How Did She Know About Epidemiology At Age 7?
When Ailey was in the second grade, she had an opportunity to create a poster presentation for a science fair that her school was having. Although very little was known about Covid-19 at that time, and most seven-year olds had never heard of the word "pandemic," she somehow knew that epidemiology was something important to learn about on her own and to teach others about.
Opportunities for children to discover things on their own and demonstrate initiative in showing others what they have learned is what education is all about. We can't quite make out the definition of epidemiology on this poster, but it is defined as "the branch of medicine which deals with the incidence, distribution, and possible control of diseases and other factors relating to health. " We hope that Ailey will continue to teach other children, and their parents, about epidemiology and about the importance of listening to and learning from our public health experts. Who knows, maybe Ailey will grow up to be our next Surgeon General.
Here's a picture Ailey drew recently. It can serve as a symbol to remind us about how people sometimes displace overwhelming fear of an unknown onto something less terrifying that we have some control over. Hoarding toilet paper may seem silly now that we've learned how to manage this pandemic through communal social distancing, use of best practices in hygiene, etc.
Children often try to take control when they're afraid. With this pandemic, many adults regressed back to the level of childhood initially, but soon realized that there were better ways to work together as a community to defeat the virus.