#RobinAge sent a request on Instagram and FB asking kids and parents to post their questions on the Corona Virus. They asked some amazing questions! Read on…
- What is Corona Virus?
The coronavirus is a type of germ, a virus that can cause people to have a cough and cold, and in some people more severe symptoms like difficulty breathing. The germs get in your body through your nose, mouth or eyes. The corona virus is actually a family of viruses, some of these are seen every year during the winter months. The Corona Virus that you are hearing about these days, is a new virus detected sometime late last year. Remember how a flu makes you feel? Getting Corona virus can be a lot like getting the flu. Some people feel just a little bit sick. Some people get a fever and a cough. Sometimes, the cough can make it hard to breathe easily.
- Why the name COVID-19?
On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for Corona Virus as Coronavirus Disease 2019, and its shortened version is COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. Earlier, Corona virus was also called “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV”.
- How do you catch this coronavirus?
The virus spreads like the flu, from person-to-person, when you are say about 6 feet away from one another. If a person who has the coronavirus sneezes or coughs, germs that are inside the body come outside of the body. But, there is a lot of traveling those germs would have to do to get inside another body. A healthy person would need to touch those germs, and then touch their mouth, eyes, or inside their nose. Those are places where the germs can get inside the body.
- What exactly can I do not to get the virus?
Remember to SWAT the Virus:
- Sneeze or cough into tissues (and discard them in a covered bin) or sneeze or cough into your elbow.
- Wash your hands with soap and water after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose.
- Try to keep your hands out of your mouth, eyes, and nose.
- Is there a cure and why is it taking so long to find it? Aren’t scientists smart people?
Right now we don’t have a cure for this novel coronavirus. What scientists are doing is trying to develop a vaccine that we can use to prevent people from getting sick, and are constantly working on it. We should have some good news soon!
6. Why are schools and mall and parks closed?
One of the things we want to do is protect everyone’s health and the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. And the places a person is most likely to get infected is at school/college/office, and public transport and public spaces. Which is why people have been asked to stay home, so they can stay safe. Hopefully this will be for a short time, and we can get back to our routines soon.
7. Can I go play with my building friends?
We really want that you have as much a normal routine as possible, while still staying safe. So maybe you could go to the playground but make sure you are keeping a safe distance from your friends. Don’t play too many contact sports like football. If your building/society has enforced a rule for you not to play with other children then it’s okay to help yourself and others by staying at home, and thinking up some creative ways to stay busy during this time.
8. If only few people are dying, why is everyone getting so upset about this COVID?
Yes, the mortality (or death rate) of COVID is not very high. But that is because all of us as a community and also the Government is making an effort to contain the virus as quickly as possible. We need to make sure this does not turn into an epidemic in our country. An epidemic means the rapid spread of a disease to a large number of people within a short period of time. If we do not take action to prevent the spread of the corona virus, we may face an epidemic which will impact many things in our lives such as our health, our jobs, and our education among other things.
9. In Italy, they said they won’t treat those above 80. If dada/ dadi gets the virus, will they not treat them?
In each country, the efforts to help treat and control this virus are different, based on the needs there. In India, all elderly people are being treated. If dada/dadi do get this virus, I am sure your parents will find the best help for them. What you can do is keep some distance from them, keep your hands clean, and stay safe so you don’t infect yourself or others.
10. What is social distancing? Do I need to stay away from my friends forever?
Social distancing simply means that we restrict or limit our contact with as many people as we can. This is something our Government is doing to prevent the spread of Coronavirus in our community. If we can halt the spread of the disease, then we can control both the rates of illness as well as the deaths due to the disease.
11. Mom my friend in the building sneezed in front of me, will I catch the virus?
Here are some things to do if someone sneezes before you. Move away, but without glaring at the person or treating them badly. Then make sure you go home and wash your hands right away.
12. Why are we washing our hands and not our whole body?
While it’s important to keep ourselves clean all over, it is our hands that are most likely to spread the virus to us (since we touch our face and mouths all the time), and to others when we touch them or pass things to them. Now why do we follow the “20 second handwash rule”. Germs that we carry on our body will lodge onto the natural oils (like grease) on our hands. Washing only with water doesn’t remove these germs, but soap can break down and dislodge those oils. However, if you do a quick handwash (something like a 5-second one) it won’t remove all the germs, and you can still infect yourself or others. But if you wash for a good twenty seconds, all the germs on our hands are likely to come off. Sing the happy birthday song twice in your head, and make a lot of soap bubbles!
13. Can my pet catch the virus?
So far no one has any evidence that animals can catch the virus or spread it. This is true even if the animal has been imported from a foreign country. Unfortunately, out of fear many people are abandoning their pets, or have stopped feeding the stray dogs that they used to care for. So please go ahead and love and feed the animals, just as you did before. They are not a danger to you or others.
14. I have asthma, am I more likely to get COVID?
There isn’t any reason to believe that people with asthma are more at risk for catching the virus. But people with asthma need to take the same care they do during Diwali or during seasonal change. So they need to do almost the same stuff as others such as washing their hands often and not hugging or shaking their hands with others. They also need to make sure they carry their inhaler with them at all times.
- What is the colour of COVID?
Viruses usually don’t have any colour! But maybe you can paint or draw what the Coronavirus would look like if it did have a colour…
- Is the world going to end?
Well not too soon! Most people who have caught the virus have not died and doctors are working really hard to keep an eye on anyone who is feeling sick. What is important is that you keep doing what you love to do and not let worries about the virus boss you around. If you’re doing what you love while practicing healthy behaviours like sneezing into your elbow and washing your hands after you go to the bathroom, then you’re showing the virus and the worries who is boss instead!