Kids talk COVID-19

May 6, 2020 | News | Volume 24 Issue 10
Will Braun | Senior Writer
Matoli and Zavi Braun deGroot enjoy the rhythms of farm life during the pandemic. (Photo by Will Braun)

COVID-19 has permeated the collective psyche. And although kids may not be watching The National or spending their coveted screen time on the Health Canada webpage, COVID-19 is on their minds. I asked several parents to ask their kids—aged 5 to 13—about the new reality. Below are some of their responses, verbatim. 

What is hardest about the way we live since COVID-19?

  • Not seeing friends as much. (Most kids listed some version of this.)
  • Getting antsy.
  • Libraries are closed.
  • Not being able to hug Grandpa. 
  • So many people have died. (A few kids mentioned this.) 
  • Not being able to celebrate stuff, like my birthday.
  • Being stuck with my brother and sister.
  • It’s hard to do school when there is the distraction of having a younger sibling at home.
  • Using screens all the time for school. 
  • Not being able to see our grandpa and grandma in Oregon.
  • Having to be with my siblings all the time. 

What is best?

  • More time to connect with family.
  • Chance to slow down.
  • Weekends are not as busy.
  • Opportunity to do things in a different new way, even though I liked the way things were before. 
  • There’s no good parts. 
  • Not rushing.
  • More time to draw.
  • Fun stuff like having a treasure hunt and playing computer games.
  • I get to be home schooled again.
  • More free time. 
  • That there isn’t seven hours of school, and I get to do more screen time.
  • Not having to answer questions in front of the classroom.
  • Playing games online with other families.
  • Less tears shed at school.
  • More home time.
  • My dad is working upstairs, so we get to see him more.
  • We don’t have to wake up so early.
  • No school.
  • It’s good for climate change.
  • I can read lots.
  • Feels like a cold summer holiday.
  • More kitty time.

What advice do you have for other kids?

  • Even if things get really bad, you can try to find at least one thing that’s good.
  • Be lazy ’cause you can.
  • Play outside more.
  • Just deal with it.
  • Self isolate; don’t touch your face.
  • Do a video chat to see your friends. 
  • You can have a birthday party by having friends drive by your house and they can leave gifts on the driveway, [and] you can leave gift bags for those that drive by.
  • Don’t be mean to your parents.
  • Learn something new; we have lots of time for that. I’ve learned to hula hoop while walking and how to do a cartwheel.
  • Go outside and play once you’re done your chores. 
  • Get your parents to come to the park and run around with you.
  • If you are not used to homeschooling, take lots of breaks, especially outdoors, and ask for chocolate.
  • It’s going to be over.
  • Play a game with a family member.
  • Eat candy.

What advice do you have for parents?

  • Don’t freak out. . . . Don’t let the worries get to you; it’s not as bad as it seems. 
  • Do something interesting with your kids. 
  • Connect with your family in a way you wouldn’t have before.
  • Calm down; adults are too scared about coronavirus.
  • Make more crepes. 
  • Unlimited screen time.
  • Don’t go waste your money on toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
  • Let your kids be free and let them play Legends of Zelda.
  • Respect the rules and stay home, because people are getting hurt.
  • Make sure your children do their school work; they can be easily distracted when there are younger siblings at home.
  • Go to the park with your kids and play soccer.
  • Keep yourself safe, keep your kids safe and keep the earth safe.
  • Read the Narnia series to your family.
  • Let your kids go wherever the heck they want.
  • Let your kids sleep in or else they’ll be grumpy. 
  • Help your kids do math. 
  • Bake for your kids. 
  • Don’t let the kids stay up too late. 
  • Watch movies every weekend. 

Related stories:
A new kind of ‘whiteout party’
Chaplain-turned-pianist brightens personal-care home
COVID-19 impact on world hunger cause for high concern

Matoli and Zavi Braun deGroot enjoy the rhythms of farm life during the pandemic. (Photo by Will Braun)

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