WRIC: Congresswoman answers COVID-19 questions in virtual kids town hall

WRIC, KEYRIS MANZANARES

U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger hosted a virtual town hall meeting Friday afternoon to answer questions from Central Virginia children ‘navigating the changes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.’

“This virtual town hall will be an opportunity for me to hear directly from my younger constituents, Central Virginia’s children. I look forward to hearing and answering their questions, discussing what I have been doing to help others during this crisis, what they have been doing to adjust to the changes in our day-to-day lives, and other issues of interest to them. I hope parents and teachers will encourage their children to join the town hall and participate in this civic discussion,” Spanberger said.

Central Virginia children had the opportunity to speak with the congresswoman about altered school routines, separation from friends and other top-coronavirus topics.

Here are some of the questions they asked:

Q: “How are we going to restore our economy when this is over?”

Rep. Spanberger explained how the government has committed trillions of dollars in the immediacy of the virus.

“Right now it was right for us to address the immediacy of this crisis.” Rep. Spanberger said.

She also broke down what fiscal issues are for the young constituents, saying that they are money issues — how much money our country has and what we owe.

The congresswoman said the economy’s rebound will depend on if people are going out and spending. And also how quickly the state can stabilize its unemployment numbers.

Q: “What are you thinking the school day is going to look like when we get back?”

“The answer is I don’t know,” Rep. Spanberger said.

Everyone wants to get back to a place where schools are doing more than just distributing information, Congresswoman Spanberger said. However, this will take some time.

The congress representative said she has spoken with superintendents and as we keep moving forward we will see what the best plan of action is for schools.

Spanberger said she would like to get back to a place where the schools can go back to being not just where you go and learn information, but learn about yourself and play sports.

Q: “How do we know that 6-ft is the closest we can get to others and should we stick to that rule?”

“6 ft is a really good guideline and a very safe distance to stay away, Spanberger said. “That is the distance that you are keeping yourself safe and others safe.”

Q: “Do masks really work?”

“The masks they don’t stop everything,” Rep. Spanberger answered. “That’s why you want to avoid playdates and all of the fun things we used to do.”

Q: Why hasn’t Virginia started to reopen?

“As of right now, Virginia has made some movement toward reopening and it will continue from there,” Rep. Spanberger said.

Spanberger said that decisions made on where Virginia should go from here are based on the state’s infection rate.

“At this point in time, we need to ensure we have a steady decline in cases, but we are not there yet,” Spanberger said, adding that it is not enough to reach a plateau, we have to see a decline in cases.

Q: What are you doing to make sure kids who are out of school right now are ready for the next school year?

Rep. Spanberger said that teachers are doing a really good job right now. They are providing lessons and helping students get ready for next year. The congresswoman said she is working hard to get everyone in her district wifi access to they are better prepared.

“Our teachers need to make sure they are adapting next year,” Spanberger said.

What is the coronavirus and why is this such a big problem for Virginia right now?

“The coronavirus is a type of virus that is very very contagious,” Spanberger answered, adding that it is a challenge for Virginia because people who get the virus can get really sick or in other cases not even know they have it.

 

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