Academy for Social-Emotional Learning in Schools

Are People Looking Scary to You Lately? (A Story to Allay Children’s Fears)

  • April 1, 2020
  •    BY Susan Colacello (Contributor)

by Susan Colacello

Halloween is a fun time.  We get to dress up as our favorite character, put on costumes and sometimes even wear masks.  Sometimes those masks are meant to be scary, to make us look like a werewolf or monster. 

But, it’s not Halloween and there are lots of scary masks and costumes all around.  What’s going on? 

We all know that a serious virus called COVID-19 is making lots of people sick all over the world.  The thing that makes COVID-19 extra bad, is that it is very easy to give it to other people, even when you don’t know it.  So, people wear these masks to keep themselves safe. 

Right now, we are seeing a lot of masks, everywhere, and they are not Halloween masks. Should I be afraid of them?
No, not at all! These masks are here to help you and keep you from getting sick?

They help keep the people who take care of you in the hospital from getting sick too.
Masks may look scary at first, but they aren’t when you know they are helping you.

Let’s learn more about the strange things people are wearing to keep themselves safe and well.
This stuff is called PPE, Personal Protective Equipment. 

A picture like this can look pretty scary, right? Like astronauts or aliens.
But these people are doctors and nurses that are wearing medical clothing to keep them from getting sick and from getting you sick.
What PPE are these doctors are wearing?


• Masks– to keep them from breathing in and breathing out germs.



• Gloves – to keep them from getting germs on their hands that a patient may have on their body or may be on a surface.



• Goggles– to protect their eyes from germs. Germs enter your body through your eyes, nose and mouth.



• Suits– think of an astronaut suit! These protect the doctor from germs from head to toe.

If you get scared when you see a mask, think of how they are keeping you from germs that can get you sick.
Think about way masks can be fun. Like Halloween and even your favorite characters!

So next time you see someone on the street or on TV wearing a mask or PPE you do not have to be afraid, they are just trying to keep us all safe.

Susan Colacello, Director of School and Youth Engagement, Unified Champion Schools, Special Olympics New Jersey

    • April 1, 2020
  •    BY Susan Colacello (Contributor)
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