NBC29 reports.Two Black doctors from the University of Virginia decided to create a book to help explain the coronavirus pandemic to children,
Dr. Leigh-Ann Webb, Dr. Ebony Hilton, and illustrator Ashleigh Corrin Webb teamed up to write a children’s book that would explain the pandemic to younger children as well as the dangers for children of color during this time.
We’re Going to be O.K. tells the story of Parker, a young Black boy adjusting to his new normal of schooling from home as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The story gives tips on how to stay safe, as well as advice on physical health and mental wellness during COVID-19.
“I think that the enemy of fear is information,” Dr. Hilton said.
Dr. Webb agreed, adding that there were questions that young people might have that needed to be addressed. “How do you try to stay social? Share the good work that you’re doing while maintaining a safe distance away from other people so that you don’t get sick? Little Parker does that really well in the book, but I think the overall message is little things can make such a big impact,” Dr. Webb said.
Dr. Hilton is an anesthesiologist, critical care physician, and medical director at Good Stock Consulting, a company that focuses on “empowering leaders, engaging underserved communities to drive change, teaching and strengthening organizational capacity, and cultivating trust between orgs and the communities they serve.” Dr. Webb is an emergency medicine physician and the founder of The Get Well Company, an organization focused on “[using] empathy, innovation and collective action to promote equity and revolutionize the illness experience.” To illustrate the book, the two brought in 2020 Ezra Jack Keats award winning illustrator and designer, Ashleigh Corrin Webb.
The group felt the book was the best way to merge their expertise and enroll children in the process of keeping themselves safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We know that health literacy is important for longevity so we try in this book to literally talk about COVID-19 from a scientific point. It literally says, this is what COVID-19 means. This is what this virus looks like. This is where it’s now taking us as far as day-to-day living,” Dr. Hilton said.
She also added that the implications of the book are far reaching, and hopefully even inspires children to pursue careers in the medical field. “I think the impact that I hope it has is that it engages children early to be curious about science.
"Hopefully this makes some scientists and doctors for the future,” she said.
The book has already received national recognition, winning the Emory Global Health Institute’s 2020 eBook competition. It is also completely free and includes printable workbook pages, including a feelings chart, a gratitude exercise and a list of free resource links.
To get your copy of We’re Going to be O.K., click here.
This story was originally published on BecauseOfThemWeCan.com.