what I say is even though kids aren’t usually the ones to disinfect, one way you can stop this from spreading is by washing your hands. Washing your hands helps get all the germs off. Also use hand sanitizer. One last way to do our part is to not have too much physical contact with people, especially older people like our grandparents. Wait a couple weeks and call or text them instead. That is sure to bring a smile to their face.

Question 3. Should we be afraid? Well, most people say that kids don’t usually get affected, by the virus, but no one 100% knows that. I have learned enough from the fake media (I learned that from my mom and even more so by watching these silly Q and A’s with the President) that they will say ANYTHING to get a reaction. My advice? Stop watching the news and when your mom or dad are, leave the room and go do something fun. We do not need that kind of pressure as kids. We should still be on the lookout but shouldn’t be too scared of it. 

Question 4. What if a kid does get it? Well, we know that kids are carriers of the virus but it could still hurt us. We have no idea unless we have experienced it but only a few have gotten it, so again, your chances are low. No sense worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet. Plus, my mom says worry makes you sick…so I am NOT worrying about it. If I do find myself up late at night worried, I write everything in my worry journal and that really helps. You should do this too. 

Question 5. What the heck has happened to school? In ways I sure never saw coming. Covid-19 has shut down most schools. BUT only from face to face learning. Now I have to learn how to do everything online. Not super fun all the time, but it will probably prepare me better for college. For me, instead of having the normal method for schooling, meeting friends, eating lunch together etc., I go to school online at 9:00 am on my computer, have classes every other hour and end at around 2:00. We listen to our teachers and answer some questions, but there is no social aspect at all. That makes me feel sad, isolated, and distant from my friends. It’s just sit, listen, and watch. No lunch break to joke with classmates, no hugging friends after the weekend, nothing social. It sucks. Nothing we do usually adds up to the socialness we get from being AT school. And what makes it even worse, is that technology isn’t even fully developed! The screen freezes, the lighting is bad sometimes, the audio will cut out, you get kicked off (creating feelings of rejection, lol), you get muted by other class members…the possibilities are endless! 

Lastly, with having this huge change in how we do “school”, another problem kids in this world are facing is the lack of interaction all together. And us kids NEED that, or we will drive our parents crazy! For this, I recommend starting a group chat on one of the following:

  • Microsoft Teams
  • Google Hangouts
  • Zoom
  • Or just use good old-fashioned messaging apps

Also you can write real letters and draw pictures and send them via the mailman. Old concept kids, but really cool when you receive an actual letter form your friends or classmates. And one more thing you can do is get your classmates together, make a poster and do a drive by class parade for your teachers. I will be doing this with my mom and class next week and I am so excited to wave to everyone and see their posters!!

Whatever you do, keep socializing anyway you can and interact with your school friends as much as humanly possible. Again, my mom says we need social activities to develop our brain and keep our “endorfins” flowing (not sure what those are but they sound important).

Alright, well I have answered all the questions and told you the perspective of a kid. I will wrap this up by saying we kids should use this time to hang out with our parents, make them play the games WE like to play, get a puzzle out, play some music, bake some cookies and have some incredible family time.  

Thank you for reading. I hope parents and kids from all over the world find this helpful in understanding a kids’ perspective of the Coronavirus. Because we are listening. We are concerned too. And we need you to talk to us, like my mom does with me and my brothers.  

Be kind to each other. 

Allie Melson, age 10

Writer in Training on all things Human Nature

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