Beijing’s SARS Lockdown Taught My Children Resilience. Your Covid Kids Will Likely Be Fine.


This story also ran on The Washington Post. It can be republished for free.

Many parents are filled with angst as they prepare for their children to exit a year of pandemic isolation: Will it be OK to send them to school, per the recent recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention? Will school feel like school if students are masked and can’t trade snacks? Will children’s development be impaired by nearly a year of seeing few friends?

With 20-20 hindsight, I can provide some reassurance, because my kids were 8 and 10 when SARS hit Beijing nearly two decades ago, shutting down the city for months: Your children will likely be fine, and maybe even better as human beings for having lived through this tragic experience.

I’ve heard Americans say that SARS was not as bad as covid-19. It was if you lived in Beijing

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