What is the coronavirus?
Why is everybody talking about it?
And why do I have to stay at home?
Like everybody around you, I bet you have a gazillion questions! The world has turned upside down and we are all trying to figure out what is going on.
Lucky for you all we are here to help you. Or at least answer some of your questions.
The virus is new to us, too.
If you can't find the answers to your questions on this page then please send us
a message and we will answer your questions as best as we can.
Now let's get to it!
has a message for you:
What is the coronavirus, or COVID-19?
A virus is a teeny-weeny little germ that inserts itself inside a host (you, for instance) and starts a life within the cells of your body. This can make you sick.
The new coronavirus, also called COVID-19, is a virus like the flu, though doctors say it can be much more dangerous than a regular flu.
Since COVID-19 is a new virus, doctors know relatively little about it, nor do they know how to cure it (yet). And because the virus is new, our body and immune system doesn't know how to fight the virus, and therefore people can get really sick, and can even die from it.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough.
Here's a (quick) test by UNICEF that may help you understand COVID-19 better.
Why should I stay home?
COVID-19 spreads quickly through tiny droplets. People infect one another by couching or sneezing, either directly, or through getting it on your hands, and then touching your face—where the virus enters through your eyes, nose or mouth.
That is why everyone is needed in the fight against COVID-19. You too. Stay home, avoid contact with other people.
It appears that younger people are less likely to become seriously ill. But if you do get sick, it's no joke.
Children and young people can infect other people, just like anyone else. These may be people who are more likely to become seriously ill, like elderly people (over 70 years old), or people who already have other diseases.
That is why it is important that you stay home as much as possible. Failing to do so may make you, or the people around you, sick.
Questions? Go to the Center for Disease Control or Youth.gov website.
What can I do against the coronavirus?
Stick to this simple stuff!
Seriously. Simple can help fix this, protect you, and protect people you care about.
Wash your hands well for at least 20 seconds and regularly.
Cough and sneeze in the inside of your elbow.
Use paper tissues.
Don't shake hands.
Stay home as much as possible.
Keep (enough) distance from others: at least 6 feet (two arm-lengths). This doesn't apply to the people with whom you already live in one house, like your parents or roommates.
Stay home if you have a (little) cold, sore throat, sneeze, cough, are short of breath and / or have a fever.
Stay home if someone in the house has a cold, a fever and / or is stuffy.
Cancel parties and other appointments with more than three people. This also applies to appointments at someone's home where there is not enough space to keep at least 6 feet away.
Don't visit people who are at risk, such as elderly or sick people.
Here's a nice graph from the CDC that explains this, too.
What is social distancing?
Social distancing means that you should keep space between yourself and other people outside of your home. When you do have contact with others, keep at least 6 feet distance.
What should you do? Go outside as little as possible and keep your distance (at least 6 feet) if you have to go to the store for essentials. This reduces the chance that you will become infected or that you may infect others.
How should I deal with all the news and messages on social media?
Social media is useful for connecting with friends—gauge their feelings and opinions, sharing you’re worried, talk about your feelings, or just laugh at funny video.
It is nice that you can stay up to date with the latest news on social media. But it is also difficult, because there is so much news. How do you know what is true, or what is fake?
A few tips for dealing with news:
Always look carefully at the source of a news item. Is the news reliable? We have a few resources that can help:
Fact check coronavirus information.
What makes a source trustworthy?
A good way to deal with all the (bad) news is creating distractions with fun things. Play a game, watch a movie or call friends. Do you get restless from all those news reports? That's quite normal. Talk about it with your friends or parents.
Don't watch COVID-19 news all day long. Plan a few set times when you catch up on the latest news during the day, but not too often. It may stress you out, make you sad, or even depressed. If you're feeling that way, talk with your parents or friends. They can help.
Even take one or two days off from consuming any news media. You'll be surprised at the calm it brings. Don't worry. Your parents or friends will tell you if anything urgent has happened and you can catch up after the break.
Can I visit my friends (outside)?
Depending on the state you live in, and the regulations or mandates that are in place, it's very likely that it is not possible to meet up with your friends. Even if you are allowed to visit friends, you should probably ask yourself the question "do I want to?"
You can get sick yourself, or infect other people if you get close to them. Think about you—or one of your friends—coming into contact with people who are more "at risk" because of their age, or people who have other medical conditions. Maybe the father of one of your friends has heart problems? He's at risk. Or perhaps your friend's grandma lives at their home? Because of her age, she's at risk too.
You just don't know you may get in contact with. In order to not spread the virus, you should take "social distancing" into account, and take it very seriously.