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How to Explain Covid-19 to Your Child

The Daily - A Podcast Presented by the New York Times - Science Writer/Blogger Carl Zimmer (SOURCE)

This moment in time can be confusing as we all try and make sense of it. At Youth and Family Counseling we hope to help you and your family through these challenges.

How did the Coronavirus begin?

There are many kinds of viruses on earth and Coronavirus is just one of them. They can infect every living thing on earth - from trees to people to mushrooms.

Scientists believe that viruses may have been around since life began approximately 4 billion years ago.

What does a virus look like?

A virus is a very tiny and is shaped like a bubble. If you pick up a single grain of sand, you would need hundreds of thousands of viruses just to reach from one side to another.

Our body is made up of similar very tiny things called cells. A "cell is like a lego you can snap them together and make things like a heart or brain" Zimmer explains. We have 37 trillion of these cells in our body. Zimmer continues "If you think of a virus as the size of a soccer ball, then just one cell would be a 40 story building."

This tiny virus does not have a lot of space inside. Instead of cloning itself, the virus picks a host cell (this can be a human cell, tree cell, or any other living creature) which has the proper "assembly line" or equipment (organelles) to make copies of its genes. A gene is like a recipe for how to make viruses.

Can you see the virus under a microscope? Does it have color?

You can see it under a microscope, but it doesn't have color. Color has to do with light. Viruses are too small to have color and are colorless. Color is added to images we see of viruses to make them more clear.

How does Covid-19 get in our body?

Like we discussed above viruses are very tiny. They enter our body by us touching an object that someone who is sick already touched. There are ways to prevent this!

  • Washing Hands

  • Keeping our hands away from our face

  • Not touching many surfaces

The virus takes over and makes the cell its own factory to make millions of new viruses. These viruses go towards the outer layer of the cell (the membrane) and slowly make their way down into the cells in our lungs.

We have an immune system in our bodies that let us defend ourselves from viruses and other bad things. These cells are in our lungs, along with other parts of the body, just to make sure everything is ok. If they find a virus or an infected cell, they communicate and start a war against the virus. This is when we see coughing or other effects of Covid-19.


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