Coronavirus - Can I take the kids out or not?

Updated: Mar 16, 2020

I make my living from gathering a bunch of germ-bag kids in a room and having a magical 40 minutes of story fun. By the end, we're super best friends, and they hug, kiss and lick me whether I want them to or not. I normally regard this as a perk of the job, but the Coronavirus has made me wonder if I might have been better off going into the movie business!

Equally, I have two children of my own. Some of their friends have asthma. My Dad falls into the high-risk bracket because of his age. The media coverage has been alarming, but does that mean that I too should be alarmed?

Can you imagine how bad it would be for business if the Story Storks workshops at Easter were the event that caused a pandemic! I'd never live it down! But joking aside, I have a duty of care to my patrons, and I want to make the right choices in terms of events that I put on. I am seeing major events being cancelled all around me. Should I be doing the same?

The media are in the business of selling papers, so their coverage is rarely comprehensive enough for me to make a fully informed decision. I also have a science degree and, in a previous life, worked with vaccine companies, once appearing on Newsnight as an expert (I was heavily edited so you couldn't tell I was hungover) so I have decided to apply this skillset and investigate it myself. What I found is going to inform my decisions about Story Storks. But it's also had the effect of calming me as a mum, friend and daughter. Given that, I thought that sharing it might pass on a bit of peace of mind to you too.

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, I would remind you that the situation changes daily, so please do check the date on this if you are reading it. We may have already moved on! I've listed some useful sources of information in the references below so that you don't have to try to find your facts amongst the stories. I will start to put stuff on my Facebook page ( and Twitter (@storystorks), to help parents make informed decisions.