A special addition for The Amazing World of Health and Medicine readers on the subject of:
I invite you to join this exploratory journey and learn more about the coronavirus.
We will make several stops along the way to find answers to the questions you may have:
What is the coronavirus? What does it mean?
Where did it come from? Why is it so scary? We will answer these and other questions.
Below you will find:
Adult-led activities that allow children to express and release their anxiety.
An explanation of the gun-shaped infrared thermometer.
Everyone should know that:
Every virus belongs to a particular family, subfamily and genus. But one thing unites them all - they all reproduce in the same way.
This is similar to humans. Each of us has a nuclear family and an extended family. The thing that unites us all is that generation after generation, children are born in the same way.
Now that we understand this principle about the virus, we can move on to answer many more questions.
Which family does the coronavirus belong to?
The coronavirus belongs to a large subgroup of 1,000 viruses. Of all these, seven make people sick.
How did coronavirus get its name?
Corona means a crown in Latin, and the virus was given that name because its shape resembles a royal crown. Coronavirus disease is commonly known as COVID-19
Because the disease broke out in December 2019. It is believed to have originated in China, in an urban market for illegal wildlife trade, where one of the animals was the source of the disease.
What happened after the outbreak of the disease?
In the months that followed, the disease spread and migrated from China to all the countries in the world.
What are the characteristics of the disease?
It is highly contagious and spreads from person to person in a way that is hard to contain.
What do children and parents need to do to stay protected from the virus?
Today the virus has no cure, and recovery depends on each person's natural immune system . Therefore, it is a good idea to keep our immune system working at its best.
First of all, we must remain calm and stress free. While this may seem difficult, there are ways to do this.
The best way is by asking questions and getting answers. Keeping up to date with information relieves fear and anxiety and instills a sense of security and inner peace. (Below is a guide for various Q & A activities.)
Note to parents, teachers, kindergarten teachers and instructors:
Children may view the coronavirus as an unknown, incomprehensible element that is beyond their understanding. At a young age, the virus can seem like a raging monster that takes over the body. To ease the unease experienced by both parents and their children, I invite you to explore the land of emotions and feelings.
After hearing an interview with Prof. Eli Somekh, director of the pediatric ward at Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center, in which he offered advice on how to prevent anxiety and fears, I decided to share some activities for children that help to release fears through questions and dialog with parents, caregivers and educators/teachers. The activities are suitable for all ages.
Materials for the activity:
Craft paper sheets, pencils and crayons . Scissors, glue, popsicle sticks.
Ask the children to imagine what the coronavirus looks like and to draw it.
When the drawing is complete, each child will cut out their coronavirus image and paste it on a popsicle stick.
Each child will ask their coronavirus questions.
If the children can write, they will write down their questions.
When finished the children will each ask their questions, and the adult will provide them the appropriate answer. Preschoolers will sit in a class assembly and ask questions while the kindergarten teacher leads the discussion.
This activity allows children to externalize their fears through the coronavirus figure they have drawn, and receive accurate answers from their parents, teacher or instructor.
Chose the materials you will need for this journey:
Pencils, crayons, craft paper sheets
Choose the appropriate writing tools and draw two separate circles on the page.
Above one circle write a list of pleasant feelings, and above the other circle list some unpleasant feelings.
Draw rays out from each circle, and beside each ray, write down what you feel when you hear the word coronavirus.
Here are a few words you can use:
Ashamed, frightened, embarrassed, frustrated, encouraged, enthusiastic, disappointed, depressed/saddened, supported, happy, desperate, nervous, joyful, excited, pleased, calm, carefree, irritated, brave, having fun, pampered.
Now when you're finished writing, share your feelings.
This task offers the children an opportunity to face their emotions and verballyl express them, encouraging willingness to confront any sense of difficulty, fear, helplessness or frustration, while cultivating controlled behavior, self-awareness and response control. Supporting the development of such skills was the reason for writing The Amazing World of Health and Medicine.
The Infrared Thermometer
What is that thermometer that is used to detect fever?
At the entrance to many places, a security guard with a mask on will aim what appears to be a gun to the forehead or arm of any person who wishes to go inside. This is a heat-measuring device that does not need physical contact, and this thermometer has become a symbol of the coronavirus outbreak.
Why measure heat at a supermarket or store entrance?
One of the signs of coronavirus is fever. To prevent infection, each person has their temperature taken at the store entrance. That way if a person has a fever, they are prevented from coming into contact with other people in the public space.
After days in isolation, when I finally arrived at the supermarket, I was greeted by a security guard who aimed a small gun at my forehead. It was clear to me that it was the innovative thermometer that uses infrared ray technology to measure temperature within seconds.
What does the word "infra" mean?
The word infra means "below".
To understand below what, we need to know that the light visible to the human eye is on the continuum (spectrum) between red and purple and is known to us as the colors of the rainbow. But there are two non-visible areas of light that are:
1. The area below red light called infrared light.
2. The area above the purple light called ultraviolet light.
The following diagram illustrates the spectrum of light - that is, the sequence of colors created when rays of light break.
Light Spectrum Chart
Infrared radiation can be detected by the heat it emits. Therefore, it is used for various purposes in medicine, one of them being a device for measuring body temperature that does not require physical contact with the body.
So how does an infrared thermometer work?
The technology is based on the fact that the human body and other objects emit infrared energy. What happens to this radiation? This radiation is recorded by the detection camera of the device and translated into temperature.
You can find other interesting facts about the thermometer in the book, The Amazing World of Health and Medicine
Wishing everyone a healthy temperature measurement,