Q. I am getting worried about the Coronavirus spreading in our area in southern Texas. We live near San Antonio. I’m especially concerned about my three kids (ages 7, 9, and 12) and teaching them how to deal with the virus and learn about it. Do you know any good shows we can watch that can teach them about how viruses spread and how our scientists work to stop them? — Tina, San Antonio.
Tina, as the Dad of an eight-year-old daughter, I feel your pain. As the virus spreads across the nation, it’s particularly important to alert our children on the best methods to keep from getting it, and learning how our top medical experts are working overtime to defeat it. We have to do everything we can to protect our kids while comforting them at the same time.
That said, I would highly recommend Pandemic: How to Prevent An Outbreak, a six-part documentary now streaming on Netflix. While targeted to adults, the show can be informative for children in early grade school to high school.
Pandemic follows several scientists and medical doctors as they look for signs of new viruses around the world, and then work tirelessly on the fly to combat them when found. Their stories will give you hope that we are in good hands no matter how dire the headlines may be.
For instance, there’s:
* Dr. Syra Madad, the senior director of New York’s Health & Hospitals’ Special Pathogens Program, who develops strategies on how the nation’s biggest city can best respond to an outbreak.
* Dr. Holly Goracke, who works 72-hour shifts to combat flu outbreaks because she’s the only doctor in a rural hospital in Oklahoma.
* Dr. Dinesh Vijay, a doctor who tends to the near-fatally ill in rural India despite the risks that he could be the next flu victim.
* Jake Glanville and Sarah Ives (pictured above), two private researchers in California who spend almost as much time traversing the muddy trails of Guatemala so they can test new flu vaccines on pigs which can be purchased more cheaply there.
There are also world health officials hopping from one possible hot zone to another; and a researcher who traps migrating ducks in swampy Louisiana so she can check them for possible viruses.
While following their paths, the documentary does a superb job of explaining how a virus gets started, and how it can spread so quickly without proper precautions.
Tina, I think your children (and you) would learn much from Pandemic, and I highly recommend it.
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