“Mommy, the man on the TV said it is Coromo birus. A lot of people are dead mommy because of it. Are you sick, mommy? I don’t want you dead. Do not go out. Stay home.”
My 4-year-old was mimicking the news anchor that we watched earlier on. Coromo birus – she said. Oh, poor, baby. How do I explain to her that we cannot go to her favorite park anymore because there is a virus spreading in grave proportions? How do I tell my baby that millions of people are now sick of the Coronavirus and that hundred of thousands of people are dead because of it?
“Baby, it is called CORONAVIRUS. Repeat after me. CORONAVIRUS.” I smiled as I told her the name of this pandemic that has affected the global economy and world health.
“Co-to-na-vi-rus. Okay, mommy.” She said as she took the cup of milk I gave her.
She is so innocent and does not understand what is going on around her. My baby is spared from the harsh and deadly truth. And I have to protect her from it. I turned off the TV and told my two grown-up kids, “No more, watching the news on TV. Check from your phones. The little one hears such things, and I don’t want her to get more ideas that are not credible.”
My eldest is a tough girl, and I do not worry much about her. She can handle herself and knows how to adjust and adapt. My problem is the middle child. She is very sensitive and a bit paranoid at times.
“Mom, what happens now?” She asked me.
“What do you mean, Lily Girl?” I replied.
“What will happen to us? I am so scared, mom.” She cried.
I reached out to my daughter and hugged her. “Don’t worry much about it. As I said, the news is not all true. It is sensationalized. Our state has a low case of COVID-19, and if people just follow the rules as stated, we will flatten that curve. We are not going out; it is a safety precaution. I am working from home. You are studying online. We are safe here, my child. I will not let anything to you, your siblings, and our family. Okay? I love you.”
“Mom, I’m shivering.” My daughter said out loud as she was shaking in fear. Her anxiety is acting up again, and I have to help her.
“Lil, honey. Let’s lie on the floor.” I told my daughter, and she followed me as I went down. She was always mentally and psychologically struggling since childhood because Lily saw how their father beat me up. She was there, and until now, I am guilty of not being able to protect her from that. It’s a good thing that I took up courses on coping so that I can assist my child. And right now, we are doing some meditation.
“Love, please close your eyes. Tune out the noise and just listen to my voice.” I told my daughter as I clutched her hand in mine. “I am here beside you, and I won’t let anything happen to you. We are safe. There is no virus in our home. And it will remain that way because we are following what protocol is. And now, breathe in and breathe out. Do it again, in and out. One more time, in and then, out. Think of the beach, Lil. When this is over, and it will be over anytime soon, we will go to the beach and lie there on the sand. We will count the stars, just how you like it and then, maybe, sleep by the bonfire.” I told my daughter, convincingly.
“I want in Miami, mama.” She said.
“Anywhere you want, my love,” I replied.
She continued to talk and talk until I can feel that her anxiety is released and gone. Thank you, God. Thank you. Please continue to give me the strength so I can carry my children who cannot cope by themselves.
If you’re struggling with anxiety during this time, YouTube channels like BetterHelp provide helpful ways in dealing with your situation. With our rapid shift towards digital platforms, therapy is now made accessible on social media sites with guidance from professionals.