With schools across the world closing due to Covid-19, one leader is making sure children aren’t being left out of the conversion and their questions about the pandemic left unanswered. On Monday (March 16), Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg decided to take a different approach to most world leaders and address the children of the nation.
According to The Independent, the Norwegian government said the press conference about the virus was “not open to adult journalists.” The press statement added: “Many children have questions about the coronavirus. This is why the government, in collaboration with NRK Supernytt and Aftenposten Jr, is organising a separate press conference for children”. Norway has already shut down all schools, nurseries and universities in light of the pandemic.
Alongside the minister for education and the minister for family and children, Solberg answered children’s queries about how the virus will affect their lives, letting them know, “it is OK to be scared when so many things happen at the same time". According to Reuters, some of the questions that were asked included: “Can I have a birthday party?”, “Can I visit my grandparents after I went to a shopping center?”, “How long does it take to make a vaccine?” and “What can I do to help?”
Countless charities around the world have spoken about the importance of including children in the dialogue right now. Here in the UK, Mental Health Foundation recommends that adults shouldn’t avoid talking the children in their lives about the pandemic. “We need to be alert to and ask children what they have heard about the outbreak and support them, without causing them alarm,” the site says. “Let’s not avoid the ‘scary topic’ but engage in a way that is appropriate for them. We have more advice on talking with your children about world news.”
Read more here:
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and coughing, call NHS 111 in the UK or visit the CDC website in the U.S. for up-to-date information and resources. You can find all Bustle’s coverage of coronavirus here.