Children

Virus alert!

Illustration: Sahil Upalekar

Illustration: Sahil Upalekar  

A kid in PB’s school bus told him that he had contracted the coronavirus, and all hell broke loose at home.

So, last week the PB came home crying. Big time. This is not normal, because it’s usually the PB making someone else cry i.e, ME!

Apparently, someone on the school bus saw him sneeze a couple of times and told him he had coronavirus.

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of weeks, coronavirus is a new strain of a virus that has been reported in a place called Wuhan in China. It’s a zoonotic virus, that means, it can pass from animals to people, and people across the world are kind of freaking out about it. Cities are under lockdown, people are being advised not to travel to certain places, and doctors are trying to find a way to treat this new strain of the virus.

Batty as ever

Now, in the middle of all this chaos, there are all sorts of crazy stories and rumours doing the rounds. So, this kid told MY brother a bunch of untrue things about the virus. Like he was going to grow webbed bat wings because of the virus, and become nocturnal. He also told him that since he had coronavirus, he would have to go and live in Wuhan and that if he wanted to cure himself, he should drink herbs mixed with bat blood!

So, of course, the PB came home crying, asked where his passport was, and told Appa to book him a ticket to Wuhan. He also thought he would need to learn to sleep upside down because he was becoming a bat! If I wasn’t such an amazing brother, I would have milked this for all it was worth and given the PB a batman outfit (gettit) and told him to practise for his new nocturnal life. But I’m a good bro. I went to the World Health Organisation website and read out a whole bunch of news and information to him.

Guys, in times like this, it’s important not to let people pass on fake news. That could be your friends, your relatives (uncles and aunties forwarding things on WhatsApp groups) or the kid next to you on the schools bus. When someone tells you something, DON’T just accept it as the truth. Verify it on a proper information site or ask your parents to. Don’t believe everything you read on Facebook.

Now, since I’m not THAT nice a brother, I’m going to put the Batman mask on PB while he sleeps. I can’t wait till he sees his face in the mirror tomorrow morning.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 12:11:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/virus-alert/article30789737.ece

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