Covid-19 from a child’s perspective

From wanting to get hold of the Avengers Endgame Infinity gauntlet and snap his fingers to banish the virus, to wishing he was able to play badminton with his friends again for three straight days …

These were just some of the darndest things my eight-year-old told me after more than two months of the stay-at-home order.

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world of our children tremendously. They now have to adapt to new norms including, social distancing, giving only air hugs and to constantly wash their hands, among others.

Their world has been minimised to the four walls of their homes, with no friends and freedom to roam in the outdoors. Hence, I thought it would be apt to find out how these changes have affected my 11-year-old son, Aidan.

In his words: “When I first heard about the coronavirus, I didn’t think it was that serious. I thought that it was just cough and flu which would go away with lots of rest and medication. But when I began to hear people dying from it, I did feel a little scared.

“I prayed to God every day to protect my friends and family so that they would not fall ill from the virus, and that to constantly remind myself that we all have a part to play in stopping the virus just by staying at home.

“In all honesty, when I was told that the government imposed the Movement Control Order, my heart skipped a beat. I was happy that I didn’t have to go to school, I could sleep in and walk around in my pyjamas all day.

“It sounded like a dream holiday where we would be doing absolutely nothing. But it was nothing like it.

“We still had classes online, never-ending homework and projects and even online tests. We still had to study, my mother made me work out every day to keep fit, and I had to do more household chores than usual.

“I also don’t get to interact with my friends except during online classes and video game sessions.

“But since March, I have learnt to look at the bright side. Thanks to the time I have at home, I have found an interest in cooking while having to help my mother in the kitchen. I also learnt that it takes a lot of determination to stay physically fit at home.

“I realised how lucky I am to be in a comfortable environment with my grandparents, my mum and my younger brother (despite him irritating me half the time) by my side. I know that not everyone is in the same situation. As the saying goes, ‘We may face the same storm but we are not in the same boat’.

“As we approach our third month, I am beginning to feel different. While I enjoyed staying at home and not having to go to school, I missed my freedom – going out without the fear of exposing ourselves to the virus, going to the park, visitimh my cousins and having play dates, and even catching a movie during the weekends.

“So, while it was great staying at home, deep down I hope all this goes away. I look forward to going back to school and to see my friends. I hate to say it but I actually miss school and even my teachers.

“However, I know this will end soon and I shouldn’t be afraid of the virus. We just need to practise social distancing and good hygiene by washing our hands with soap and water to kill the virus. Now, what I don’t understand is… why is a vaccine still not found for a virus which we can kill with just soap and water?”

This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.

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