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4-year-old plans to karate-chop COVID-19 with kindness
MALAHAT -- Oliver may look like he’s just running up and down his driveway, but he’s actually practising to blast off beyond his yard. The four-year-old says he wants to go to space when he grows up.
“Not an astronaut,” Oliver clarifies with a laugh. “I said I want to be a real rocket ship!”
In the meantime, the boy says he’s working as a ninja. He wraps a red bandana around his head before showing me his moves. Every kick is punctuated with a loud "Hi-Yah!"
You see, Oliver is planning to vanquish the virus.
His mom — Jenny — says when he came up with the plan the other day, he pronounced the word as ‘pwan’.
“He said to me, ‘Mom! We need to do something to make people happy!’” Jenny explains, before revealing her son’s ‘pwan’. “‘[We need to make] hearts!’
Jenny says Oliver went straight to work painting colourful hearts, sticking them on their front door, and asking friends and family to do the same.
I ask Oliver why he wants to make people happy in this way. He takes a moment to consider the question before answering. “Because some people are sick and different people are still working for us to be healthy,” he explains.
“We need to say thank you to them.”
On the other side of town, elementary school students Vincent and Louisa created 12 positive pictures to post around their neighbourhood. They include messages ranging from ‘stay strong’ to ‘stay healthy’. There’s also one poster created by their two-and-a-half-year-old sister, Meredith. Apparently, her exuberant scribbles mean, ‘stay happy’.
Near Oak Bay’s Willows Beach, a letter poking out of an envelope has been left on a bench. It appears to have been written by a child named Heidi. It says, “You are a kind person. You are smart and special. Respect your neighbours and be helpful in these strange times.”
These strange times seem to be offering big lessons from little people.
“What Oliver taught me was we have to live in this moment,” Jenny says of her son. “Be kind to each other and show happiness. Show each other love.”
Perhaps if we follow Oliver’s ‘pwan’, the most insidious symptoms of all this — the fear and anxiety — can be stopped.
“I’m going to kick [the virus’] butt,” Oliver proclaims. “Karate-chop them!”
Karate-chop it with kindness.