Although the case of COVID-19 is unprecedented and we are slowly seeing progress in our tactics against the virus, some basic safety measures are being revisited. For example, the steps to hand washing correctly and throughly have been posted in almost every social media platform available. Some individuals have even seen traffic signs marked with reminders to wash your hands and refrain from touching hotspots on your face like one’s eyes, nose or mouth. Although this sounds like a silly skill to be prompted on, it seems like the rate of community-spread infections have risen and have warranted this level of repetition. It is crucial now more than ever to educate ourselves and the people around us on how we can slow the spread of infections as well as preventing our own selves of catching the virus.
At this point in time, schools and education systems have closed and children are now in the safety of their own homes. As parents and caretakers adjust to this temporary schedule, there is now a question as to how to inform the little ones as to what has caused these changes. Malaka Gharib has actually illustrated a kid-friendly explanation of just that. In this comic that can be printed and folded to be used as a comic book, a parent or caretaker can go through a simplified description of what has been going on during the past months. It starts off by alerting the characters of a new virus that has flooded tv’s and school discussions and dissects what coronaviruses are and the symptoms that they may be familiar with (Gharib, 2020). You can’t help but hear the expressiveness that this comic is portraying. It goes on to describe the proper way to wash your hands and highlights the important pieces to remember. This can be used as a teaching moment while children are at home. Social media has even provided excerpts of popular songs that be sung while individuals hand wash and can been adapted to children’s songs. For example, lullabys or the ABC’s can be used as a way to make the hand washing fun and enjoyable. Another neat part of the comic goes on to explain how to sneeze and avoid touching your face with dirty hands (Gharib, 2020).
These are other techniques that can be turned into skill building throughout the day. The last piece of the comic does an excellent job at explaining how this new virus can affect anyone from anywhere and reminds children not to poke fun at any particular person just because they are different. I thought this was especially important because we can use this as a starting point to prevent bullying or other types of ostracizing. I believe this was a fun way to inform younger children in the comfort of their own home while teaching them skills and powerful lessons. It is easy to use and can be easily translated to different languages to reach other parts of the world.
Gharib, M. (2020, February 28) Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus. NPR. https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/02/28/809580453/just-for-kids-a-comic-exploring-the-new-coronavirus
Written by Valerie Perez, Doctoral Intern