Savannah author explains COVID-19 to kids in free e-book

Updated: Apr. 10, 2020 at 7:05 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WIS) - How many of you are struggling to explain a pandemic to your kids?

We are living in unprecedented times, with unprecedented rules and unprecedented stakes. With that in mind, a Savannah productivity specialist and author took that reality head-on and decided she wanted to try and explain it to kids.

“Captain Corona and the 19 COVID Warriors” was a brainchild born around a dinner table. Melissa Gratias’ husband is a physician and the Chief Medical Officer of his company. That meant their dinner table conversations with their kids over the past couple months were centered around what the havoc coronavirus was wreaking across the globe. He jokingly got the nickname, “Captain Corona” for his roundtable updates.

“I had that character in my mind as we were preparing for this,” Gratias said.

Then, the virus came to the U.S.

In mid-March, Melissa said she took a trip to Walmart to get some hand sanitizer. Upon finding the last in-stock bottle, the worker stocking the shelves smiled at her and congratulated her on her acquisition of the last one.

“She was smiling. She was helpful. She was kind. As I left the aisle, she said ‘be well,’” Gratias said.

It inspired the part of Melissa’s heart that lives in her childhood. The part of her that hears the wisdom of Mr. Rogers, who said: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

That was the spirit that inspired Captain Corona and the 19 COVID Warriors. It’s a book about the helpers and about how to stay safe. It’s also a book about the way the virus spreads and empowers each child to do their part to minimize it.

“You are not alone,” Gratias said. “There are helpers. Look for those helpers. They are out there fighting on your behalf. I would love for adults reading this book to their children... and the children who watch the video, to see their gratitude reinforced by this book and for their gratitude to turn to action. If that is one thing that happens, this book will have been a tremendous success.”

Special thanks to local moms and equally amazing humans, Kelly Hoppman, Shannon Watson and Judi Gatson for allowing us to feature their adorable, bright and empowered kids for this story.

You can download the book & gratitude templates for free by visiting this link.

You can also find the animated version read online using the video below.

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