( 1 ) How did it all begin?
( 2 ) What is a pandemic?
( 3 ) What is a virus?
( 4 ) What helps us against the coronavirus?
( 5 ) How are we doing during the pandemic?
( 6 ) How do we live with the pandemic?
( 7 ) Together we can do it!
1 · How did it all begin?
2 · What is a pandemic?
3 · What is a virus?
4 · What helps us against the coronavirus?
5 · How are we doing during the pandemic?
6 · How do we live with the pandemic?
7 · Together we can do it!

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Startseite Vogel

When Corona
came to

Narrated through illustrations
by Axel Scheffler.

Startseite Grüffelo

How did it all begin?

Coronavirus arrives on the scene.

Der Anfang der Pandemie

Prince: «Tell me, what on earth is going on here?»
Princess Pearl: «Many people all over the world are suddenly falling ill.»
Prince: «What is this strange disease?»
Princess Pearl: «Adults call it a corona pandemic!»

Tiere im Wald reden

The news of an unknown disease is spreading rapidly among the animals in the forest.

Even the cunning snake is worried …

What is a pandemic?

The coronavirus has spread all over the world.

Nachdenkender Junge am Globus

When people fall ill with a contagious disease in a particular area of the world, we call it an epidemic. When people all over the world are getting sick, we call it a pandemic. Pandemics existed long before the coronavirus.

For further information,
please click here.

What is a virus?

The disease is caused by a virus called corona, which got its name because it looks like a crown under a microscope.

Viruses are very small and can only be seen under a microscope.
For further information,
please click here.
Mann am Mikroskop Coronavirus Hustender Junge

When viruses enter our bodies, they can make us sick. As well as the coronavirus, they can cause other things like colds, chickenpox, measles and flu.

Kranker Mann im Bett
Many people get seriously ill and have to stay in hospital for a long time.
Krankenwagen im Einsatz
Fliegende Möve
Pfleger mit Patient
Doctors and medical staff help us to get better, even though they risk getting infected themselves.
Arzt auf fliegendem Drache

What helps us against the coronavirus?

Junge mit Hund
fliegender Schmetterling
… and what do we do now?

We stay at home.

Radio Kinder spielen auf dem Boden Lesendes Mädchen
Sometimes that’s more difficult than we think.
Trauriger Hund
Trauriges Mädchen Mädchen am Fenster

But there are many fun things to do.

We can knit, read, make things, dance, and exercise …

We work and learn from home.

We can’t go to school for a while.

Geschlossene Schule Fisch beim Zoommeeting am Laptop

We use computers to work, play, learn, and keep in touch with others.

Mutter arbeitet am Laptop

Many people have to work from home to protect themselves and others from the corona-virus.

How are we doing during
the pandemic?

Sometimes we’re happy.

Tanzende Oma

Some people are bored of having too many online meetings.

Hexe beim Videotelefonat
fliegender Schmetterling
Trostspendende Äffchen

Sometimes we have to comfort others.

How do we live with the pandemic?

Nettes Gespräch

Prince: «And what’s the best way to live with the coronavirus?»
Princess Pearl: «I can tell you that.»

… social distancing

Abstand halten
We are learning how to socially distance. The further apart we stand, walk or hop, the harder it is for the virus to infect us.
For further information,
please click here.

With social distancing we can continue to do many things.
„Move aside“
Unfortunately, the animals do not yet have the right distance from each other, so they could still infect one another. Move the animals to the right with the mouse. Enjoy!
fliegender Vogel
Die Feier wird verschoben

Social distancing sometimes also means giving things up! We can’t celebrate together.

… washing hands

We need to wash our hands regularly with soap to protect ourselves from the coronavirus.
For further information,
please click here.
Regelmäßig Hände waschen ist wichtig Hase und Maus waschen sich die Hände
The coronavirus doesn’t like water and soap. We can just wash it away.
Spic and Span
Help the animals to wash their paws. Press the mouse button and swipe it across the image until the hands and paws are clean. Have fun!

Hands should be washed everywhere, not just at home.

Hände waschen muss man überall

… wearing of a mask

Masks protect us from airborne viruses

Grüffelo winkt
We protect ourselves and other people from the coronavirus by wearing a mask.
For further information,
please click here.
Sicherer Besuch der Oma

… wearing masks in public

We wear masks when we go shopping.

Wir tragen Maske im Einkaufsladen
We wear masks at work… as well as in private
Masks Catapult
Help everyone to put a mask on in the colour which matches that of their clothes so that they can protect themselves from the coronavirus. Have fun!
Fliegender Vogel Fliegender Vogel
Blaue Atemschutzmaske
Weiße Atemschutzmaske
Hellbraune Atemschutzmaske
Dunkelbraune Atemschutzmaske
Mann mit Hund
Maske tragen in öffentlichen Räumen

We wear masks on public transport.

… vaccination

To protect ourselves from the coronavirus, we can get vaccinated.
For further information,
please click here.

What is a vaccination and how can it help us?


If we’re vaccinated and still come into contact with the coronavirus, our body can defend itself with the help of antibodies.

Die Oma umarmen
Fliegender Vogel

we can do it!

We shouldn’t just stay alone and think about the coronavirus.

Aliens freuen sich über Videochat

Contact with friends and family will help us through this unusual time.

Despite coronavirus, we can be there for each other and for others.

Solidarische Tiere bringen Essen
Living with coronavirus: we can only get through this together …
For further information,
please click here.
Jubelnde Gruppe Euphorische Kinder

… and then we’ll play, laugh, dance, and be happy together again!

Glückliches Ende
Seite 5 Bild 1

How the Kidditorial came about.

Part 2

Origin of the Kidditorial

How the Kidditorial came about.

( 2 )

What is a pandemic?

There were pandemics long before Corona. One person had a virus and accidentally passed it on to the next person. If the people of a country were infected with the virus, it was called an epidemic. When people became ill in many countries around the world, it was described as a pandemic – as it is today.

For example, the Spanish flu spread over a hundred years ago. In the winter of 1918, many people around the world fell ill. It is estimated that between 20 and 50 million people died from the virus. They had similar concerns to now and tried to control the spread of the disease with similar methods.

Anybody could get sick, whether young or old, rich or poor, influential or not so influential. The virus stopped at no one. And people tried to protect themselves, just as we are today.

The head office of the Neue Hamburger Zeitung asked its readers for “understanding” because the pandemic had made many newspaper deliverers ill, making it difficult to deliver the paper.

Morgen-Ausgabe, 26 October 1918. Source Neue Hamburger Zeitung
zwei Jungen während der Spanischen Grippe
The photograph shows two boys who, during the Spanish flu, continued to deliver newspapers wearing fabric masks to protect themselves. Source State Library and Archives of Florida

Important politicians and businesspeople also fell ill. A newspaper article from 1918 reports that even the Chancellor, Max von Baden, was ill with the Spanish flu and had to stay in bed for a long time.

«There has been a substantial improvement in the Chancellor’s condition. However, to prevent the risk of complications such as those that often occur with flu, the Chancellor has to stay in bed for the time being.»

Morgen-Ausgabe vom 26 October 1918 Source Neue Hamburger Zeitung
The gymnasium of the University of Vermont served as a medical clinic during the 1918 influenza pandemic. Source University of Vermont Special Collection

Hospitals were eventually so overcrowded that the sick were housed in sports halls, which were converted into temporary medical camps. This photograph shows the gymnasium of the University of Vermont, USA.

Krankenhausstation, während der Spanischen Grippe. Then as now, it was a difficult time for medical staff. This photograph shows doctors and nurses in protective clothing on a hospital ward at Mare Island Marine Hospital in California, USA, during the Spanish flu pandemic. Source U.S. Navy Medicine & its headquarters, the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED)
Red Cross paramedics in St. Louis, USA, line up for a photograph, with face mask protection and stretchers to document their readiness during the 1918 pandemic. With one another, for one another, we protect each other! Source Library of Congress
( 3 )

What is a virus?

Viruses are very small and can cause illness in people, animals and plants. Different viruses cause the common cold, flu, chickenpox, measles and many other diseases. Some viruses can be spread very easily, others are more rare.

The body’s immune system has natural defences against viruses, such as high fever which makes the infection become inactive. White blood cells also fight viruses and prevent future infections. Treatments such as antibiotics that tackle bacteria do not work against viruses. Instead, vaccines are used on humans and animals to protect them against viral infections and strengthen their immune systems.

Here are examples of three different viruses:

Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)

Digital Image of Coronavirus Sars-CoV-2 Model (external and internal) Source Thomas Splettstößer | Coronavirus Structural Task Force (insidecorona.de)

Coronaviruses affect humans and animals. The name comes from the spines on the surface of the virus, which look like small “crowns”. Coronaviruses affect humans and various animals. 10-15% of all flu-like diseases are caused by the different coronaviruses.

The coronavirus that triggered this pandemic is also called SARS-Cov2. Among other things, it causes loss of taste, fever, and breathing problems.

Adeno Virus

Digital Image of an Adeno Virus Model Source https://pdb101.rcsb.org/browse/viruses

There are many different viruses around us. Unfortunately we come into regular contact with some of them. For example, in winter the Adenovirus can give us sore throats, fever and colds. It is a virus with a regular geometric shape. With the long fibres (here green), the virus looks like a small satellite in space.

Ebola Virus

Digital Image of an Ebola Virus Source Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Public Health Image Library

The Ebola virus is transmitted by infected humans and animals. This rare and very lethal virus, which causes severe fever and bleeding, is mainly found in Africa.

( 6 )

Why do we use “social distancing”?

Coronaviruses spread through the process of “droplet infection”. When a person is sick and coughs or sneezes, viruses can come out of their mouth or nose and fly through the air. Someone else can get infected by these viruses.

The further apart we stand or walk, the harder it is for the virus to infect us. Masks can protect us from airborne viruses. During the Spanish flu of 1918, people were already being advised to avoid “unnecessary crowds of people”.

Markings for social distancing in the waiting hall at Heathrow Airport, London, during the Corona pandemic. Source Ulf Schmidt, Flughafen Heathrow, London

“It is unquestionably established that the influenza pathogen and thus the disease itself is transmitted at close quarters from person to person. Every individual is therefore made aware of the need to avoid, as far as possible, any unnecessary crowding of people (full trains, dancing, cinemas etc.)”.

Morgen-Ausgabe vom 26 October 1918 Source Neue Hamburger Zeitung
( 6 )

Why do we have to wash our hands?

The coronavirus doesn’t like water and soap. We can simply rinse it off. It was the Hungarian doctor Ignaz Semmelweis (1818-1865), who observed in the 19th century that handwashing protects us from diseases.

Simple handwashing is a crucial way to prevent the spread of pathogens. Semmelweis, who worked at a Viennese obstetric clinic, established the connection between dirty hands and deadly diseases.

1929: Poster from the Austrian Central Office for Accident Prevention. Reproduction. Source Austrian Central Office for Accident Prevention. Reproduction

In the 1920s, people were increasingly informed by the authorities that daily handwashing and cleanliness helped them to stay healthy.

Here’s a little boy washing his hands in the United Kingdom, 1943. Source Nationaal Archief, NL
Washroom at an adult workstation in the United Kingdom, 1951. Source Nationaal Archief, NL
( 6 )

Why do we have to wear masks?

Masks help to protect us from the “droplet infection” through which the coronavirus spreads. During the Spanish flu, people also wore masks on public transport, on the street and indoors.

Tram passengers with face masks during the Spanish flu pandemic 1918. Source National Archives, US

Those who wanted to take the tram in Seattle, USA, during the Spanish flu of 1918 had to wear a face mask, just as people do today.

This photograph shows seven female members of the San Francisco War Camp Community Council making masks. Volunteers and members of charitable associations also sewed masks during the pandemic. Source Hamilton Henry Dobbin
( 6 )

What is a vaccination?

Nobody likes being pricked by a needle. But vaccinations can help us to avoid certain illnesses. Vaccination is not nearly as bad as the disease itself. So how do vaccines protect us?

With vaccines, tiny weakened pathogens (e. g. viruses) or parts of them are injected into our bodies. These cause only a mild infection. Usually we don’t notice it.

The poliomyelitis vaccine is trickled onto a sugar cube to make it taste better. Source Wellcome Collection

Our bodies fight the disease and produce new defences, called ‘antibodies’. These antibodies can then be produced during an infection, faster than if the body would see the pathogen for the first time. As a result, the outcome of the infection is milder.

Antibodies are special substances in the body that have the shape of the letter “Y”. They attach themselves to intruders in our bodies to make them harmless. Invaders can be viruses, bacteria, fungi, or even parasites.

If we come into contact with the pathogen later on, our body defends itself with the help of the antibodies it produces.

A virus surrounded by antibodies. Source Antibodies, Imago Images, Science Photo Library
( 7 )

Together we can do it!

Together we can beat the Coronavirus ! We all need to work together and not give in until we get it under control. There have been worldwide outbreaks of disease before. People before us have beaten pandemics, and we will too.

This coin from the Museum for Hamburg History was minted to commemorate the overcoming of the plague of 1714. It shows the sun shining over a rainbow. Source Museum for the History of Hamburg. Photograph: Sönke Ehlert