SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Coronavirus pandemic has brought some incredible changes for everyone in KELOLAND, including the region’s youngest population.
While a few of KELOLAND’s youngest kiddos may not know exactly what’s going on, nearly every child we interviewed this week had a pretty good understanding about the pandemic.
Kindergartener Hayden Holm knows he can’t go to school any more because there are too many kids in his school that could spread the virus. First grader Everleigh Hatch agrees.
“We might get coronavirus at school because we’re around all our friends,” Hatch said.
We spoke with another kindergarten student who said she’s glad to be out of school and doesn’t miss going to class at all. But many other students had a different feeling.
“I was like excited at first, but as the days went on, I was like, this is not that fun. You get bored a lot,” 7th Grader Emerson Norgaard said.
“I like school better because we get to see friends and I like really miss my friends now,” Hatch said.
“I do miss my friends but its more funner staying home,” Holm said.
While the reviews were mixed on whether kids like going to school or staying home more, they all shared a similar concern for one of most noticeable changes in their lives.
“It’s changed a lot lately because we can’t really go to friends houses,” 3rd grader Culin Kuemper said.
“I miss seeing all of my friends and just getting out of the house,” Norgaard said.
Many kids are feeling the strain of staying away from their friends at school and their favorite activities.
“I miss specials at school like gym, art, library and music,” Kuemper said.
“Dance is like the best thing and I can’t do that,” Norgaard said. “We have a really big competition and it got cancelled and its not fun.”
Some kids compared their new normal to having a weekend every day, especially with how much time they’re now spending with their parents.
“My dad’s home more because he has to work downstairs because there’s too many people in his work,” Holm said.
Norgaard’s dad is also working from home, bringing their whole family under the same roof every day of the week.
“My mom has always worked from home but I don’t see her as often because I’m at school but now everyone is stuck at home,” Norgaard said.
Like many adults, kids say finding ways to stay entertained at home can be a challenge.
“I draw, I try to draw words, I read. Ya, not many things,” Holm said.
“When its nice out its fine, but otherwise its boring and you have nothing to do,” Norgaard said.
But these kids also know this period of being stuck at home is for good reason.
“People can get sick and a lot people can die when they’re getting sick from the coronavirus,” Hatch said. “It’s sad because that could be your friend.”
The coronavirus is also stirring up some fears for kids. Hatch said she is afraid of getting the virus herself, but is more worried for her friends and family. Other kids felt the same fears for their loved ones.
“I’m not scared for myself because I know I’m healthy and I won’t get super sick, but if I go around anyone that’s a little older, then I get scared they might get it,” Norgaard said.
It’s why they’re also working to help prevent the virus however they can.
“I’m washing my hands a lot and like eating healthy stuff,” Hatch said.
“Stay inside, wash your hands, social distancing,” Kuemper said. “That’s when you stay like six feet away from each other.”
“You want to cough in your elbow, and you want to sneeze there, because if you cough on your hand, that’s going to make the virus even stronger, which we don’t want that, cuz we want the virus to go away,” Holm said.
They may be young, but they still understand we all need to make some changes to help bring an end to this pandemic.
“Stay home so it stops spreading and we can get back to normal,” Norgaard said.
There are a lot of resources out there right now to help talk to your kids about the coronavirus and all of the changes happening right now.