Mayor Nirenberg, Justice Chapa host children’s town hall, answer questions on COVID-19

‘While this is something we need to take seriously, we don’t need to be afraid.’

Mayor Nirenberg, Justice Chapa host children’s town hall, answer questions on COVID-19 (Screenshot of children's town hall on Facebook)

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Justice Luz Elena Chapa, with the Fourth Court of Appeals, held a digital town hall Monday morning to answer some of the biggest questions San Antonio children had regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week, dozens of local kids submitted their questions in writing and through videos posted online. Both the mayor and Justice Chapa helped put their minds at ease with answers.

“While this is something we need to take seriously, we don’t need to be afraid. Yes, some people might be pretty sick, but scientists and doctors think that most people will be OK, especially children,” Mayor Nirenberg said.

Mayor Nirenberg's COVID-19 Children's Town Hall

We will be live for a Children's Town Hall on COVID-19 where Mayor Ron Nirenberg will connect with San Antonio's youngest residents to answer questions about the current pandemic.

Posted by City of San Antonio - Municipal Government on Monday, April 13, 2020

Mayor Nirenberg reassured children that by staying home, staying safe and maintaining social distancing, they are doing the right thing as the course of the virus continues.

“You might miss your friends and your classmates -- I know I do -- and I know they miss you, as well. So reach out to your parents and your school to find ways to talk to them," Nirenberg said. “Our city will be so much safer, cleaner and healthier because of what we have learned and will learn in the coming days.”

One child, Robert, asked city officials how San Antonio is going to prepare in case of another pandemic similar to COVID-19, if another one presents itself.

Mayor Nirenberg said pandemics typically occur every 100 years, and the city is doing all it can to combat the affects of the coronavirus.

“Pandemics only occur every 100 years on average. What we have to do is continue working with our partners around the world to understand these diseases...,” Nirenberg said in part.

Another child, Lucas, asked the mayor if he could ride his bike during quarantine, and the mayor assured him that it is acceptable, as long as social distancing is maintained and road safety rules are followed.

“As long as you have your parent’s permission, as long as you’re riding safely, and don’t get fooled just because there aren’t a lot of cars out on the street that you don’t have to observe all of the safety rules,” Nirenberg said. “Come back home after you get the fresh air.”

Mayor Nirenberg also reiterated safety guidelines when it comes to combating COVID-19 and reminded children of the five steps of proper hand-washing, which include the following:

  • Get hands wet
  • Make bubbles
  • Rub hands together
  • Rinse hands with water
  • Dry hands

To watch the full children’s town hall event, click here.

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.

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About the Author:

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.