The three local doctors were getting lots of questions about coronavirus from family, friends, neighbors, and patients. So they decided to write a book for children explaining the pandemic and the changes it has brought about in our daily lives.
They hoped not only to start a conversation about how we can stay healthy “in mind, body, and spirit” during this trying time, but also to underscore the opportunities it presents to “become stronger and better” through caring for one another.
In “We Stand Together, Just Six Feet Apart,” Drs. Renee Kleris, Katherine Clarridge, and Rebecca MacDonell-Yilmaz describe how, when people started getting sick with Covid, “life as we knew it halted.”
“Parks and playgrounds shut down,” they write, school shifted to on-line learning, and “staying home was the best thing to do.” The book’s Illustrations, by Catherine Wilson, show poignant scenes of people greeting grandma via computer or waving from car windows.
The doctors then go on to reassure kids that, even though they may be feeling “lazy or even stir-crazy” during quarantine, life will eventually get back to normal. And above all, they write, kids should know that they’re not alone in this: “So when you feel weary, or the days get dreary, do your best to take heart. Always remember, we’re in this together, even when we’re six feet apart.”
Proceeds from the sale of “We Stand Together” go to various organizations that provide support for children, such as No Kid Hungry and UNICEF. The book is dedicated to “frontline healthcare workers, essential workers, and everyone finding ways to care for each other.”
At the request of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the trio of authors is currently preparing a workbook. Its aim will be to help kids better understand the events of the past year and to deal with the anxiety that many have experienced.
Renee Kleris is a board-certified pediatrician and allergist/immunologist; Katherine Clarridge trained in internal medicine and pediatrics and completed her fellowship in allergy/immunology at the NIH; and Rebecca MacDonell-Yilmaz is a board-certified pediatrician and hospice and palliative care physician who recently completed fellowship training in pediatric hematology-oncology.
Learn more on Instagram at @justsixfeetapart.