Long Island couple writes back-to-school coronavirus children's book

PORT WASHINGTON, Long Island (WABC) -- A couple from Long Island has created a children's book about returning to school amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

Lauren and Adam Block, of Port Washington, wrote "Kelly Goes Back to School: More Science on the Coronavirus" as a way to help children understand the changes they will see in school this fall, such as friends and teachers wearing masks.

"Our hope is that by helping kids and families to understand why we're doing what we're doing that everyone will have an easier time following all of the new rules and protocols going back to school," Lauren Block said.

Lauren Block is a primary care physician and Associate Professor of Medicine at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine. Adam Block is a health economist and Assistant Professor of Public Health at New York Medical College. The couple has three children -- 7-year-old twins Brandon and Elise and 4-year-old Jordan.

"Kelly Goes Back to School" explains the science behind the coronavirus and why that means children will have to sit far away from their friends in the classroom and not go to lunch in the cafeteria or possibly recess. It also discusses how parents may be going back into the office, antibody testing and the effort to create a coronavirus vaccine.

Last spring, the couple wrote, "Kelly Stays Home: The Science of the Coronavirus," to help children understand the coronavirus and the importance of wearing masks, social distancing and washing their hands.

"The hope is that with more understanding, there is more adherence," said Adam Block.

The Blocks said their children were instrumental in helping them write the books.
Elise Block said she helped her mother write in a way kids would understand.

"Let's say there was a word I didn't know I said, 'You can keep the word, but maybe you should like after that put the definition of it,'" she said.

Lauren Block said one of her sons reminded her of the Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome some children had experienced, so they added it into the book.

The Blocks published the books themselves through Amazon and they can be purchased through Amazon.

The Blocks said they also want to make sure people can download the books for free.

"This pandemic has only sort of exacerbated inequalities, you know, in our societies and our local communities. Our thought is that we are all in this together and it really takes the whole community to keep our kids, to keep our families safe," said Lauren Block.

"We don't want any dollar amount to be a hindrance to anybody getting and accessing this book," said Adam Block.

"Kelly Stays Home" has been downloaded 14,000 times.

The Blocks have sold hundreds of paper copies of the books all over the world.

Click here to access the free downloads of the books or to purchase the books.

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