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How to explain the coronavirus to children

17 April 2020

Write, if you have any questions that you would like answered, or to add to the answer below


Does anyone have ideas about how to explain the coronavirus to young children in a way that emphasises God’s love?

Your answer: A story may be more helpful than cold facts; so why not adopt and adapt the Adam and Eve myth, sub­stituting hunger and poverty for the serpent, a bat for the fruit of the tree of knowledge, and severe tummy-ache for expulsion from the Garden?

Try to show how God’s love is present throughout this fable: in the beautiful Garden itself, in Adam and Eve’s freedom to make choices, and — crucially — in the “cure” that results from the “necessary fault”.

For Christians, the redemptive part of the story of the Fall is the life and work of the Second Adam, who may be likened to the longed-for coronavirus antidote: surely coming, but not yet here!

Children can often pro­cess in­­formation that adults might be tempted to regard as too difficult for them. Wherever possible, try to illustrate and emphasise God’s love at work in the skill and dedication of medical researchers, NHS personnel, and all the other key workers who risk their personal safety for the common good. Like God, they do not give up, and their sacrificial love brings the hope and possibility of “life in all its fullness”.

(The Revd) Alec Mitchell


Address: please use email only under present circumstances.


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