COVID Kids: Joy's Story of Coping in a Difficult Time is a story about a young elementary school child who is concerned about her mother's exposure to the virus while working as a nurse, her anxiety about social distancing from her grandparents, friends, and neighbors, attending online school, and the many changes her family faced when her father lost his job as a chef.
The book was designed to help children compare and contrast their own family changes to those of the main character, as she adjusted to home instruction, masks, less money, and changes in routine. The book and the parents' guide at the end suggest how parents and teachers might identify teachable moments to develop coping skills, reduce anxiety and feelings of helplessness, and become more active in identifying areas where children can practice stress reduction and reassertion of control. As the family slows its pace, a wonderful benefit of their increased time together is that the child learns more about her parents' jobs, how to help her community, how to bond more with her older sibling, and how to connect with her grandparents psychologically, despite social distancing. The book ends by asking children to draw a picture of how they are learning to cope with COVID-19 and talk about their drawings. That artwork will be compiled and ultimately displayed on our covidkidsbook.net website.