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How The Pandemic Is Making Kids Feel, In Their Own Words

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

The numbers are staggering, measured in lives and jobs lost, and there's no end in sight yet. Adults who can understand what's happening struggle to cope, but what if you are a kid? We'll be looking at the experiences of children today in the time of the great pandemic. Schools are closed, group activities canceled and contact with friends and extended family is limited to phones and screens. Here are some kids in their own words.

IZZY PEOPLES: Hi. My name is Izzy Peoples. I am 11 years old. I am in fourth grade, and I live in Atlanta, Ga. Honestly, I thought coronavirus was just, like, a random thing that people said in the hall before spring break. Like, don't get corona. But it has a lot of ups and downs. An up is I get to hang out with all my crazy animals. But a down is I, like, don't get to spend as much time as my friends.

HANA ABDUR-RAHMAN: Hi. My name is Hana Abdur-Rahman. I'm 12 years old. Even before this whole thing started, I was home-schooled, so I'm kind of used to it. My dad - he still has to work because he delivers babies, so I feel kind of worried sometimes. I feel like he'll bring it home and spread it to all of us.

ZARA LINNEMAN: I'm Zara. I'm 14 years old. I'm in eighth grade. My friends keep me sane. I miss seeing them, and I miss giving all of them hugs every day. And it's just been really hard. And, like, we can try and connect virtually, but it's really - it's not the same.

ALEX KETCHAM: My name is Alex Ketcham. I am 17 years old. I am a junior in high school. The first couple days, I was like, oh, nice, a vacation - a little, like, week-long vacation. So I have a brother with autism. He is a sophomore. And the whole process of going through e-learning and remote learning with him is completely different than me. My parents are both working full time, so a lot of the responsibility has come from me and my sister all pitching in, helping him out. He's a normal kid. He misses school, too, and I think this is hurting everybody. This is difficult on every single person, and I feel like this is just making everybody see how much we really need to value, like, when we are in instruction and in classes.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's 17-year-old Alex Ketcham. We also heard from 14-year-old Zara Linneman, 12-year-old Hana Abdur-Rahman and 11-year-old Izzy Peoples. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.