ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Education
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags antibiotics , bacteria , Coronavirus , viruses

Reply
Old 14th April 2020, 02:24 AM   #1
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 12,927
Teach a 5-year-old what a virus is

This Easter weekend we had another one of those Trump moments where you think to yourself: Is this the dumbest man alive? Why does he pretend to know stuff when he makes it so obvious to (almost) everybody that he doesn't?

49 sec:"The germ has gotten brilliant" Donald Trump
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

He is certainly the most powerful man alive, he has the most brilliant scientific advisers that money can buy, and yet they haven't even been able to teach him the difference between bacteria and virus and why antibiotics are useful against one but useless against the other.

I don't think that the scientists are to blame for this, but leaving Trump's attention deficit and narcissism aside, how would you explain to an actual 5-year-old what the difference is between virus and bacteria?
After all, this forum is the successor of the James Randi Educational Foundation, so is anybody up to the challenge?
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 14th April 2020 at 02:43 AM.
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th April 2020, 05:06 AM   #2
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 12,927
It occurred to me that in order to get through to a five-year-old, visualization will probably help a lot. I took a look at what YouTube has to offer in this respect:


Viruses and Bacteria: What's the difference and who cares anyway? - Plain and Simple (8 min.)
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

Plain and simpe? Yes, but no, not really. Sentences and words are too long and complicated:
”Bacteria are cellular creatures of microscopic size; most of their bodies consist of cytoplasm, a gooey organic substance, in which a bunch of biochemical processes take place.”
In spite of the appeal of ”gooey substances”, any five-year-old (or somebody with the mentality of a five-year-old), will have left the room by now.


Why You Shouldn’t Take Antibiotics for a Cold or Virus (1 min.)
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

It's not wrong as instruction, but you don’t really get to know what the two things are, so you also won't really know what the difference between the two things is.


Virus vs Bacteria (3 min.)
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

This one is also very instructional: How does it feel? And what do you do? But you won't really understand why it is so.


Bacterial vs. Viral Infections - Dr. Andreeff, CHOC Children's (4:25 min.)
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

I had high hopes for this one because of "CHOC Children's", but it's an instructional video for parents, not for children, and I'm not sure how much parents will understand if they don't already know what the difference between bacteria and virus is.


Bacteria and viruses - What's the difference? (3:20 min.)
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

This one isn't bad and could be used by a parent to tell a child about the two thing, but it would probably need a bit of elaboration along the way.


Good Germs vs. Bad Germs (3 min.)
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

This one is probably the best. I think it gets some very important messages across to its viewers, five-year-olds as well as some adults, I suppose. It has very childish cartoons, but explains the difference between bacteria and virus as well as the difference between malicious and benevolent bacteria, that antibiotics don't work against virus, and that using them frivolously may even cause some bacteria to develop resistance to antibiotics.
But sentences like these probably makes parental guidance necessary: [i]"Viruses, on the other hand, are tiny pieces of genetic code that literally hacks cells and reprogram them to make more viruses."

So good luck, Dr. Fauci! We don't envy the job you've taken upon yourself to do!
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th April 2020, 05:21 AM   #3
alfaniner
Penultimate Amazing
 
alfaniner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 24,079
Originally Posted by dann View Post
...
But sentences like these probably makes parental guidance necessary: [i]"Viruses, on the other hand, are tiny pieces of genetic code that literally hacks cells and reprogram them to make more viruses."

So good luck, Dr. Fauci! We don't envy the job you've taken upon yourself to do!
Bacteria are apps. They can be good or bad.
Viruses are hackers. They can cause a little mischief, or crash the system.
__________________
Science is self-correcting.
Woo is self-contradicting.
alfaniner is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th April 2020, 08:25 AM   #4
Lukraak_Sisser
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 3,866
Another analogy could be something along the lines of a door.

Antibiotics are a door that will keep a dog out of the pantry, but it does nothing to stop ants.

*edited to add*
you could even expand that to explain antibiotic resistance, some dogs learn how to use doorhandles.

Last edited by Lukraak_Sisser; 15th April 2020 at 08:26 AM.
Lukraak_Sisser is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th April 2020, 01:08 PM   #5
Planigale
Illuminator
 
Planigale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: 49 North
Posts: 4,389
Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
Bacteria are apps. They can be good or bad.
Viruses are hackers. They can cause a little mischief, or crash the system.
Viruses are viruses. Bacteria are computers (or cells are computers). Viruses (bacteriophages) can infect computers, they can use the computer hardware to reproduce themselves and send out multiple copies to other computers the infected computer comes in contact with. (One can then introduce the concept of USB drives as vectors if discussing arboviruses.)

Humans are then like the world wide web / internet. They consist of millions of servers / computers (cells). If only a few are infected by a virus then things go on pretty much the same. But if a lot get infected then the internet / www crashes.
Planigale is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th April 2020, 01:32 PM   #6
sphenisc
Philosopher
 
sphenisc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 5,330
Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
Viruses are viruses. Bacteria are computers (or cells are computers). Viruses (bacteriophages) can infect computers, they can use the computer hardware to reproduce themselves and send out multiple copies to other computers the infected computer comes in contact with. (One can then introduce the concept of USB drives as vectors if discussing arboviruses.)

Humans are then like the world wide web / internet. They consist of millions of servers / computers (cells). If only a few are infected by a virus then things go on pretty much the same. But if a lot get infected then the internet / www crashes.
And 5G helps the viruses spread faster! I knew it!
__________________
"The cure for everything is salt water - tears, sweat or the sea." Isak Dinesen
sphenisc is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th April 2020, 01:17 AM   #7
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 12,927
Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
Viruses are viruses. Bacteria are computers (or cells are computers). Viruses (bacteriophages) can infect computers, they can use the computer hardware to reproduce themselves and send out multiple copies to other computers the infected computer comes in contact with. (One can then introduce the concept of USB drives as vectors if discussing arboviruses.)

Humans are then like the world wide web / internet. They consist of millions of servers / computers (cells). If only a few are infected by a virus then things go on pretty much the same. But if a lot get infected then the internet / www crashes.

I'm sure most five-year-olds would appreciate this comparison!
And I can see that we have now come full circle: Early versions of malware were described using the analogy virus, and now computervirus is used as an analogy to explain actual virus!
(By the way, I'm pretty sure that "viruses (bacteriophages)" cannot infect my computer!)

I'm not too fond of analogies when trying to explain things to five-year-olds. They often make things more complicated than they need to be, in particular when you have to explain the analogies.
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th April 2020, 01:49 AM   #8
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 12,927
Originally Posted by Lukraak_Sisser View Post
Another analogy could be something along the lines of a door.

Antibiotics are a door that will keep a dog out of the pantry, but it does nothing to stop ants.

*edited to add*
you could even expand that to explain antibiotic resistance, some dogs learn how to use doorhandles.

Wouldn't it be easier to explain actual virus evolution instead of comparing it to learning? Bacteria are as incapable of learning as LEGO bricks.
I think that a five-year-old could understand that:
'bacteria are these little creatures that sometimes make you sick, and they can be killed with pills or injections called antibiotics. But if you don't use enough to kill all of them, the ones that survive can reproduce, and in the end they get better and better at surviving and reproducing in spite of the antibiotics. We say that they have become resistant to antibiotics.'

It might be necessary to explain that, unlike virus, bacteria have a kind of metabolism and can therefore be attacked in ways that virus can't be:

Quote:
Antibiotics fight bacterial infections either by killing bacteria or slowing and suspending its growth. They do this by:
- attacking the wall or coating surrounding bacteria
- interfering with bacteria reproduction
- blocking protein production in bacteria
How do antibiotics work against bacteria? (Healthline)

I would probably try to find another way of describing "protein production". Five-year-olds are usually familiar with the idea that when we eat and digest, the food is turned into stuff that the body needs.
So, in principle, when we fight bacteria with antibiotics, we can stab them, we can castrate* them, and we can starve or poison them!

* In Denmark, five-year-olds are familiar with the concept of human (and animal) reproduction. If they aren't where you live, you should consider explaining it to them as part of the preparations for a pandemic!
Anyway, human reproduction is one of the few things that Dr. Fauci probably won't have to explain.
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 16th April 2020 at 01:50 AM.
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th April 2020, 04:50 AM   #9
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 12,927
PS

Originally Posted by Lukraak_Sisser View Post
Another analogy could be something along the lines of a door.

Antibiotics are a door that will keep a dog out of the pantry, but it does nothing to stop ants.

*edited to add*
you could even expand that to explain antibiotic resistance, some dogs learn how to use doorhandles.

The last video on my list above, Good Germs vs. Bad Germs, also uses the learning analogy: 1:35 ff:

Like I said, parental guidance (and elaboration!) is necessary when watching it. It cannot stand alone. Otherwise, the childish mind will make mistakes like the one we've already heard: "The germ has gotten brilliant."
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 16th April 2020 at 05:04 AM.
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th April 2020, 09:04 AM   #10
Lukraak_Sisser
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 3,866
Originally Posted by dann View Post
Wouldn't it be easier to explain actual virus evolution instead of comparing it to learning? Bacteria are as incapable of learning as LEGO bricks.
I think that a five-year-old could understand that:
'bacteria are these little creatures that sometimes make you sick, and they can be killed with pills or injections called antibiotics. But if you don't use enough to kill all of them, the ones that survive can reproduce, and in the end they get better and better at surviving and reproducing in spite of the antibiotics. We say that they have become resistant to antibiotics.'

It might be necessary to explain that, unlike virus, bacteria have a kind of metabolism and can therefore be attacked in ways that virus can't be:



I would probably try to find another way of describing "protein production". Five-year-olds are usually familiar with the idea that when we eat and digest, the food is turned into stuff that the body needs.
So, in principle, when we fight bacteria with antibiotics, we can stab them, we can castrate* them, and we can starve or poison them!

* In Denmark, five-year-olds are familiar with the concept of human (and animal) reproduction. If they aren't where you live, you should consider explaining it to them as part of the preparations for a pandemic!
Anyway, human reproduction is one of the few things that Dr. Fauci probably won't have to explain.
My experience as a teacher is that 15 year olds who chose biology and chemistry as subject in high school barely understand how basic genetics work, and get metabolism and the actual mechanics of reproduction wrong.

If you know a five year old that would actually understand what you said, kudos to them. You asked for a way which would make it understandable and I gave an analogy that might trigger them by linking it to daily subjects.
Of course they'll also be interested in it for 2 seconds and then be talking about a different subject given a five year olds usual attention span.
Lukraak_Sisser is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th April 2020, 10:04 AM   #11
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 12,927
I know about the attention span of five-year-olds - and the attention span of people with the minds of five-year-olds. This is why I think that a three-minute-long video supplied with a few elaborations from a parent or a teacher might do the trick. I don't expect them to get more than the most basic idea of the evolution of germs, but I would still prefer that to computer analogies.

As a high-school English teacher, I sometimes discussed creationism with my students and often ended up playing the devil's advocate when I noticed that they had accepted the idea of evolution without really understanding it. I used the evolution of the eye as my example, a favourite of creationists, and the first time I did so, I was astonished to see them accept my argument, which went something like this:

'Well, you know, it's easy to see how legs might have evolved: Fish living in very shallow waters might have sometimes used their pelvic fins to push themselves forward. (And we know that fish like that actually still (or again) exist.) So if the ones with stronger pelvic fins stood a better chance of surviving, that would be a step on the ladder of evolution eventually leading to legs. So even 'half a leg' would be useful.
But what would be the use of half an eye? An eye is too complicated. You need the photoreceptive cells, the nerves connecting them to the brain, the lens, the muscles to point the eye in different directions etc., and all these things have to work together. Half an eye would obviously be no use at all to any creature.
So how can the eye have come into being when the eye cannot possibly be the result of evolution?'


I never failed, not even once. I always managed to persuade them of this - before showing them a short YouTube video about the actual evolution(s) of the eye(s)!

We have to make the job of being a creationist much more difficult than it is now. It is much too easy. We have to start early. And we have to make sure that children's understanding of evolution evolves to the point where they actually understand the reality of evolution.
Pence could probably convince Trump of creationism if he ever seriously took it upon himself to try.

'Let us all kneel and pray to God that he makes the virus devolve and stop being so damn brilliant.'
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th April 2020, 06:57 AM   #12
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 12,927
Because I was so preoccupied with the backstory of germs in general and the difference between virus and bacteria, I didn't search for children's videos about the coronavirus specifically, but there are some of those, too:

What is coronavirus? Explained for kids (2 min.)
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

Sticklers will probably complain that it calls the virus, instead of the disease, Covid-19. Personally, I don’t care.
The video primarily instructs children about what to do (like washing your hands); there is very little about what a virus is.


What is Coronavirus? An explainer for children (2:30 min.) March 20, 2020.
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

This one has an absurd approach to storytelling, in my opinion. I’m not adverse to the idea of turning the coronavirus itself into first-person narrator, but it’s a literary tool that should be used with some caution. In this case, it makes me wonder: What was the intended purpose of making the coronavirus so damn cute? In particular, when we are also told that it “can make some people very sick. But I don’t hang around for long and almost everyone gets better.”
Isn't that awfully nice?
To me, that doesn’t sound like something (someone) to be afraid of, and I can see why you wouldn’t want to scare children too much, but in this version the coronavirus sounds more like a wonderful playmate to keep you company in times of quarantine when there aren't too many playmates around; something that it might even be fun to share with your grannies instead of trying to kill her with soap!
However, towards the end it does say that sharing it with your grandparents is not a good idea!


The Coronavirus explained to children (3 min.)
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

Even though it leaves out bacteria, evolution and antibiotics, this one is probably my favourite because it works well as a way of giving children an idea of why it’s important for them to wash their hands etc. – and how it may not affect children much, but is a much more serious illness for teachers, parents and grandparents.


And then there is this one, which is not specifically about the coronavirus, but considering the date, I find it hard to believe that they didn't have it in mind:
How does your immune system work? (6 min.) April 10, 2020!!!
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

It's much longer than the others, but it also deals with more information than those.
However, I think it complicates things too much with too many details and concepts:
“lymph nodes, lymph vessels, lymphocytes, white blood cells, bone marrow, skin and much more. (...) “white blood cells, also called leucocytes” (...) “phagocytes and lymphocytes” “macrophages and dendridic cells” "T-cells".
I don't think that children will remember half of those anyway. I don't!
But it contains this gem that I think Dr. Fauci could use, and I am sure that Trump would appreciate it:
”Our body has developed a high-tech, super-advanced defense mechanism called the immune system to protect you from this unwanted infectious guest and keep you safe and healthy.”

I will build a high-tech, super-advanced defense wall to keep out unwanted infectious 'guests'!
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 17th April 2020 at 07:00 AM.
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th April 2020, 09:54 AM   #13
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 84,635
Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
Bacteria are apps. They can be good or bad.
Viruses are hackers. They can cause a little mischief, or crash the system.
Considering the 5 yr old in question, this seems like you are going in the wrong direction assuming he understands anything about the internet except Twitter.
__________________
Trump lost and he knows it.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th April 2020, 11:05 AM   #14
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 12,927
Something about retweeting malignant tweets might get through to him!
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th April 2020, 11:34 AM   #15
Beelzebuddy
Philosopher
 
Beelzebuddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 7,951
If you have Netflix, the "Why do we get sick?" episode of Ask the Storybots is a top-notch primer.
Beelzebuddy is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th April 2020, 01:12 PM   #16
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 12,927
I don't have Netflix. Do you mean this one?
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

It appears to be more entertaining than educational, but it could probably be used as a starting point for a discussion about germs and the immune system.
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th April 2020, 02:05 PM   #17
Beelzebuddy
Philosopher
 
Beelzebuddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 7,951
Originally Posted by dann View Post
I don't have Netflix. Do you mean this one?
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

It appears to be more entertaining than educational, but it could probably be used as a starting point for a discussion about germs and the immune system.
You just saw a macrophage presenting antigens to a T helper cell, kicking off an immune response. They didn't say "kids, this is how it happens," but that's how it happens. They keep going through the immune system, working in an Attack on Titan parody along the way.

Also wash yer hands, ya filthy little animals.
Beelzebuddy is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th April 2020, 11:33 AM   #18
Planigale
Illuminator
 
Planigale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: 49 North
Posts: 4,389
Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
You just saw a macrophage presenting antigens to a T helper cell, kicking off an immune response. They didn't say "kids, this is how it happens," but that's how it happens. They keep going through the immune system, working in an Attack on Titan parody along the way.

Also wash yer hands, ya filthy little animals.
Unlike flu we can't blame covid on the filthy little mammals.
Planigale is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th April 2020, 02:17 PM   #19
alfaniner
Penultimate Amazing
 
alfaniner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 24,079
Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
Unlike flu we can't blame covid on the filthy little mammals.
As points of transmission? I think we can.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg votd.jpg (53.6 KB, 3 views)
__________________
Science is self-correcting.
Woo is self-contradicting.

Last edited by alfaniner; 19th April 2020 at 02:22 PM.
alfaniner is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th April 2020, 02:32 PM   #20
Elagabalus
Philosopher
 
Elagabalus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 6,742
Originally Posted by dann View Post
Teach a 5-year-old what a virus is...

And he'll be one for the rest of his life.
Elagabalus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th April 2020, 04:01 AM   #21
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 12,927
Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
As points of transmission? I think we can.

I'm not so sure that we can. In general, children seem to be far less contagious than adults:
Islandske test: Børn smitter langt mindre end voksne (Ingeniøren, April 7, 2020)
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st April 2020, 08:36 AM   #22
Klimax
NWO Cyborg 5960x (subversion VPUNPCKHQDQ)
 
Klimax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Starship Wanderer - DS9
Posts: 13,239
How about classic:
Once upon a time... life
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zj6G...598123&index=1

(For some reason I like Czech dub better than English)
__________________
ModBorg

Engine: Ibalgin 400
Klimax is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th April 2020, 02:47 AM   #23
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 12,927
Originally Posted by Klimax View Post
How about classic:
Once upon a time... life
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zj6G...598123&index=1

(For some reason I like Czech dub better than English)

I blame myself for thinking that an attempt at reaching the particular childish mind that I was thinking of when I wrote the OP could be successful.
I am not sure that it would be expedient to try to teach ordinary five-year-olds about all the different elements that the immune system consists of, but in the case of the president, it would seem to be adamant to start any explanation with the difference between, on the one hand, exposing germs in a petri dish to ultraviolet light or pouring bleach into the dish and, on the other hand, fighting off infections in the human body.
Anything beyond that, and all the cartoons go far beyond that, would fail, I'm afraid.
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 30th April 2020 at 02:49 AM.
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2020, 05:19 AM   #24
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 12,927
A mom is recreating popular children's book covers to help explain the pandemic to kids (CNN, May 13, 2020)
I hope the creative mother will also come up with a do-over of the covers of such classics as:

Whose Boat Is This Boat?
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

and
A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo:
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

There is nothing wrong with the ones she already did, but I fear they wouldn't catch the attention of the toddlers in the White House.

I was impressed by the 5-year-olds in this short (1:42) video:
How do you explain coronavirus to young children? (BBC, April 17, 2020).
They don't seem to know much about viruses, but if they had been U.S. presidential advisers (and if the president had listened to their advice, of course), I'm pretty sure that the death toll in the USA would have been lower than it is at this point: 88,523.
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th May 2020, 12:43 PM   #25
Segnosaur
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 16,344
Originally Posted by dann View Post
...how would you explain to an actual 5-year-old what the difference is between virus and bacteria?
Have them infected by both Ebola and the Plague.
__________________
Trust me, I know what I'm doing. - Sledgehammer

I'm Mary Poppin's Y'all! - Yondu

We are Groot - Groot
Segnosaur is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd May 2020, 08:14 AM   #26
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 12,927
I don't have much confidence in that technique. People were infected by both bacteria and viruses for at least 300,000 years without anybody noticing any real difference.

And nowadays, grownups still implore their doctors to prescribe antibiotics even when they have just been told that they have a virus.

We are not particularly good at distinguishing between two things that affect us in a similar way when we can't otherwise tell the difference. I guess that's why so many of us still take homeopathic drugs against diseases that the immunesystem copes with on its own.

I don't know if there are any very localized and relatively harmless viral and bacterial infections that you could children give and then let them treat on their own: warts and boils, maybe? Let that be a lesson to you!
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd June 2020, 01:31 PM   #27
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 12,927
I stumbled on this short video (4 min.) from The Atlantic with kids talking about the pandemic. They are older, 9 to 11, than the children I considered when starting this thread, and they don't really try to explain viruses. They have obviously been informed by parents, teachers, the media and their peers about what the pandemic is, and their focus is on what to do to avoid infections, and they are concerned about their own health and that of their grandparents.

They don't come across as precocious in any way, and yet it strikes me how mature and sincere they are in comparison to a certain guy who talks far too much about this theme.

The Atlantic (April 14, 2020): Kids Explain the Coronavirus

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

Quote:
The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the challenges of parenting into sharp relief. But what about the children? In a new documentary from The Atlantic, dozens of kids share their thoughts, opinions, and feelings about the international crisis.
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2020, 11:50 AM   #28
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 12,927
He still doesn't get it. He doesn't get it!

I think it is time to warm up this thread again since its theme has been made much more urgent by very recent events:

Trump falsely claims children almost immune (CNN, Aug. 5, 2020)
Quote:
"He still doesn't get it," the source said. "He does not get it."
(…)
As some members of the task force tried to stress the dire nature of the situation to the President, the source said Trump repeatedly attempted to change the subject.
"He starts talking about something else," the source said.
Trump still not grasping the severity of the pandemic, source tells CNN (CNN, Aug. 5, 2020)

Fortunately, I stumbled on the following website last week, which offers four points of very good advice:

Quote:
1. Start by acknowledging that it is OK to be concerned
2. Find the balance in consuming news
3. Let them know the facts and offer safety
4. Talk about vulnerability and responsibility
Talking to your children about the coronavirus pandemic (MentalHealthFoundation.co.uk, July 30, 2020)

1. I find this part very important:
"Go through all their concerns and questions with them, rather than well-meaningly dismissing their feelings by telling them everything is fine. Try sharing with them that you also find events like this worrying.
(...)
You would want them to leave the conversation realising that, although bad things can happen, many people including world-leading experts are working very hard to reduce the impact of the pandemic, so they do not need to be scared all the time."

But I would probably leave out this bit: "Let them know that you can balance up these worries with the knowledge that they will likely not come true."
He already seems to be living in a dream world of his own, denying almost all parts of reality.
In the case in point, there also seems to be no reason whatsoever to worry about this happening:
"Children pick up more than we realise, and they may misinterpret or keep their feelings hidden from you."

2. The importance of this warning can't be emphasized enough:
"Small doses of real-life news from trustworthy sources are really helpful. Lots of exposure can do harm, because children can become fixated on a news story and repeatedly look at news coverage relating to it."
However, I feel ambiguous about this advice:
"Avoid turning the television off or closing web pages when they come in to the room. This can spark their interest in knowing what's really going on – and that is when their imagination can take over."
Sparking their interest would be an improvement in the case we're dealing with, wouldn't it? The imagination of the toddler has already taken over and needs to be put in its place with a big dose of reality.

3. There are too many lies about the pandemic out there, and a childish mind can easily be led astray, so it must be stressed that "the best way to communicate safety is by talking about worrying news with open, confident, clear and truthful facts. Talk to them about what they can do to look after themselves and others, explaining the importance of hand washing, for example. It’s also a good opportunity to talk about the benefits of kindness."
This is of particular importance when dealing with empathy-impaired children!
"Check in with them regularly to ask if they are discussing the pandemic with friends" - but warn him that discussing the pandemic with Fox & Friends is a no no!

4. In the case in point, responsibility should be stressed since he is so easily distracted:
"Talk to your children about what it means to be vulnerable (i.e. belonging to a high risk group as defined by the NHS) in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and explain how many of the responses to it have been put in place to help protect those who are vulnerable.
You can use this as an opportunity for teaching children to grow into responsible citizens. Abiding by the measures – such as not going out and gathering with other people – means understanding that there is something bigger than individuals, and that we should protect each other."

Again: When dealing with the empathy-impaired, this is of utmost importance!
"Remind them that bullying is always wrong, and that we should each do our part to spread kindness and support each other."
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 5th August 2020 at 11:57 AM.
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th August 2020, 05:26 PM   #29
Emily's Cat
Rarely prone to hissy-fits
 
Emily's Cat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: The Wettest Desert on Earth
Posts: 13,222
Honestly, if someone can explain it to me, as an adult, in a way that makes a material difference, I'd appreciate it. So far I've got:
- Bacteria are tiny little animals that get in your body and reproduce... and make you sick
- Viruses are tiny little machines that get in your cells and make copies of themselves... and make you sick
- Fungi are tiny little plants that get in your body and try to grow there... and make you sick

- Your body produces antibodies that can attack some bacteria and some viruses, but aren't very good at attacking other bacteria or viruses, and I don't know if they're any good at attacking fungi or not.
- Antibiotics work on bacteria but not on viruses or fungi; some antibiotics work on a lot of bacteria, but some bacteria need special kinds of antibiotics, and some bacteria are really tough and hard to kill even with strong antibiotics
- Antivirals work on viruses (but not fungi or bacteria) but are kind of specific, and some viruses we don't have antivirals for at all
- Antifugals are a mystery to me, I don't know if they're specific or general

All of them are little bitty things that make you sick and some of them our bodies are good at fighting off and some of them we aren't and some of them have medicine that helps and others don't and basically tiny little invisible things can be a lot of trouble. They just go about it a bit differently. Some are weeds that make a lot of other weeds and clog up your body's systems. Some are animals that breed like rats and clog up your body's systems. Some are machines that are like psychotic photocopiers that clog up your body's systems.
__________________
I am me. I am just me. I'm a little like other cats... but mostly I am just me.

Last edited by Emily's Cat; 10th August 2020 at 05:27 PM.
Emily's Cat is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th August 2020, 11:48 PM   #30
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 12,927
You are waaaay beyond the presidential level already, and I think I'll leave it to the professionals, Rolfe, for instance, to comment on most of your ideas, but there are a few that are wrong:

1. A fungus is not a plant. It is easy to think of (some of) them as such because we see them grow in the woods or on our lawns much like plants do, apparently, but they are actually very different. For instance, they don't grow by using sunlight to produce sugars: They have no chlorophyll.

2. You know that a virus is not really alive. It has no metabolism. But like life, it reproduces and evolves - hence the mutations of viruses that we hear about all the time.
But there are better analogies than "little machines". The best one is probably that of a "computer virus", which, of course, is already an analogy of actual viruses.
So you could describe viruses as little pieces of software (RNA) that program the hardware of the cells to produce copies of the virus. RNA, i.e. what the virus actually smuggles into the cells, is already referred to with the analogy code. Virus: Replication cycle (Wikipedia)

3. There is more to the immune system than just antibodies. This is important in the discussion of SARS-CoV-2 because the infection may still have produced immunity even if a test shows that you have no antibodies. But I think that the researchers still don't know if that's the case with the coronavirus.
cf. the video proposed by Beelzebuddy in post 15.
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 10th August 2020 at 11:50 PM.
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th August 2020, 11:30 AM   #31
Emily's Cat
Rarely prone to hissy-fits
 
Emily's Cat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: The Wettest Desert on Earth
Posts: 13,222
I know a fungus isn't a plant. But the distinction is relatively technical and in layman's parlance, mushrooms count as a vegetable serving.

I know viruses aren't alive. I use "little machines" rather than computer viruses to avoid the tautology. I tend to think of them more like hypothetical nanobots that use cells to replicate themselves.

I also know the immune system is more complicated than just antibodies. But just explaining antibodies is enough of a challenge for a 5-year old, and I lack sufficient knowledge of anything other than basic antibodies so I simply don't address it.

__________________
I am me. I am just me. I'm a little like other cats... but mostly I am just me.
Emily's Cat is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th August 2020, 02:59 PM   #32
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 12,927
But the 'machines' are part of the cell, which is why a piece of code is the better analogy:
Very short animation: How Do Viruses Reproduce?
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th August 2020, 05:14 PM   #33
Beelzebuddy
Philosopher
 
Beelzebuddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 7,951
Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
Honestly, if someone can explain it to me, as an adult, in a way that makes a material difference, I'd appreciate it. So far I've got:
- Bacteria are tiny little animals that get in your body and reproduce... and make you sick
- Viruses are tiny little machines that get in your cells and make copies of themselves... and make you sick
- Fungi are tiny little plants that get in your body and try to grow there... and make you sick

- Your body produces antibodies that can attack some bacteria and some viruses, but aren't very good at attacking other bacteria or viruses, and I don't know if they're any good at attacking fungi or not.
- Antibiotics work on bacteria but not on viruses or fungi; some antibiotics work on a lot of bacteria, but some bacteria need special kinds of antibiotics, and some bacteria are really tough and hard to kill even with strong antibiotics
- Antivirals work on viruses (but not fungi or bacteria) but are kind of specific, and some viruses we don't have antivirals for at all
- Antifugals are a mystery to me, I don't know if they're specific or general

All of them are little bitty things that make you sick and some of them our bodies are good at fighting off and some of them we aren't and some of them have medicine that helps and others don't and basically tiny little invisible things can be a lot of trouble. They just go about it a bit differently. Some are weeds that make a lot of other weeds and clog up your body's systems. Some are animals that breed like rats and clog up your body's systems. Some are machines that are like psychotic photocopiers that clog up your body's systems.
Imagine one of your cells as a house. Bacteria smash a window with a brick and grab as much stuff as they can before the cops show up. Viruses knock politely, then stick their foot in the door, barge in, eat your food and order crap from Amazon until you're broke.

Antibiotics are drugs designed to **** up anyone holding a brick. This can be a problem because part of your immune system is a line of guys with bricks smashing food until it's small enough to digest. Overuse of antibiotics can also result in more guys who use bats instead.

Antivirals similarly target viruses, but it's harder to catch them since they hide in cells trying on your clothes and watching pay-per-view. You need enough stuff in the system to catch them en route to the next cell often enough to make a difference. So the treatments are usually less effective, to the point where you might as well wait for your immune system to build up naturally and put a cop on every corner, if it doesn't kill you in the process.
Beelzebuddy is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th August 2020, 07:06 AM   #34
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 12,927
I don't understand what exactly the Amazon analogy corresponds to.

I like this one, in particular the question from a girl about Santa Claus and the one from a boy who has been washing his hands for a very long time and now wonders why the virus still hasn't gone away!
Dr. Sanjay Gupta answers kids' coronavirus questions (CNN, Aug. 8, 2020)
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

But I don't think I would use terms like preexisting conditions or talk about percentages when answering a question from a six-year-old.
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th August 2020, 09:56 AM   #35
Emily's Cat
Rarely prone to hissy-fits
 
Emily's Cat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: The Wettest Desert on Earth
Posts: 13,222
Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
Imagine one of your cells as a house. Bacteria smash a window with a brick and grab as much stuff as they can before the cops show up. Viruses knock politely, then stick their foot in the door, barge in, eat your food and order crap from Amazon until you're broke.

Antibiotics are drugs designed to **** up anyone holding a brick. This can be a problem because part of your immune system is a line of guys with bricks smashing food until it's small enough to digest. Overuse of antibiotics can also result in more guys who use bats instead.

Antivirals similarly target viruses, but it's harder to catch them since they hide in cells trying on your clothes and watching pay-per-view. You need enough stuff in the system to catch them en route to the next cell often enough to make a difference. So the treatments are usually less effective, to the point where you might as well wait for your immune system to build up naturally and put a cop on every corner, if it doesn't kill you in the process.
I love this analogy! I'm giggling out loud at my home-desk, and almost choked on my mouthful of tea!
__________________
I am me. I am just me. I'm a little like other cats... but mostly I am just me.
Emily's Cat is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th October 2020, 01:03 AM   #36
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 12,927
Stegosaurus already suggested something similar:

Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Have them infected by both Ebola and the Plague.

It remains to be seen how much Trump actually learned, but even if it turns out to have been effective, it is not a method I would recommend for 5-year-olds: Trump "Learned A Lot" About COVID-19 By Going To "Real School" (NDTV, Oct. 5, 2020)
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 5th October 2020 at 01:05 AM.
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2020, 03:38 AM   #37
Naval Diplomat
Student
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: United States
Posts: 26
Originally Posted by dann View Post
Stegosaurus already suggested something similar:




It remains to be seen how much Trump actually learned, but even if it turns out to have been effective, it is not a method I would recommend for 5-year-olds: Trump "Learned A Lot" About COVID-19 By Going To "Real School" (NDTV, Oct. 5, 2020)
I heard he never made it to "real school". Bone spurs and what not.
Naval Diplomat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd October 2020, 01:56 PM   #38
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 12,927
He seems to be very confident about his own immunity and even superpowers, so now that he has conquered corona, maybe it's time to convince him that he should become an ebola expert, too.
There are a lot of votes in that, I bet.
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th October 2020, 03:46 PM   #39
Minoosh
Penultimate Amazing
 
Minoosh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 11,815
Originally Posted by dann View Post
He seems to be very confident about his own immunity and even superpowers, so now that he has conquered corona, maybe it's time to convince him that he should become an ebola expert, too.
There are a lot of votes in that, I bet.
The Ebola virus is too good for Trump.

To make this not-political: At the level of a 5-year-old I don't think you need to differentiate between viruses and bacteria. The first time someone told me that invisible (because tiny) creatures could make me sick it made a reasonable amount of sense. After that, hand-washing and mask-wearing aren't much of a reach.

I have been struck by the number of very small children I see wearing masks without fussing about it. They tolerate it because why not? It's just another form of clothing, one they accept because it's the new normal, which to them is just normal.
Minoosh is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st October 2020, 04:41 AM   #40
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 12,927
For most grown ups, the differentiation also doesn't do much to help them cope with infections except when they don't understand why antibiotics against the flu or Covid-19 when it worked wonders the last time they had strep.

Children do many things without and many things with fussing about it. Now that there's a pandemic, they might as well learn that there are many different kinds of infections, that they infect in difference ways, and should be treated in different ways. In other words, it will make them understand the purpose of the face mask it they learn that the coronavirus is a respiratory airborne viral infection - unlike typhus, cholera or HIV where face masks are useless.

I don't think it is difficult to explain the importance of two basic distinctions, for now:
How they are transmitted: airborne or not airborne? (i.e. why face masks are useful against coronavirus)
How they are treated: virus or bacteria? (i.e. why the eye drops that cured your pink eye won't cure Covid-19)

MDs will be so pleased if the next generations stop begging them to prescribe antibiotics for viral infections.

You don't need to be a great super genius or to have natural ability to understand this, and it will boost the self-confidence of 5-year-olds to know that they are smarter than the president.
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 31st October 2020 at 04:49 AM.
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Education

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:35 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.