The Story Seeds Podcast

Coronavirus PSA: How to Fight the New Bad Guy in Town by Jason Reynolds

Episode Summary

There’s a new bad guy in town and his name is COVID-19, aka Coronavirus. In a special PSA for The Story Seeds Podcast, Jason Reynolds, the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, gives kids (and grownups!) eight everyday tips for fighting germs and staying healthy, plus an example of a recipe homemade hand sanitizer (for all those slime makers out there). 3/16/2020 Note: This episode has been updated to reflect the new social distancing guidelines. When listening, please alert your kids that in order to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, now is a good time to hang out with your FAMILY in cozy, germ-free places like YOUR OWN HOME, not to go to your friends homes or have your friends over. Please practice #SocialDistancingNow

Episode Notes

There's a new bad guy in town and his name is COVID-19, AKA, the novel Coronavirus.  Although Coronavirus has already made many, many people around the world really sick, you don't have to feel helpless.  Information is power. On this special PSA for The Story Seeds Podcast, Jason Reynolds, National Book Award finalist and the 2020 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, inspires us to be everyday superheroes in the fight to stop the spread of Coronavirus. He shares eight simple things kids (and their grownups) can do to fight germs everyday ... plus a recipe for home-made hand sanitizer. 

We recommend these additional resources for families & schools
The Coronavirus Outbreak: What Parents Should Know (UNICEF)
Just for Kids:  A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus (NPR) Coronavirus Explained! (for kids) (Dr. Michelle Dickinson aka Nanogirl)
Illustrated free printables for handwashing to the tune of "Frere Jacques" (by cartoonist Lucy Kinsley)
How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus (PBS for Parents)
Answering Kids' Questions about Coronavirus (Tumble Science Podcast for Kids, also available in Spanish

Media mentioned in this episode: 

Books: Ghost, Look Both Ways, and Stamped by Jason Reynolds and the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
TV & Film: Frozen, The Avengers: Infinity War

About The Story Seeds Podcast

Our podcast celebrates creativity and storytelling by putting kids and their imaginations at the same table with their favorite authors who grow their ideas into original stories. Subscribe to listen to Season One which runs from March 5-July 16, 2020 and features 10 author-kid collaborations and 10 behind the scenes author interviews with our host Betsy Bird.  Jason Reynolds will appear later this season along with the original story, Hoo and Wut, that he has grown from 12 year old Irthan's story seed. 

Calls to Action

Kids: Call The Story Seeds Hotline at 646-389-5153, email us at, or visit our website to submit your story ideas. You can also join The Story Seeds Society, our kids listeners club!

Grownups: Visit for subscription links, to sign up for our newsletter, and to download our printable activity e-zines for your kids (or the  kid in you!). You can also follow us on Instagram @storyseedspod, on Twitter @litsafarimedia, and on Facebook @literarysafari

Get our Imagination Lab: Experiments in Creativity activity book! It pairs perfectly with the podcast and features tons of episode-inspired prompts and projects! Order your copy here!

This episode is also available on YouTube. Subscribe here.

Show credits

Produced and written by Sandhya Nankani and Anjali Sakhrani. Scoring, mixing, and sound design is by Ania Grzesik and Matt Boynton of Ultraviolet Audio. Narrated by Jason Reynolds. Music by Andrew VanWyngarden, Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter/musician and co-founder of MGMT

The Story Seeds Podcast is a creation and production of Literary Safari

Episode Transcription

Hey Guys,

This is Jason Reynolds, the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. I’m the author of a bunch of stories you may have read, like Ghost and Look Both Ways. My latest book Stamped, which I co-authored with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, just came out too.

You know, at the heart of a good story is a problem. Think of the stories you know. Many of them have a villain. For example, Prince Hans from Frozen. Thanos from The Avengers. And Voldemort from Harry Potter. 

Well, there’s a new bad guy in town and his name is COVID-19, AKA, the Coronavirus. 

Coronavirus has already made many, many people around the world really sick. 

But, you don’t have to be superhuman or use magical spells to stop this bad guy. Since it invades your body through your eyes, nose, and mouth, here are 8 simple things you can start doing everyday to keep the Coronavirus away. (Whispers: Remind grownups too!)

One: Greet your friends with an elbow bump instead of your secret handshake

Two: If you see someone picking their nose, slip them a tissue

Three: Sneeze into your elbow, not your hands

Four: Use your knuckles instead of your fingers to press any buttons in public spaces -  like elevator doors, doorbells, or buzzers

Five: Wash your hands often, especially before you eat or after you use the bathroom. Soap both sides of your hands and in between your fingers until you see bubbles. Count to 20 or sing the Happy Birthday song from start to finish two times. Then rinse well with warm water.  

Six: When you turn the door knob or handle of a bathroom door (or any door for that matter), use your elbow or a paper towel 

Seven: Every day, after school, take a minute to wipe down your electronic devices like your phone, tablet or computer with a disinfectant wet wipe.

Eight: We’re all human and sometimes we forget to do these things, so make sure you always carry hand sanitizer. 

If your local pharmacy or drugstore is running low, you can stir up your own at home. Making hand sanitizer is actually as easy as making slime. Here’s one recipe you can try.

You will need:

Whisk the aloe and melted coconut oil together and let it cool. Then add the disinfectant of your choice and lavender essential oil to your concoction. And that’s it. It’s done. You can pour your hand sanitizer into a travel-size squeezy bottle and carry it with you wherever you go. 

Speaking of which, now is probably a good time to hang out  in cozy, germ-free places  where you can watch movies, play games, and even discover the pleasure of listening to podcasts. Like this one, The Story Seeds Podcast :)

So stay healthy and see you later this season on Story Seeds where I’ll be growing a story with my buddy Irthan from Brooklyn, New York City!