Demystifying Viruses

Of course, we know that the coronavirus is dramatically impacting daily life and can be lethal. But what, exactly, is a virus? And how and why is this one different from others?

Viruses cause diseases that range from mild — such as the common cold — to more serious, including influenza, HIV/AIDS, measles and COVID-19, among others. Viruses are tiny bits of genetic material (DNA or RNA) surrounded by a coat of protein. Tiny viruses enter the larger cells of a living host, such as a plant, animal or human. Once inside the cell, the virus sheds its protein coat. Its goal? To copy itself inside the host cell and make more viruses to attack other cells.

Viruses live inside cells, which protects them and makes them hard to treat. (Imagine trying to destroy something that is growing inside a sealed, hard plastic shell — without harming the shell!) Some viruses — such as those that cause polio or smallpox — can be avoided through vaccinations. Because it is new, the coronavirus does not yet have a vaccine, and people have not developed immunity to it.

The most effective way to combat most viruses, including the coronavirus, is by avoiding them. Frequent, careful hand-washing and physical distance from others (who may carry and can transmit the virus without having symptoms of COVID-19) are the best ways to protect yourself and your family from the coronavirus. For more information on the best ways to prevent COVID-19, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html

Distance Learning: Up Close and Challenging

Distance Learning: Up Close and Challenging

Distance Learning: Up Close and Challenging Once upon a time, “distance learning” might have sounded easy: Find resources, sit your kids down, and voilà, they "do school" while you mop the floor or hop on the computer to do your own job remotely. The reality is a lot...

October, 2020 Books

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October, 2020 Books October means autumn is in full swing! Here is a collection of books celebrating this magical season... We’re Off to Find the Witch’s House by Richard Krieb, illustrated by R.W. Alley On Halloween night, a group of children set out to find the...

October, 2020 Activities

October, 2020 Activities

October, 2020 Activities What happens to the leaves on the trees in the fall? World Farm Animals Day! What sounds would you hear on a farm? The first week of October is “Get Organized” week! What is something your child can organize in their life? I spy something...

Holiday Pretzel-palooza!  

Holiday Pretzel-palooza!  

Holiday Pretzel-palooza! The gift of food is always welcome, and with four different variations of one easy, basic recipe, everyone will have their favorite. And the best part? Preschool kids can measure, pour and make these almost on their own with just a bit of...

The Food Connection: Giving and Getting

The Food Connection: Giving and Getting

The Food Connection: Giving and Getting The holidays are all about friends, family and community. Even during a pandemic, they offer opportunities to teach children about giving and sharing. While challenges with food security are real and on the rise, connecting with...

Creating Low-Cost (and Meaningful) Holiday Traditions!

Creating Low-Cost (and Meaningful) Holiday Traditions!

Creating Low-Cost (and Meaningful) Holiday Traditions! If 2020 has stretched you a bit thin, you may wonder where to find time, energy and funds to make this holiday season festive. Fortunately, you just need a little ingenuity to maximize the fun, minimize the cost...

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