Children and young people all over the world changed their daily routines to protect themselves, and those they love and care about, from this latest* coronavirus.
*We say latest because this is not the first coronavirus. Coronaviruses have happened before. This one is called COVID-19 because it was discovered in 2019.
Most people have mild effects
Many people all over the world very sadly died after catching the virus.
Over 157,000 people died from COVID-19* in England, from when the virus first started making people seriously ill in March 2020 to the beginning of July 2022.
Some families are still losing loved ones after they become seriously ill with the virus.
The vast majority of people who have the virus today, whether they are children and young people or adults, do not become seriously ill.
*This is where a person died within 28 days of testing positive for COVID-19.
Scientists say that COVID-19 spreads mainly through droplets from our mouths and noses when we speak, cough or sneeze.
All of the COVID-19 restrictions ended in England in early 2022.
Here are some of the things the NHS says we can still do to avoid catching or spreading COVID-19:
Get a vaccine if you can.
Meet outdoors whenever possible.
If you are indoors, open doors and windows.
Avoid being in crowds.
Wash your hands with soap and water (or use hand sanitiser) throughout the day.
You can read the full list of NHS dos and don’ts here.
Bringing out the best in us
It’s often said that dealing with difficult things brings out the best in us humans. You may have already seen that in yourself? For example, people who go through tough times in childhood are often really good at thinking about other people’s feelings, and understanding when people are stressed or frightened.
We’ve found some lovely stories of children and young people who did great things when the pandemic first started. Here are some of our favourites.
A brother and sister in Ohio, in the United States of America, performed a concert for their 78 year-old neighbour who loves music. They did this outside her window!
Young people put notes through their neighbours’ doors and helped with shopping.
Young children in Viet Nam made a video to encourage other young children to wash their hands.
Childline helps children and young people cope with lots of different worries and situations. You can contact them online or on the phone, see here.
Social services are there for children and young people who feel unsafe or uncared for at home, or need help for other reasons.
You should be able to find the contact details of your local social services by searching the name of your area followed by ‘children’s social care’. Childline will be able to help you get in touch with children’s social care too.
Child Bereavement UK
Child Bereavement UK is there for children and young people whenever someone they love dies.
The charity has support and advice on its website for young people, by young people. You can find it here.
Thank you for reading this.
If you have worries about coronavirus (COVID-19), please keep talking to your family, friends and carers. Let them know how you’re feeling.
If you don’t know how to tell people you’re worried, you could try asking them how they’re feeling. That should get a conversation started.