AUSTIN (KXAN) — The COVID-19 has been a difficult time for everyone, with social distancing, self quarantine, frequent hand washing and general anxiety becoming a regular part of life for most of 2020.
Another difficult challenge that has arose during the pandemic is how exactly we talk to our kids about this new way of life we are facing.
Two concerned citizens have taken it upon themselves to help parents better communicate with their kids about the COVID-19 pandemic.
Makenzi Jordan Rodriguez and Greta Davis wrote a book titled, “SoOoOoOo Much Toilet Paper! A Kid’s Guide to Surviving a Pandemic.” The goal of the book was to help present the complex information surrounding COVID-19 in a way that is accessible for children.
Rodriguez worked as a nanny for over 13 years, and she told KXAN she was receiving calls and messages from the parents of children she used to watch telling her their kids did not understand what was going on.
“These kids started interpreting this pandemic and sickness in their own way, and a lot of it wasn’t healthy,” said Rodriguez. “The fact that so many parents don’t know how to bring this up to their kids also doesn’t help, so we chose to pursue this idea of writing a children’s book.”
Rodriguez’s co-author and illustrator Greta Davis is a third year medical student working a rotating shift at a children’s hospital, bringing accurate information as well as a greater sense of passion to the project.
The book covers a variety of topics including empathy, giving back to the community, other pandemics like the Spanish Flu, the Great Depression and even pet adoption. It also goes over what is right versus wrong when it comes to keeping yourself and others safe during a pandemic.
“The main character explains that he already knows how to do things like wash his hands, cover his mouth when sneezing or coughing, sharing etc, and the character asks his mom why adults forgot how to do all of these things that come second nature to him,” explained Rodriguez.
Rodriguez and Davis explained that while there is so much information both old and new flying around about the coronavirus, they wanted to assure the children reading that a few simple truths such as good hygiene, altruism and a strong sense of community are the most important things to remember.
“While the rest of the truths surrounding coronavirus pan out, our audience should take comfort in the fact that a few simple and familiar habits should be enough to keep them healthy and safe,” said Rodriguez.
In addition to spreading comfort and correct information to children, Rodriguez and Davis hope the book also gives them the opportunity to give back.
“Our second biggest hope is that this book gets heard. With every purchase, ALL proceeds go back to two nonprofits we chose that are dear to us, United Way & INMED Partnerships for Children,” said Rodriguez. “We love to give back and I know it makes us all feel good when we have the opportunity to do that and help our global community.”