“Oh, my,” says Zulah Talmadge. “Folks are really worried about this Coronavirus, especially parents with young children. The phones haven’t stopped ringing here at The Shady Pines Gazette.” There are no cases of the flu-like illness in Shady Pines Story Town, but that hasn’t stopped people from being afraid. What started in China where people of all ages were getting sick and even dying, has now spread to other countries all over the world.

As editor and reporter for the hometown newspaper, Zulah wants to make sure she stays up to date on all the latest information. She is looking through any report she can find to help her tell parents what they can do to keep their kids and family members safe.

“I guess there’s one thing I really want to know,” says Zulah. “What role do children play in spreading this virus?” Lucky for Zulah, she found an article written by two reporters who write about health issues and have taken on this very topic. They are HELEN BRANSWELL @HelenBranswell and MEGAN THIELKING @meggophone.

Zulah will post their article in our FORUMS section for members of the Shady Pines community to read in full. But basically, this is what caught Zulah’s attention.

“From what I can tell, these reporters say parents are frightened because no one can say for sure that this virus won’t cause severe disease in children,” says Zulah. “And, since its symptoms are like the flu, kids may be helping to increase the spread of the virus. We know that during flu season, kids often get sick and pass flu viruses on to their parents, grandparents, teachers, and caregivers.”

There are some things parents can do right now.  I’ll keep updates coming as we learn more. In the meantime, stay safe and lean on other members of our wonderful community for support. After all, that’s The Shady Pines Way!

  • Make sure everyone in the family is covering their mouth when they cough. staying home if they feel sick and washing their hands many times during the day with warm, soapy, water. (All good things to do during flu season)
  • Use a disinfectant cleaner to wipe surfaces you use all the time, like your phone.
  • You might want to do some homework on whether Shady Pines Elementary School is considering closing if and when the virus starts circulating here. I’ll be asking those questions, too, and we’ll all want to know how those dismissals would be handled. I’ll also check with the middle school and high scool in nearby River City.

“Listen everybody, Scoop, the Cub Reporter and I will keep updates coming as we learn more from our own reporting. In the meantime, stay safe and lean on other members of our wonderful community for support. After all, that’s The Shady Pines Way!”