Nilay’s father just informed him that their neighbour, Mr. Gupta had been advised to stay at home in isolation. He was running a fever and coughing, for the past few days. Nilay was worried for Vishnu, his best friend and Mr. Gupta’s son.
“Papa! Is uncle suffering from coronavirus?” asked Nilay.
“He has been tested. We will know once the reports come out in 3 days,” said papa.
“So, if Gupta uncle has coronavirus, does that mean everyone in their house will get? Even Vishnu? Will they all die?” asked Nilay and trembled with fear.
“Of course not, Nilay! Not every cold and cough or fever needs to be a symptom of coronavirus. Mr. Gupta is taking precautions, by keeping himself and his family in isolation so that if he has the virus, it does not spread,” papa explained Nilay, but he was not convinced.
Nilay continued to question his mother and his grandparents about the virus. Papa realised that Nilay was gripped with fear and then thought of something and called him.
“Nilay, viruses have existed on Earth for millions and trillions of years and humans have been infected by them every now and then. This new virus, Covid-19, spreads faster and is more dangerous that other viruses. It enters the human body through contact with the nose and mouth and starts infecting the lungs. Scientists are working on developing a vaccine or a cure against it, but till then we must prevent ourselves from getting infected. By not going out, we reduce our chance of getting infected,” papa explained.
“I know, we need to wash our hands with soap and water for 20 seconds regularly. And we should not touch our face with our hands to protect ourselves from this virus. Also, we should take care when we are with people by maintaining a suitable distance. Right, papa?” asked Nilay, now feeling more confident.
“Yes, Nilay. Excellent! Let’s not fear corona but take steps to prevent it,” said papa and patted Nilay on his back.