This is a strange and confusing time for everyone, and that’s particularly true for children.
To help answer the questions that Canadian kids may have about the coronavirus, CBC Kids News and Radio-Canada’s MAJ asked kids last week to send in questions for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer.
More than 4,000 submissions were received, and 10 questions were selected for the PM to answer in the video above.
One big question on children’s minds is when school will be able to start up again. “When we were all off around spring break, they were all like, ‘Yay! No school!’” Trudeau said about his own kids, Xavier, 12, Ella-Grace, 11, and Hadrien, 6.
“But now they’re realizing they want to see their friends,” he continued. “Maybe being at school isn’t so bad when compared to having to sit at the kitchen table and do all your work on your own with your parents sometimes helping.”
Another question on kids’ minds is what will happen if their parents become ill due to COVID-19. “That’s a really, really scary thought,” said Trudeau, reminding that the best way to prevent getting sick is to stay indoors as much as possible and maintain physical distancing when outdoors.
“Make sure your parents know you’re worried,” added Dr. Tam, recommending kids let their parents know how they’re feeling. “Talk to them and make a plan ahead of time… There are many people that can help you, but make that plan ahead so you know who they may be.”
Trudeau ended things on a lighter note when he was asked what song he sings to mark 20 seconds when washing his hands.
“I like singing happy birthday,” he revealed, “because I like thinking that it might be my birthday today or any given day.”
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.