A story that provides information to young children (7 and older) about the Corona Virus (Covid-19). THE VIRONAUT Sami had fun talking about ‘adventures' in his class. “Adventures are exciting activities,” the teacher explained. That evening Sami's mom announced that schools would close because of corona virus, also called Covid-19. “What is corona virus?” Sami asked. “It's a harmful virus or germ that makes people sick as in colds and flu. Corona virus makes some people very sick,” mom explained. “Why close schools, Mom?” Sami asked. “When people come close to one another, corona virus spreads fast. When people stay at home, they are safe. The virus stops spreading,” Mom said. “How?” Sami asked. “When a person sneezes, coughs or spits, the droplets fall on another person, who can then get sick. The germs also fall and stay on surfaces like tables, books, pens or handrails. The corona virus lives for days on surfaces,” Mom explained. “So, there can be corona viruses on surfaces at grocery stores or drugstores too, right?” Sami asked. “Yes. That's why when we go out, we stay at a distance from people and try not to touch surfaces,” Mom replied. “What if the virus gets on our hands anyway? Sami asked. “That's why every time we come back, we wash our hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If there is no soap and water, we use hand sanitizer,” said Mom. “One more thing,” Mom said. “Stop touching your face with your hands. If you do, the virus on your hands will enter your body through your nose, eyes, ears or mouth.” “Can we look at a person and tell if he or she has the corona virus?” Sami asked. “People who look well can still be carriers of the virus. They can infect another person in the same way as someone who is sick with the virus,” said Mom. “But what will we do at home with no school?” Sami asked. “We'll follow the school routine,” Mom said. “But once school work is done, you are free to do anything you want,” Mom said. “After I finish schoolwork, I'll be a vironaut and have adventures! I'll kill all the corona virus germs!” Sami announced. Mom made Sami a vironaut costume with a mask and gloves. As soon as Sami completed his schoolwork, he put on the costume. “Virrrooom!” he called out and was ready for viroaction. The doorbell rang. He ran down just as Mom opened the door. There was a package on the doorstep. “Wait,” Sami told Mom. “Virrrooom!” Sami called out, zoomed and got a pack of disinfectant wipes and a pair of latex gloves. “Mom, put on these gloves and wipe the package first,” said Sami Mom did. She opened the package and took out a rug. “For you,” she said. Sami unrolled the rug and saw numbers on it. “It's a hopscotch rug!” Sami exclaimed. Mom put the rug in the family room. “Virrroom! This is fun!” Sami played hopscotch. “Let's walk to the park,” Mom said. “Wait Mom,” said Sami. “Virrrooom!” Sami dashed to get disinfectant wipes. At the park, Sami cleaned the bench for his mom. He cleaned the swing seat and the chains before sitting on it. There were two other people in the park. They kept their distances from one another. “I'm happy we both got some exercise. Exercise keeps the body strong to fight the corona virus,” Mom reminded Sami. They walked home. “Virrrooom! Hand washing time!” Sami announced. “Lets do the virocount to make sure we wash for 20 seconds.” As they washed, Mom and Sami repeated, ‘vi-ro-naut 1, vi-ro-naut 2 until they reached vi-ro-naut 10'. It took them 20 seconds. They washed between fingers and under their nails. They washed up to their wrists. Sami was still in his vironaut costume when Dad came home. “Do I know you?” Dad asked. “I'm a vironaut, a killer of bad viruses! Virrrooom! Dad, come, I'll show you how to virowash your hands,” Sami said. At dinner, Sami looked at his plate and saw broccoli in it. He wanted to say no to broccoli but today Sami was a vironaut. He must eat healthy. “Virrrooom!” Sami finished the chicken, potatoes and broccoli. Mom asked, “Sami, what would you like for dessert?” “Virrrooom! Fresh fruit please,” said the vironaut. The day's adventures had made Sami sleepy. Mom and dad came to say goodnight. “Virrrooom!” said Sami and fell asleep.
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