It is Sunday and the sun is shining bright with its rays beautifully coloring the expansive compound of the Jones’ family. The family’s dog, Rex, lying under the shade of its kennel, pants to cool its body from the debilitating heat. Andrew Jones and his wife, Audrey, are having interactive family time with their two kids, Tim and Joy. The family of four did not make it to church today due to a limiting government direction that restricted movement and religious congregations. The restriction on movements and congregations are part of the government’s measures to tackle the novel COVID-19 disease that is spreading throughout the nation. Last Friday, Andrew Jones had to sadly close the family business, an eatery located in the center of New York City, due to the rising cases of coronavirus recorded in the city. The education progress of both Tim and Joy has also been disrupted indefinitely as their school, Ecole Primary, has been shut down.
Moving to the kitchen to get out of the kids’ earshot, Audrey and Andrew worryingly stare at each other. “I am scared by the ever-increasing number of cases and deaths of COVID-19 patients in the country. With no cure, this disease is threatening to wipe us out.” Audrey says softly to her husband (Bartlett et al: First). Reaching for her hands, Andrew reassuringly reply’s “We will be safe. Of that I am sure. We just have to take safety precautions, stay at home, and pray for the best” (United Nations: Jacobsen). Andrew’s hopeful words bring a slight short-lived smile on his wife’s face. “And remember that we have to protect Joy and Tim from the despair caused by this pandemic and its limiting nature. We have to be strong for them,” he adds as he pours some coffee into a mug. Back in the family study room, both Joy and Tim are happily engrossed in carefree artwork as they draw and paint. Joy, the eldest of the two, with a careful eye of an experienced artist, closely examines his brother’s paintings critiquing and correcting his mistakes.
Soon, it is time for lunch and the entire family is gathered in their expansive outdoor garden preparing a barbeque. A pair of tongs in hand, Andrew, the day’s chef, grills the mouthwatering steak as the children look from a safe distance. “Dad, what is this coronavirus that everyone keeps talking about?” asks Joy, the inquisitive one of the Jones’ children. Looking rather shocked, Audrey takes a quick glimpse at her husband and bursts out laughing. “Ooh! Do you already know about the coronavirus? That is smart of you. I will answer all of your questions in a minute. Let us first set the table,” says Andrew trying best to disguise his fears. Joy and Tim mean the whole world to him, and he hated his children being disturbed by anything whether factual or imaginative.
With the family seated at the table, Audrey cleared his voice and started, “The coronavirus is a novel virus that caused the disease named COVID-19. It affects the respiratory system of affected individuals, which leads to breathing complications. Being a newly-detected virus, coronavirus has no vaccine or treatment drug” (Dodzo). Clearing his voice he continued, “However, contracting the virus is not an express death sentence; with proper medical attention, chances of an infected individual recovering are high. The government’s stay-at-home directive is meant to minimize the spread of the disease and is therefore meant to protect us. We have to remain united as a family during this trying time and embrace the goodness of family time. As for you, Joy and Tim, you can use this time to perfect your artistic work. Moreover, remember you are not alone during these trying times, and that this too shall pass and life will get back to normal.”
The simplicity of Andrews’s explanation of the coronavirus and the message of hope he had just shared made the entire family’s eyes light up with joy. As they shared in the meal, the Jones family looked forward to the future with hope and reassurance.
Bartlett, Jessica Dym, et al. “Resources for Supporting Children’s Emotional Well-Being during the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Child Trends, 19 Mar. 2020, www.childtrends.org/publications/resources-for-supporting-childrens-emotional-well-being-during-the-covid-19-pandemic
Dodzo, Lilian. “Keeping Hope Alive Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Homepage, www.wvi.org/stories/coronavirus-health-crisis/keeping-hope-alive-amidst-covid-19-pandemic
First, Lewis. “Coronavirus and Its Effects on Children: Recently Released Study from China.” American Academy of Pediatrics, 30 Apr. 2020, www.aappublications.org/news/2020/03/16/coronavirus-effects-children-pediatrics-3-16-20
Jacobsen, Natalie. “COVID-19: A Story of Hope: Global Impact.” COVID-19: A Story of Hope | Global Impact, 19 Mar. 2020, charity.org/give-global-blog/covid-19-story-hope
United Nations. United Nations Working to Mitigate COVID-19 Impact on Children. United Nations, www.un.org/en/un-coronavirus-communications-team/united-nations-working-mitigate-covid-19-impact-children