COVID-19: full press briefing prohibited for adults
The press briefing from the Minister of Families with Children, posted on Friday on our information co-op sites and on Télé-Québec’s Squat, generated a great deal of interest. Here, question by question, the complete answers of Mathieu Lacombe.
Q Antoine, 7, from Verdun: what song do you sing when you wash your hands? We sing “Happy Birthday” twice!
A (Laughs) So Antoine, what I would say to you first is that you do well to sing happy birthday because it’s a song that lasts 20 seconds. Twenty seconds is the time it takes to wash your hands well, with lukewarm water and soap, of course. If you want to change the song, you could also decide to recite the alphabet, it lasts about the same duration. At home, we have our own song to wash our hands, but that’s our secret.
Q Nathaniel, 8, from Blainville: where does the coronavirus come from, and from which animal?
A It’s a good question Nathaniel, it’s a question everyone is asking themselves now. We do not know. There are thousands of scientists in their lab coats in their lab coats who are working to find the solution. What we do know, however, is that we have the means to fight against the virus now: that’s what’s important, it’s to fight this battle together, to follow the instructions carefully. Get there because what we want is to be able to go out, to be able to go to see our family and friends as quickly as possible.
Q Zachary, 12, from Manawan: Minister, when can I see my friends and family who live in another community?
R Zachary, I understand that for you currently it is difficult, as for many other young people, what I would say to you is perhaps to use technology to be close to the people you love, your friends or your family, why not call them on Skype or Facetime for example? Why not have dinner with your grandparents, for example, at the table with Facetime? We’re not used to it, of course, but in the exceptional circumstances we know, it may encourage us to adopt new things. I know it’s not easy, but everyone has to listen to the instructions and if we do that, together we will get there.
Q Ellie, 9, from Gatineau: are there any risks that major stores such as grocery stores may have to close?
R Ellie, I want to reassure you, there is no shortage of food, we have farmers, for example, who work to produce eggs, meat, milk or fruits and vegetables. There are other people whose job is to prepare food, others to transport it to our grocery stores, and finally there are people who do essential work: that of selling us food in our grocery stores , so I want to reassure you, we will not run out of food thanks to these people who take good care of us.
Q Simone, 8 years old, from Montreal: my birthday is April 17, can I invite my friends for a sleepover?
A First Simone, happy birthday to you in advance, I’m sure you have a lot of friends and that you would really like to invite them to your birthday. Perhaps the solution is to invite them with Facetime or with Skype, for example. I know that it is not the same thing, on the other hand it is really important to respect the instructions so that all your friends stay healthy and that their families also do not get sick. The good news is that when it is all over, it will not be too late to take you back.
Q Mamadou, 10, from Sherbrooke: can my dog catch the coronavirus and transmit it to humans?
R It’s a good question Mamadou, I know there are many friends who ask this question. What I can tell you, so far, is that there is no evidence that pets can catch the coronavirus. On the other hand, their coat, like any other surface can carry the virus, so you have to be careful, for example, that strangers, people you do not know, flatter your dog. I’m sure it’s hard because your dog is probably very very beautiful. What I suggest to you, perhaps, is when you go for a walk with him, to avoid people who you do not know come to flatter him. I do not know if your dog likes to take a bath, but whether it is or not, I may also suggest that you have him take a bath to make sure that his coat is always very clean.
Q Malak, 10, from Montreal: if the Prime Minister ever gets COVID-19, what are you going to do?
A Hello Malak, this is a good question. Prime Minister, I can reassure you first, listen to his own instructions really well, so he takes every precaution not to get sick. However, it is also not immune to catching the coronavirus, COVID-19. So if that happens, and obviously he will receive care and will do like everyone else, he will isolate himself for a period of 14 days. The good news is that during his absence, if he falls ill, it will be the Deputy Premier of Quebec, Geneviève Guilbault, who will take over. So during this storm, we would still have a good captain to take us to our destination.
Q Anaïs, 11, if we have a medical emergency, for example a super big stomach ache, can we still go to the hospital without fear of catching the coronavirus?
A What I could answer you is that your health, obviously, is the priority so if you are sick, yes, you must consult a doctor, but what I suggest to you is to ask your parents to call info-santé before going to the hospital. Your parents can explain your symptoms to the nurse over the phone, and the nurse can give the best strategy, the best solution, so you can see a doctor. If you still have to go to the hospital because the nurse suggests, know that you will be safe there. The doctors and nurses who work there are used to working with viruses, it’s an environment that’s safe and clean, so definitely you don’t have to worry, you’ll be in good hands.
Q Noémie, 8 years old, from Val d’Or: among the people who get coronavirus, are there more dead than alive?
A Noémie, this is a question that many friends ask themselves, but the answer will reassure you. There are many, many more living people than coronavirus-related deaths because people listen to the instructions, that everyone is doing their part. You, at your age, what you can do to do your part, is wash your toys well, wash your hands for example. If you follow these instructions, you will help us a lot to fight the virus. Because we know how to fight it, we must have good hygiene measures and the more people who follow the instructions, the less there will be people who will be infected and who will fall ill. So we have to follow the instructions, and I know we can count on you.
Q Raoul, 11, from Drummondville: like many children in Quebec who have had cancer, I am immunocompromised. My immune system is therefore weaker. Are there any special recommendations for us?
A Raoul, I am pleased to answer your question. I’ll start by telling you that your health is the priority. So you have to keep doing it as you usually do, you have to be very careful with your health. It means not being in touch with your friends yet, even if it’s difficult. It also means that if someone in your family was sick, you should take extra care. If you listen to the instructions, this should not happen, but I repeat: your health is really the priority.