Two class of 2021 medical students from Loma Linda University School of Medicine created a book to help children understand why their worlds have changed dramatically in the last few months and why it’s important to stay home during this time.
Authors Devon Scott and Samantha Harris created the illustrated story that explores questions about the coronavirus pandemic with sisters Millie and Suzie. The book, “Why We Stay Home,” has been downloaded more than 35,000 times since its release on April 23, 2020.
“It’s a confusing time for kids,” Scott said. “They’re home with their families. They’re enjoying spending time with their siblings, but some of them don’t really know what’s going on, so we wanted to create a fun, short, sweet resource for parents to talk about what’s going on.”
The aim of the book is to help children understand the coronavirus pandemic by discussing germs and concepts such as quarantine, social distancing and how staying at home — even if you miss your friends — can help people who have “a hard time fighting off germs,” such as grandma and grandpa.
Scott, who plans on specializing in orthopedic surgery, shared the idea with his friend and fellow medical student Samantha Harris, who is pursuing pediatrics. She loved the concept, and they agreed to write the book together. Even though they hadn’t worked on a project like this before, Samantha and Devon wrote the book, commissioned illustrations, and published it, all within the span of two weeks.
Harris and Scott said they hoped the book would reach 100 families. “We’re shocked by the overwhelmingly positive response,” Scott said, saying he and Harris have received emails of praise and appreciation from around the world, including Italy, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and New Zealand. The authors are currently working on translating the book into six languages, including American Sign Language.
“We want to reach families worldwide,” Scott said. “We knew cost could be a barrier for some families, so we wanted to create this free resource to help parents explain to their children why it’s important to stay home and remind them that this won’t last forever.”