Thankfully, the subject has not been a major topic of discussion in my home, but my eight-year-old is quite perspicacious. He understands why he is no longer allowed to attend school and though my wife and I have made a point of keeping media to a minimum in the house, my son still picks up small snippets of information here and there via the television or radio.
During our walk this afternoon, he asked me how dangerous the virus was. The question contained an unspoken crux; I sensed it immediately. You see, my wife works at the local bank here and she is among the few people in my village who have not ceased working despite the lockdown measures currently in effect. I paused on the dirt path for a second and briefly contemplated how I should address the question.
"Well, it might be very dangerous for some people - like old people who are sick - but for others it probably poses very little danger at all. If they get it, they might feel a little sick, but they'll quickly get better."
My son nodded, "If mom got it, she would get better quickly, wouldn't she?"
"Of course she would," I replied. I said this calmly, but a jolt of anger toward the media worked its way through me all the same. "But mom's not going to get it because she's important and she's tough. If she didn't go to work, people couldn't get the money they needed to buy food. So what she does now is really important. And she's too tough for that virus. It wouldn't pick on her. No way."
I wasn't sure if I had said the right thing, but my son appeared comforted. We continued walking down the path between the canola fields.
"And you're tough, too," I said after a moment had passed. "You'd scare that virus away before it even came within ten meters of you."
My son scoffed slightly, "But I wouldn't even see it!"
"You wouldn't have to. What's important is that it sees you. And when it sees you, it's going to think twice about tangling with you."
"Because it would be able to detect your hidden superpowers."
"What hidden superpowers?"
"Well, I can't tell you what they are because then they won't be hidden anymore, but believe me, you've got the power to scare that virus away, and so does your mom."
"So I'm some kind of superhero?"
"As far as the virus is concerned, yes," I said. "So what's your superhero name?"
My son paused on the road again and furrowed his brow. "Captain Coronakiller!"
"A touch on the vicious side, but I like it."