If Your Kids Have Questions About Coronavirus, the NYT Science Reporter Has the Answers

It was hard for everyone to watch the world close around us. But parents of young children face the additional challenge of trying to explain what is happening in a way that young children can understand without causing them fear or anxiety. Luckily, the New York Times podcast is here to help today.

Karl Zimmer, a science reporter who has studied and wrote about viruses for 30 years, ran a series answering children’s questions about coronavirus in the Times news podcast, The Daily .

Questions from children four years of age and older include:

  • What is a Virus?
  • How did the coronavirus get to Earth?
  • Does it have a specific color?
  • Why do people have a pandemic in their bodies?
  • What does a virus look like? What does it do to your body?
  • How did the coronavirus start?
  • Is there a way to create a vaccine or medicine that treats people?

If your children are asking a lot of questions about the pandemic, it may be helpful for them to listen to this episode and hear other children across the country asking the same questions. Zimmer’s answers are complete and age appropriate and interesting for adults as well. What I learned from Zimmer today is that the coronavirus originated in bats, they are testing possible treatments on ferrets, and the virus is colorless.


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