One of Manchester’s public health team has made a special festive film for youngsters – aimed at keeping the magic of Christmas and allaying any fears related to the Covid pandemic.
Sarah Doran, who is a public health consultant – made the film as something parents and carers could show children – to answer any questions they may have about the Big Man, his little helpers - and of course the reindeer – while we are living in a world with restrictions and differences from previous years.
Sarah, along with Phoenix the dog, reassures youngsters that Santa can’t spread Covid – because he is magic – that the elves have been working in bubbles, and that the reindeer don’t need to wear masks. The film also pays tribute to how the city’s children have responded to the pandemic – along with their parents, carers and schools.
“Sometimes we only think about how adults have been affected by the pandemic – when there’s so many children out there who have all been asked to follow very different rules at school, with their friends and for their learning,” said Sarah.
“They, too, like everyone else in the city have worked incredibly hard – and we need to be mindful that the joy and excitement remains for them at this time of year, especially if they have any Covid questions about it.”
Sarah’s film, which can be seen here [add link] comes after a year which has seen increased anxiety in young people across the country.
Dr Manisha Kumar, Medical Director of Manchester Health and Care Commissioning and working GP, said: “Fear and isolation are two issues, which we as GPs, have heard a lot from our patients over the last 9 months.
“Anything that we, as a city, can do to offer support is very welcome – and that includes helping parents and carers with how children may be feeling, as Covid-19 has caused many of our children to worry more about things. That's why it is so important that they can share those anxieties.”
Support is also available to people in Manchester, who may be vulnerable, lonely, or need help with staying warm, getting food and medication, or via the dedicated Community Response Hub on 0800 234 6123, (text 07860 022876), which is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.