Talking to Your Kids about the Coronavirus

Malaka Gharib/ NPR

The Coronavirus Comic

The good folks at NPR have created a comic strip that explains the coronavirus to kids. It even comes in a file that you can print out as a fold-able zine.

Why is this so important?

If you’re like me, there are some conversations I find it hard to find the words for with my kids, such as how to explain the truth about Santa Claus. Why they should put pants on. Why the elf on the shelf isn’t really magical and stop asking me why it hasn’t moved!

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These kinds of conversations I can stumble my way through, add some fairy dust, and hope things will come out right. Some conversations, however, need precision and carefully curated words. Talking to your kids about why they need to stay near you in crowded public places, or about areas that only doctors are allowed to touch. Such things can often require gravitas without giving in to too much fear.

I always find it hard to talk to them about what’s going on in the news. I want them to know what’s going on in the world, I want them to form their own opinions safely whilst also explaining my own views. I want to teach them the difference between truth and trumped-up catchphrases.

With the current spread of the coronavirus, the hard work has been done for me by this coronavirus comic strip.

Image: Malaka Gharib/ NPR

I’m hoping we get these for other issues, such as for the upcoming election.

I wonder how many retweets it would take to have @MalakaGharib use her significant talents to this end in the coming year. Let’s give that a try!

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