Need help explaining the novel coronavirus to your kids? Big Bird is here to save the day
It goes without saying that the coronavirus pandemic is a complex and terrifying situation. It can be difficult even for adult minds to grasp, making it all the more tricky to figure out how to broach the subject with little ones. But, as you know and I know, their little ears are hearing bits and pieces about it — so it’s best to explain it to them in a way that will help them understand what it is without overwhelming them with worry. Sounds daunting, right? Well, fortunately, CNN and Sesame Street are teaming up to help parents start this important dialogue.
Come this Saturday, April 25, the two benevolent forces will host a very special town hall to address the novel coronavirus. Everyone’s favorite electric-yellow feathered friend Big Bird will join CNN Chief Medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta and CNN anchor Erica Hill for a 90-minute special titled The ABC’s of COVID-19: A CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall for Kids and Parents.
It won’t just be Gupta and Hill sharing the screen with Big Bird during the special. Other beloved Muppets (think Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Rosita, and Grover) will also be on hand to tackle topics like homeschooling, anxiety, screen time, and socialization. Other cameos include Sesame Street’s Alan Muraoka and Dr. Rosemarie Truglio.
If you have a specific question or concern you’d love to see Big Bird and gang address, you could be in luck. On their website, CNN is asking parents to submit their questions. Since they’re also asking you to include your full name and phone number, it’s possible the special will be somewhat interactive — likely propelled by parents’ write-in questions, but possibly also including some actual call-ins?
The ABC’s of COVID-19 special builds on Sesame Workshop’s Caring for Each Other initiative, which aims to assist parents in meeting their children’s needs during these uncertain times. It’s possible you’ve already benefitted from this welcome resource, too. Last week, a special episode of Sesame Street called Elmo’s Playdate aired as part of the initiative. And if that star-studded gem was any indication, Saturday’s town hall will be a wonderful next step in helping kids unpack what’s happening in the world.
Obviously, you need to know how and where to tune in. Per a press release from CNN, the special will stream live on CNN.com’s homepage and across mobile devices via CNN’s apps for both iOS and Android — no-login necessary. It can also be viewed on CNNgo, and subscribers to cable/satellite systems can watch it on-demand.
So, make a Saturday morning date with your kiddos, and cue up your TV (or whatever device you want to watch from) at 9 a.m. ET sharp.