Local Medical Students Write Book To Help Kids Understand Coronavirus

May 29, 2020

Credit Loma Linda University Health

An illustrated book to help children understand the coronavirus pandemic written by two Loma Linda University Medical students has become an international success.

When Devon Scott, a Loma Linda University Medical student got to thinking about how confusing the COVID-19 pandemic is for adults he realized kids like his nephews and nieces must be struggling too. So, he called up his partner and fellow med school classmate Samantha Harris and pitched her the idea of a children’s book.

“You know, I thought it was an amazing idea," said Harris. "I thought it was something small we could contribute towards helping people cope with coronavirus.” 

Loma Linda University Medical students and authors of "Why We Stay at Home", Samantha Harris and Devon Scott.
Credit Loma Linda University Health

Harris, who is pursuing pediatrics, led the creative process and Scott who is pursuing orthopedic surgery, worked to find an illustrator. In just two weeks, their book "Why We Stay Home" became available online for free. They were hoping for 100 downloads.  Scott says since its April 23 release over 40,000 copies have been downloaded and that’s not just from the U.S. but places like Syria, Kenya, Brazil and Germany too.

“We were like, this is insane. We don’t have any network in these countries,” said Scott. 

The story follows two sisters, Millie and Suzie as they try to understand concepts like germs, quarantine and how social distancing and staying home -- even when you miss your friends-- will help people like grandma and grandpa who have a hard time fighting off germs.  

“The book is kind of like a conversation starter between parents and their little ones,” said Harris.

She says they received feedback from one mom who says the book helped her realize her kids were confused and so was able to answer their questions. Scott adds that it’s also about a bigger message.

“If we all stick together, we are going to get through this,” said Scott.

A message he says is not just for kids but for everyone.

To learn more visit www.millieandsuzie.com.