Why famous people with COVID-19 can be upsetting to kids

How to help children deal with emotions when it affects someone they 'know'

Sofia Pierce of Carmel, Indiana, won’t be shy about telling you all the things she knows. After all, at seven years old, she knows a lot. But when she learned that even presidents can get sick, her mind was blown. “Why does Donald Trump have the coronavirus?” she asked her parents in amazement.

Even though her parents, Jon and Tamra Pierce, both work in the medical field and could answer questions scientifically, that’s not exactly what Sofia was asking about. It was more about the uncertainty of what would happen, especially when it came to someone she “knew.”

“Younger kids think that their parents and people of power are indestructible, or that they’re more constant in the world than they truly are,” says Jill Ehrenreich-May, a psychology professor at the University of Miami.