My daugher, now 6, understands what’s going on with the coronavirus pandemic pretty well. We’ve always tried to talk to her about it as honestly as possible (trying not to terrify her in the process). We also have the radio on a lot of the time, so she hears the news updates in any case, so would be hard to keep it from her even if we wanted to. She asks questions about the virus and expresses her frustrations with it, even going as far to say that “coronavirus is my enemy”, and I would say having an understanding has helped her deal with what’s going on.
My son, who is only 2, is of course a slightly different story. We have only talked about it to him in the very loosest sense, to explain why he’s not able to go to nursery or see his Nanas, but it’s hard to know how much he understands or takes in. Whilst his vocabulary and sentences get better all the time, he is still a 2 year old, with limited ability to express his thoughts and feelings.
Still, it has become apparent that he has some idea what is happening. Coronavirus has become part of his vocabulary. “The radio said coronavirus” he told us excitedly the other day. At breakfast this morning we were talking to our daughter about the possibility of the lockdown easing or ending and our so piped up in a sad little voice “and we will be able to go to people’s houses”. A little reminder that he understands more than we realise, and a reminder also, as we get more and more used to life during the pandemic, how strange and sad it still is.