NCID Director Launches Children’s Book on Covid-19, Showcasing Artwork by Children and Youth, Health News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE – As a seasoned researcher and scientist, Professor Leo Yee Sin has published hundreds of articles filled with terms and diagrams that would make a layman sweat.

But the latest book from the executive director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases is rhymed and filled with drawings by children and young people, some of whom are only five years old.

The book, titled My Coronavirus Story, captures the perspectives of the pandemic through the eyes of a young child, and aims to educate young people about Covid-19 and encourage resilience as the world lives with the virus.

Written for a young audience aged four to 12, it was launched by Minister of Health Ong Ye Kung at the Woodlands Regional Library on Monday, December 13.

The book, supported by the National Healthcare Group (NHG), honors the courage and selfless contributions of all frontline workers to bring Singapore into the endemic phase of Covid-19.

Professor Leo, who read the book on stage with Mr Ong, said the pandemic has been a confusing time for children as they try to make sense of the changes around them.

“I saw firsthand what it means to be on the front lines in the face of Covid-19, and I was inspired to translate my observations from the perspective of young people – to explain the virus in a simple way, describe how it impacted their lives and help them see the way forward, ”she said.

Approximately 1,000 copies of the book have been printed and members of the public will be able to borrow them from most National Library Board public libraries.

A copy of the book will also be distributed to all primary schools in Singapore.

Professor Benjamin Seet, deputy general manager of the NHG group for education and research, said the idea for the book was first conceived in March of this year.

At the time, NHG had worked with the Singapore Art Society to organize an exhibition honoring frontline workers battling the virus.

Professor Leo Yee Sin and Minister of Health Ong Ye Kung read the book during the launch event at the Woodlands Regional Library on December 13, 2021. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

As part of this exhibition in March, an art competition was organized, with around 1,000 entries submitted by children and young people. NHG then decided to take it a step further and compile 21 of the works of art into one book.

“Although many of them seem simple, they convey the views and perceptions of young children who have been affected by this pandemic like us,” Prof Seet said, adding that schools were closed and extracurricular activities canceled due to the pandemic.

He said: “Public education has been essential during this pandemic, but efforts to reach young children have been limited, even though they must learn to adapt to the many changes that surround them.

“This book serves to fill the void, and its vivid colors bring a message of hope in this time of fear and anxiety.”

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