There is a lot going on everywhere at the moment.
A lot of adults are worried about people getting sick with a new kind of illness. It makes a lot of sense if children are worried too.
But we have to know that there are a lot of clever people, like doctors, working together to figure out the best way to keep everyone safe and healthy.
This illness, called COVID-19*, is like getting a cold. It gives you a fever*, and a cough and runny nose. Not many people in Australia have actually got it at the moment. If you or members of your family get it, you are most likely to get better by resting and staying home. The people who everyone is worried about the most is those who are much older. They need to probably go to hospital.
There have been other viruses like this and they eventually stop. The way to stop it is to stop it spreading. That means for the time being, we need to stop having big crowds of people in any places. That is why crowds will not go to watch the footy or other sport. Usually, you will still be able to watch it on TV. Watching sport at home on TV can be fun too. Especially if you can get mum or dad to cook some pies in the oven or make some popcorn.
The most important thing we can do right now is keep looking out for each other. Sometimes you might see or hear about people fighting at the supermarket. Not everyone is doing that. There are still a lot of people who are making sure that everyone is OK.
The adults around you can answer your questions, even if they look scared or worried. You will probably have lots of questions. Ask your mum or dad, or someone in your family. They will tell you that they don’t know all the answers. But that is OK. The answers only become clear as time goes by.
Did you know that Australia has a Chief Medical Officer who is one of the smartest doctors in the world? He is helping everyone to know what to do. And he is making some really good decisions, even if they are sometimes a little hard to understand.
There is bad news all the time in the world. But the world doesn’t stop. It keeps going.
When we all come together, we can solve many serious problems. We are doing that now. The sickness will end. The world will feel OK. And everyone will stop worrying so much. You can believe that for sure.
Dr Joe Tucci is a psychologist, social worker and the CEO of the Australian Childhood Foundation, which works to defend the right of all children to a safe and loving childhood.
- COVID-19: the official name for the new coronavirus
- fever: higher than normal temperature
- What is the name of the virus everyone is talking about?
- Why can’t crowds go to watch sport for a little while?
- What is the title of Australia’s doctor in charge mentioned in the story?
- Who is Dr Joe Tucci? Why is he mentioned at the end of this story?
- What does the Australian Childhood Foundation do?
LISTEN TO THIS STORY
1. Family Time Fun
Because of this virus, and the fact that we are trying to stop it spreading, a lot of your events and after-school activities might be stopped or postponed to a later date for a little while. Instead of being sad, let’s try and turn it into a positive. Fill out a table like the one below with some fun activities you can do with your family or to cheer people up or maybe even learn something new in the extra time you have at home. There’s a couple of ideas written in there for you already.
Share your ideas with your classmates.
Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Critical and creative thinking, Personal and social
Spend 10 minutes on your own and write down any questions or worries you have about this virus and what is going on at the moment. Take your time to think of anything that is on your mind. Take this piece of paper home and find some time to discuss it with a member of your family to ease your worries.
Time: allow 15 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Personal and social
After reading the article, with a partner, highlight as many connectives as you can find in pink. Discuss if these are being used as conjunctions, or to join ideas and create flow.