Sunday, 26 April 2020

Explaining Covid-19 to a 5 year old

by Trevor Watkins 26/4/2020

Dad, can I go and play with Johnny?
No son, the government won't allow you to because you might get sick.
But Dad, I get sick all the time and so does Johnny. We both had the flu last winter. It didn’t stop us from playing with each other.
It is different this time, son. There is this thing called covid-19 which is a virus like the flu. Millions of people might get sick and die if everyone doesn't stay inside and alone.
Wow! Do we know anyone who has died?
No. It is mostly old people who get sick and die.
So, if young people don't get sick, can I go play with Johnny?
No! I told you the government doesn't allow anybody to go and play with anybody else.
Ok, so how long are they gonna stop us from playing?
Until nobody is dying anymore from Covid 19. Nobody knows how long that will take. It's better to be safe than sorry.
How many people are dying right now of covid-19? Is it thousands and thousands?
Actually, no. In South Africa it's a bit less than 100.
I have seen that lots of people die in car accidents. Must we also stay inside until no one dies of car accidents?
No. That's different.
And James says lots of people die from crime in South Africa. Must we stay inside until there is no more crime?
No, that's different.
If I can't play with Johnny can I take Muffin for a walk in the park?
That's not allowed either.
Is the government worried about Muffin getting sick too?
No they don't care if Muffin gets sick, But you still can't take him for a walk
That's just stupid. Ok, so why are you home all the time now?
I'm not allowed to go to work because of covid-19. Actually I don't think I have a job anymore.
How are you going to pay for food and toys and stuff if you don't have a job?
I don't know.
So, can we go to the shops and buy something?
Yes, I can go to the shops, but you must stay in the car.
So it's OK for you to go shopping with hundreds of people, but I can't go play with Johnny?
Yes, I don't understand it either.
So what if we just don't listen to them and I go play with Johnny?
Then the police will come and they will beat you and possibly put you in prison.
Aren’t the police supposed to protect you and me?
This is different
Is it like this all over the world?
Mostly, but some countries have taken a different path. If you lived in Sweden you could go play with Johnny.
And have they all died?
No, actually. They seem to be doing about the same as everyone else.
So we go to all this fuss and it seems to make no difference?
Yep
And you think I'm the child here.







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