Through kids' eyes: Virus outbreak brings sadness, fear, joy

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Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Lilitha Jiphethu, 11, sings in her first language, Xhosa, inside her home in Orange Farm, South Africa, on Tuesday, April 28, 2020. I have a friend in Jesus. He is loving and hes not like any other friend. He is not deceitful. He is not ashamed of us. He is truthful, and He is love. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)

CHICAGO – These are children of the pandemic.

In the far-north Canadian town of Iqaluit, one boy has been glued to the news to learn everything he can about the coronavirus. A girl in Australia sees a vibrant future, tinged with sadness for the lives lost. A Rwandan boy is afraid the military will violently crack down on its citizens when his country lifts the lockdown.

There is melancholy and boredom, and a lot of worrying, especially about parents working amid the disease, grandparents suddenly cut off from weekend visits, friends seen only on a video screen.

Some children feel safe and protected. Others are scared. And yet, many also find joy in play, and even silliness.

Associated Press reporters around the world asked kids about living with the virus and to use art to show us what they believe the future might hold. Some sketched or painted, while others sang, danced ballet, built with LEGOs. A few just wanted to talk.

In the remote forests of northern California, one boy, a Karuk Indian, wrote a rap song to express his worries about how his tribe of just 5,000 will survive the pandemic.

Their worries are matched in many places by resilience and hope, for a life beyond the virus.

This is life under lockdown, through the eyes of children.