Every day seems to bring new concerns about the Coronavirus. It’s no different in Shady Pines Story Town. Seven-year-old Ray Robinson looks at a flier he found on the school’s bulletin board.chool. It has a bunch of instructions about what to expect if the elementary school has to close down for awhile.

So far there are no known cases of Coronavirus here, but folks in the small Southern town want to be prepared in case that changes. Schools in other states have had to close because someone tested positive.

The The Shady Pines Gazette news team has been reporting all the latest developments. Most recently, editor and reporter, Zulah Talmadge, brought us preventative steps you should be taking like washing your hands thoroughly, not touching your face with your hands and keeping surfaces on devices and around the house super clean. You can read the whole list HERE.

Meanwhile, Edna Sanders brought us 17 tips about the best foods to eat right now to help boost your immune system and keep sickness at bay. You can read all about that in her latest edition of, EDNA’S KITCHEN.

Now as Ray reads through what might happen if his school is forced to close for a couple of weeks or more, he has a lot of questions. If someone at school does get Coronavirus, will he have to be tested? What do they do to test you? He knows that kids aren’t really getting sick from the virus, but they might be spreading it without knowing.

“Oh, my gosh, what else might have to change?” Ray wonders. Will he still be able to go to the Shady Pines Community Center and play with Boomer and Halley? Edna Sanders works at the Center and often brings her “kids” Boomerang, an Australian Shepherd dog, and Halley’s Comet, a silver streak of a cat, with her. Ray loves to go on rounds with them at the Center after school and sometimes they play in nearby Stonewall Park. 

Will the Center stay open? Oh, no! What about his mom? Ray’s mom works two jobs to make ends meet. What will she do if Shady Pines Elementary does close and Ray has to stay home for two weeks? Ray tells people that his mom works a lot to stay busy so she won’t worry about her husband. Ray’s dad is in the military and is deployed again. They aren’t sure where he is except he’s somewhere overseas. He’s been gone a long time already and they don’t know when he’ll be back. “Oh, my gosh,” says Ray, “what happens if he is quarantined overseas?”

Ray used to worry a lot about his dad, too. In fact, it got so bad that the young boy wouldn’t even speak. He just shut down. It was Boomer and Halley who helped him find his voice again. They are really important because he loves them so much.

Ray’s mom says the animals have brought out some wonderful qualities in her son. He’s always been kind, but now he goes out of his way to do nice things for people. He’s also more compassionate and caring of others than he was before meeting those two lively critters.

In fact, Ray’s mom found an article about a kindness campaign that was started to urge people to be kinder to one another during the coronavirus outbreak. She cut out this quote and is posting it everywhere she goes.

      “Kindness, and care and concern for each other should be very much part of our lives. The Covid-19 outbreak is not just a test  of our medical response system but is also a test of the character and values of our people.”

Ray really likes the quote because that’s The Shady Pines Way!

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