With the Wuhan Coronavirus, or what the World Health Organisation has officially named 2019-nCoV, making headlines since 31 December 2019, you will find new articles published on this epidemic every day. Wait, what is an epidemic? You must have seen this word several times by now if you have been following the news but do you know what it means?
Some of our students were not too sure when we discussed the topic in class and this prompted us to compile a list of ten words and phrases, including “epidemic”, that you will come across as you follow the updates on 2019-nCoV. These words and phrases are commonly used when discussing the topics of illnesses and emergencies. Remembering that new vocabulary is best picked up with constant exposure and seeing its use in a variety of contexts, we encourage you to know the meanings and to pay attention to these words the next time you watch the news or read about the updates!
Share this infographic with those around you so that everyone can better understand!
Are there other words which you feel should be included? Drop a comment and let us know!
Open the Discussion
In addition, the Wuhan Coronavirus is also a gateway to other topics such as wildlife markets, the spread of viruses and germs, vaccines, hygiene and social responsibility, and more. Generate discussion with your children by checking with them what they have understood and what they are wondering about.
Model this process of questioning using the 5W1H e.g. How can diseases from animals infect humans? This will be a great opportunity for them (and us!) to learn more from credible resources such as Ted-Ed and National Geographic. Here are some articles and videos which you can use with your children to help them dig deeper into the topics:
1. If your little ones are wondering about how germs spread and why we fall sick:
How do germs spread (and why do they make us sick?)
2. If your little ones wish to learn more about the virus which had been transmitted from animals to humans:
New coronavirus can spread between humans—but it started in a wildlife market
More Chinese push to end wildlife markets as WHO declares coronavirus emergency
How do viruses jump from animals to humans?
Bear in mind that the articles may be lengthy for young audiences. It will be good for parents to read through them and highlight key information to discuss! You can even extend the discussion of the wildlife market to endangered animals and species.
3. If your little ones wish to learn more about vaccines:
How do vaccines work?
How we conquered the deadly small pox virus
The Silver Lining
Lastly, even though the epidemic creates fear and anxiety, it is also a great time to highlight how the community came together during this crisis such as how the volunteers from Scoot Airline flew to evacuate the 92 Singaporeans in Wuhan and how the 1500 SAF personnels packed masks to be given to every household. Help your children to understand the importance of social responsibility and being careful but not selfish during this dark period.
The above links are definitely just the tip of the iceberg as you delve into the topic. Do share with us other resources that the little ones can benefit from as they examine this topic!