Published: 17th March 2020
Indian government uses Superhero Vaayu to tell your kids how to beat Corona
The dashing hero explains how it spreads "through touch, sneezing, coughing etc" and the commonly detected symptoms, besides schooling them on how the disease can be prevented
Amidst governments and authorities urging people to adopt social distancing and hygiene, the Government of India tweeted a video of its very own superhero to spread awareness about Coronavirus — Vaayu. The hero, dressed smartly in his multicoloured costume tells kids how to stay safe from the virus that has claimed three lives in the country and affected 130 others. "Co..Co..Coronavirus! Meet Vaayu who clears all queries related to Coronavirus and shares some healthy tips to defeat COVID-19," reads the tweet by @MyGovIndia. While "Co..Co..Coronavirus" might sound like you are cheering for the virus, it's not. It's just a kid stammering as he figures out the spelling.
In the two-minute-long animated video, three kids decide to ask Vaayu about Coronavirus and go to the park in search of him. Vaayu appears instantly and explains, "It is a virus that is spreading fast globally and causing the COVID-19 disease." The dashing hero goes on to explain how it spreads "through touch, sneezing, coughing etc" and the commonly detected symptoms of the disease.
"What precautions should we take?" asks one of the worried kids. "We need to maintain hygiene by washing hands properly and using hand sanitisers," says Vaayu and presents a step-by-step graphic guide of how to wash your hands properly — palm to palm, focus on wrists rinse well and then wipe with a clean towel.
But the kids are not done with the questions yet. Vaayu reiterates how to stay safe again and adds that one should visit a doctor if they are sick and also be sanskari and not shake hands but do namaste to avoid contact. The kids are finally satisfied and go home happy.
The @MyGovIndia has been running social media campaigns ever since the Coronavirus began to make baby steps outside China. Even though the citizen engagement platform of the government is not as popular as the PMO's handle there has been decent traffic on these posts and parents agree that videos like these are probably the best way to teach the kids now. "My daughter is always watching videos on YouTube. Content like this is the best way to reach them. It registers better than us parents telling them what to do," says Dev Sahay, father of a nine-year-old.
What Vaayu missed
With pandemics come rumours and conspiracy theories and Vaayu should talk about how eating ice-cream won't make you fall sick or how it is not transmitted from dogs and cats or that cow urine has not been proven to be a cure for this disease or any other in the next episode.