In March 2020 the UK went into lockdown and our lives changed – at the moment we are still living with the “new normal”. Many people are hoping to get back to the old normal – but it remains unclear when – if ever this will be possible. In March I wrote the following story to help children understand what was happening and developed an Acronym B-R-E-A-T-H-E to help children and parents cope through this time.
Now many months on – life is still different and the shock of lockdown has passed. However, many children remain anxious and the acronym can still be helpful. In fact, it provides some useful ways of approaching life that has changed – whatever the reason. If your child is anxious – read on. Learning to B-R-E-A-T-H-E will provide a good basis to start getting life back on track.
A Story for Children about Covid-19
How does your favourite story start? One of mine starts like this………………. “We’re going on a bear hunt, we’re going to catch a big one, what a beautiful day, we’re not scared…………. Remember that because we’re going to come back to it later! Other stories start…………. Once upon a time…………….. But our story today starts like this……………
A long time ago, sometime before last Christmas, in a place far, far away – called China – somebody went to the market and caught a really bad dose of flu. They went home and their family caught it, and then their friends, and the people they met in the shops and at their work……………. And their family and friends shared it with their family and friends too. And the people at school. And the people at the office. And in churches and shops and in parks and art galleries – all over the place in fact. Then one day – somebody with the flu got on a plane and shared it with everyone travelling that day. And all those people went off to different places and shared it with all the people they met……………. And on it went. And then one day it arrived in a place near us…………………….
Maybe the first time you heard about Covid 19 was in March 2020. People started to get sick near us – and they started to get better again too – almost everyone gets better. But we worried that too many people were going to catch it and so……………… suddenly – at the end of March – all the schools closed and exams were cancelled. And adults stayed home from work. Most of the shops shut. And the cinemas, and restaurants, and cafes. After school clubs stopped meeting and everyone started to stay home all day.
I imagine lots of children thought “yippee – no more school – no exams – lots of time at home to play and do what I want………….” And maybe to start with it was like that. But it’s not really like that anymore and although things are getting a bit more back to normal life is still rather strange. Everyone is in the house together and sometimes they get grumpy, or sad, or bad tempered. Maybe mum and dad look worried. You can play in your garden if you’re lucky – but you can’t see your friends as often as you would like. It’s going to be like this for a while.
If you are lucky – maybe you are just feeling bored with all of this. But maybe you are also feeling scared, or anxious, or sad, or worried about whether you or someone you know will get ill. What will happen to them? If you have any of those feelings – then read on – because here are some things that will help you and your family get through this time. You can remember them by thinking of the word B-R-E-A-T-H-E – why think about BREATHE? Look at the first letters and think………….
Begin by making a new pattern for your day
Accept what you can’t change
Talk about it
Have fun each day
End the day with something lovely………………….