How exciting it would be if the Prime Minister of a nation directly interacts with the future of the country and answers their innocent questions regarding the current affairs? A similar thing happened when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke to a bunch of kids, giving them the necessary knowledge about the Corona pandemic and how they could keep their spirits high amidst the worldwide panic.
PM Trudeau, along with Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, attended a Q&A session by CBC Kids News. The session was hosted by young Arjun, who did a wonderful job managing the Live discussion.
Here are some of the most interesting questions and answers that we’ve picked for you.
Gwyneth Scholar, 8: How is your family keeping busy with social distancing?
PM Trudeau: Thanks, Gwyneth, for your question. Obviously, it is a difficult time for all families right now. From doing lots of homework on the computer and keeping up with school work, playing different games and keeping busy throughout the days with brothers and sisters without being able to talk to or see friends, talking a lot on the phone and over face time.
You know kids are trying to find different ways to get through days when we are all stuck at home, where we are not able to go out and see our friends. We’re not able to do the things that we usually do. But we are holding together as families in Canada and that is a really good thing.
Arjun: How about you, Doctor Tam? How is your family keeping busy while social distancing?
Dr. Tam: I actually spend a lot of time just connecting socially even though we are practising physical distancing. So, it’s really important to connect with your family by phone or by video so that you know, everybody continues to have our great relationships.
I actually love playing with Legos, so that's what I do sometimes.
Cortana, 10: What can we do to support the healthcare workers, other than going out at 7 every day and cheering them on?
PM Trudeau: The other thing we can do or need to do is make sure that we don’t get ourselves sick so that they don’t have to take care of more and more people. That is why it’s so important to stay home. It is so important to keep our distances and not go out if absolutely don’t have to and wash your hands regularly.
But I am here also with Dr. Tam, who is Canada’s top doctor, who is going to talk to us about the things we need to do to keep our health professionals safe and support them.
Dr. Tam: All of the health professionals, who are working really hard are heroes and I am sure they really appreciate anything that would cheer them on as they are doing their difficult work and absolutely keeping ourselves healthy, practising the distancing of two meters.
Definitely try and stay home and wash your hands frequently. All of these things can help prevent large numbers of people needing to have medical care, so everything that each one of us is doing every day is going to really help our health care workers.
Sarah, 6: Where do homeless people go to be safe from the Coronavirus?
PM Trudeau: Oh Sarah, that is a wonderful question, and it is so nice that you are asking about it because we know that everyone is worried about the Coronavirus and we have asked everyone to stay home, but if you don’t have a home then that is really, really difficult. That is why we have to make sure that, as a country, we are taking care of everybody especially our most vulnerable. That way one of the things that we have done is to give a lot of money to homeless shelters, to community shelters, to try and make sure that they have room for people who need a home and have extra money to be able to rent new spaces or create separation so people don’t spread COVID-19 among each other.
These are the kind of things that we have to think about and we are really lucky to be living in a country where we think about the people who are more vulnerable, who have less and who need our support, too. So, I really thank you for that beautiful question, Sarah.
Muhammad, 9: Do you think that Canadian scientists are going to come up with a vaccination for the Coronavirus soon?
PM Trudeau: Canadian scientists are among the best in the world. We have some of the top researchers, doctors and scientists. They are working really, really hard along with other people and other great scientists around the world to try and get a vaccine for Coronavirus, but it’s going to take a while. So, we will turn to Dr. Tam who will fill us in with little more on what that's going to look like.
Dr. Tam: Well, I am really happy that the kids are interested in vaccines. It will take about at least a year for the vaccine to be developed. Normally, it can take up to 10 years, so you can imagine a one-year timeline is actually really fast. Everyone is working as hard as they can to bring us the vaccine.
Jack, 6: What songs do you guys sing in mind while you wash your hands?
PM Trudeau: *Laughingly* You can sing any song you want as long as it lasts long enough. I tend to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ because I like thinking that it might be my birthday today, or any given day and if you are singing over and over again, it’s easy to sing a song that you know really, really well and always makes you happy to sing. What about you, Dr. Tam, what song do you recommend people to sing when they wash their hands?
Dr. Tam: I sing different songs on different days. So, when it is raining, I might sing you know, a different song like “I am singing in the rain” and then if you know, on another day, I might sing something else like “We will, we will wash you.” It depends on my mood.
Final remarks of PM Trudeau for his little listeners:
“In this time of crisis, all different governments are coming together. We are all working together at all orders of government across the country, the premiers, the mayors, all different levels are working together so that we can get through this. Because that's how we are going to get through this together even though we are keeping apart.”
You can check out the full conversation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bL3zR0ctykQ
Image courtesy: CBC Kids News
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