Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg held a press conference on Monday for Norway’s children, ensuring them that “it’s OK to be scared” during a global pandemic.
The Norwegian government announced the press conference on Sunday, saying it was holding the event because “many children have questions about the coronavirus.”
“There are — and have been — some special days: Schools and kindergartens are closed. All sports and leisure activities are canceled. And everyone who has been abroad must quarantine when they get home,” Solberg, whose remarks have been translated, told Norwegian children.
“Because of the coronavirus, everyday life has become very different for both adults and children. Anyone who can stay home should do it all the time. Many children find this scary,” she said.
“I understand that well. It’s OK to get a little scared when so many big things happen at once. It’s OK to be a little scared to get infected by the coronavirus. But for the vast majority of us, the coronavirus is harmless.”
Solberg explained that the coronavirus is most “dangerous for people who have a serious illness” and emphasized the importance of staying home.
Joined by Minister of Knowledge Guri Melby and Minister of Children and Family Affairs Kjell Ingolf Ropstad, Solberg then answered questions from children submitted through the children’s TV program “NRK Super” and children’s paper Aftenposten Junior.
Questions included “Can I have a birthday party?” and “How long does it take to make a vaccine?”
Norway has been making strides in attempting to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Earlier this week, the University of Science and Technology alerted Norwegian students studying abroad to return home as soon as possible and singled out the U.S. a nation where they’d be most at risk.
“This applies especially if you are staying in a country with poorly developed health services,” the statement warned. “This also applies for countries with poorly developed collective infrastructure, for example the USA, where it can be difficult to get transport to the airport if you don’t have a car. The same applies if you don’t have health insurance.”