CNN partnered with Sesame Street for their fifth town hall to show families how to stay healthy during the holidays – while still having fun – during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The hour-long special, “The ABC’s of Covid 19: A CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall for Families” aired on Saturday morning and was hosted by CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN Anchor Erica Hill and Big Bird.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who will continue to advise the White House as President-elect Joe Biden’s Chief Medical Adviser, also answered viewer questions.
Creating new socially distanced traditions
Big Bird was disappointed that he can’t make his traditional birdseed fruit cake with his grandmother, but he says they’ll be baking together over video chat instead.
Dr. Gupta said he’s going to make care packages for his neighbors and leave them on their doorsteps.
He said he’ll ring the doorbell, then watch them open the gifts from a safe distance.
Sesame Street character Zoe said she’s making gifts for the heroes in her neighborhood, and she showed off a painted rock she made for the local fire department.
Oscar the Grouch was just happy to have an excuse to stay in his garbage can, away from people.
Dr. Fauci, when will we be able to hug our families again?
Freddie, 4, told Dr. Fauci he wanted to give his grandma a hundred hugs.
“I think if you’re in the immediate household… and it’s not someone who’s maybe coming in and traveling … yeah you can give them hugs,” Dr. Fauci told him.
However, Dr. Fauci said if that person has traveled through airports and train stations and is coming into your house, that’s more of a concern.
Kids and the vaccine
Viewers wanted to know when kids can get the vaccine and be able to see their friends again.
Dr. Fauci explained that to be extra safe health officials want to wait a month or two to start trials in children.
“So just hang in there, couple of more months, and we’ll be in good shape,” Fauci said.
Kids also asked Dr. Fauci if the vaccine hurts.
He assured them the shot is a “pinch” but the pinch really lasts only seconds.
Dr. Gupta, who got the first of the two vaccine doses, showed off a photo of his Elmo doll and matching Elmo Band-Aid.
He said it didn’t hurt a bit.
Will Santa still be able to come to my house?
Dr. Fauci said he personally traveled to the North Pole himself and vaccinated Santa Claus.
“I measured his level of immunity, and he is good to go,” Dr. Fauci said. “He can come down the chimney, he can leave the presents, he can leave and you have nothing to worry about.”
Feeling grateful with fewer gifts
With so many families struggling with job losses this year, the hosts asked Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, the CEO of Feeding America, about ways people can make it through what might be a leaner Christmas.
“There are lots of ways that we can stop and reflect on the things that we do have as we try to think about what’s going to come next,” Babineaux-Fontenot said.
“One of the things that really helped me out as a kid… was this song that I thought had a powerful, powerful little trick inside of it,” she said. “It’s called ‘My Favorite Things,’ and what it got me to do is to write a list of all of the things that I already have that I really value.”
For her, it was the color purple, or her favorite doll at the time, Mrs. Beasley.
Or, you can make a list of all the people you’re really grateful for in your life, and write notes to them telling them why you’re grateful for them, she suggested.
‘Anyone can have an impact, no matter their age’
One of CNN Heroes’ Young Wonders 2020 was featured on the show.
Cavanaugh Bell, 8, used his own savings of about $600 to buy groceries and essential supplies for those in his community who needed it most.
“You can help by doing something small, even if it’s saying ‘hi’ to someone or checking in on your neighbors. I always say anyone can have an impact, no matter their age,” he said.