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P.E.I. premier, head doctor hold Q&A for kids
Dr. Heather Morrison, P.E.I.’s chief medical officer and P.E.I. Premier Dennis King held a Q&A for youth on Monday afternoon.
HALIFAX -- Prince Edward Island's premier and head doctor held a special Q&A on Monday afternoon to address questions asked by the province's children.
Dr. Heather Morrison, P.E.I.'s chief medical officer, and P.E.I.'s Premier Dennis King held the special Q&A titled 'Denny & the Doc' from King's office, and live-streamed it on Facebook to more than 6,000 viewers.
"My children are at home just like many of the children you may be watching, and life is different. School online just started today, but they aren't going to school, they aren't seeing their friends or playing their sports," said Morrison.
Topics ranged from the Easter Bunny to where the COVID-19 virus came from. Here are some examples of the questions asked by Island children, and the responses from Denny and the Doc.
"Why do I have to stand six feet apart from people, why not two feet or three feet?" asked Ethan from Charlottetown.
"The virus is spread by droplets, and if you cough or sneeze, we know the distance they can cover is at least four feet or more, so if you stand six feet apart, you'll be protected because you're far enough away," responded Morrison.
"Can dogs and animals get coronavirus? I'm worried about my dog Harvey and all the other animals," asked Georgia from Charlottetown.
"This is an important question for me as well, can I hug Fletcher and Poppy and Chance on my farm and be safe?" asked Premier King.
"When you go to touch your puppy Harvey, make sure after you pet him you wash your hands," answered Morrison. "There's lots we still don't know. Some animals are testing positive but don't seem to be getting sick. But if you feel sick, it isn't a good time to go give Harvey a big kiss, and always make sure you wash your hands."
"Have there been any kids tested for COVID-19?" asked Odin from Souris.
"58 children have been tested, and all have tested negative here in P.E.I. Across the country, less than 5% of the cases have been in children," responded Morrison. "There's a lot more for us to learn about the role that children have in this illness, and there is concern that even though children may not show the same symptoms as adults, they may be able to transfer it from person to person."
“How many more weeks until I can hug my Granny?” asked Fiona from Cardigan.
“This is the hardest part of this pandemic in many ways. I would like to hug my mother, we all want to hug our friends and families, but we know right now it may put them at risk," responded Morrison. "It won’t be tomorrow, it won’t be next week, but if we do these measures really well right now, it will me it’s sooner that you’ll be able to hug your grandma again,”
“Where did the Coronavirus come from and why is it making everyone sick?” asked 4-year-old Liam.
“This virus is a new virus, and they think it developed from a transfer from animal to human. Because it’s a new virus, there is no immunity in our population, and it spreads quickly which makes it a pandemic,” responded Morrison.
“Why do we have to go to bed like usual when we have nowhere to go in the morning?” asked Jacob.
“The importance of maintaining a routine, if you stay up all night, and stay in bed to noon-time, your productivity stops,” replied King.
“Is it safe to play outside with my neighbours?” asked Cailin from Summerside.
“Fresh air is very important but if you go out to play, you should play with someone in your household. If you play with your neighbours, you may risk spreading it to their families as well,” responded Morrison.
Mira from Stratford asked “Why can’t just the sick people stay home and let the rest of us go out?"
“People who are ill should stay home and, it’s important that they do, but people who may not even know they are sick should try to stay home as much as possible too. If you’re not sick but you’re out a lot you can touch things, or someone may cough near you, and you could maybe get the virus that way,” responded Morrison.
“As Islanders we work really hard for other people, and one of the best things we can do for other people right now is stay home,” added King.
“Will we all eventually get coronavirus?” asked Emma Taylor from Vernon River.
“I do not think all Islanders will get coronavirus, but I do think if we’re not careful, a significant portion will. Of the people who get 85-90% of them will have just mild illness, but that 10-15% that will get really sick and end up in hospital.”
"Is there any relief or support programs for high school or university students who aren't able to start their seasonal jobs," asked Naomi from Summerside.
"It is our intention as a province to make sure there is a job for you to go to, or to work with our NGO's; jobs for youth, employment development and other programs, to make sure there is something for everybody," responded King.
Heather asked “What would happen to your body if you have the coronavirus,”
“Some people just get minor illness; a fever, aches, pains, sore throat and a cough. But for some people they could also get sick with pneumonia and that could make them really sick, and it’s those serious things that make it really scary,” responded Morrison.
“How close are scientists to finding a cure?” asked Stacey.
“A lot of money and time is being put into research for a treatment, but also a vaccine. What can we do to prevent us from another wave of this in the months ahead.”
Asked Colin from Suffolk “How are the Easter Bunny, the Toothy Fairy and Santa doing, are they safe from COVID-19?"
Marcus followed up with “Can the Easter Bunny still come to my house on Sunday? Is he an essential worker?”
“I would put the Easter Bunny as an essential worker, and I think he'll be working hard," responded Morrison.
"I have it on good sources that they all have really good immune systems. They do not have coronavirus and they are all wanting to reassure Islanders that they are working hard."