‘I want you to stay home, be healthy and never give up’: 7-year-old Verona girl shares perspective on pandemic

MADISON, Wis. — There are a lot of things happening in today’s world that can make us feel a loss of hope, sadness and anger. But a 7-year-old in Verona is hoping to change your perspective.

Blithe Matthews said she is just as frustrated by the pandemic as the rest of us.

“I don’t like how I can just be like I wanna go on a bike ride with my friends, I want to go to the ice cream store. But then I’m like, ‘Oh, right, we can’t go.’ I’m really frustrated. So right now, my sister Cadence, I really love her and she’s my only friend right now that I can touch and see in person.”

Matthews said the pandemic on top of other issues like the Black Lives Matters movement and global warming “makes me feel a little scared sometimes and a little bad. Sometimes I’ll just cry and feel the sadness going through my body.”

But she has a superpower that we could all have if we try.

“I can take something bad and I can turn it into something good,” Matthews said.

Take virtual learning for example: “I think it’s really crazy that your dog can come to school with you so when you’re watching a video you can just be like, “Do you like this video?” and you’ll just be with your school.”

Matthews said she also knows some people are facing the pandemic and isolating alone.

“If you’re alone at home, you can still run outside and you can close your eyes and you can imagine your family, even though they might be far away, and you can try to see the sun and you can take a big gasp of air and you can be like. ‘This is going to be over and I can go visit my family and I think this is fine.'”

Matthews said what helps her the most is spending time with the people in her immediate household.

“I think it helps me to see the ones I love,” she said. “I like seeing mom, Cadence, Dad, and I think it’s really fun to hug my family and they cheer me on through this pandemic. If you stay home and take care of the ones you love, you can still get through it and Coronavirus will be over soon.”

She said she knows it’s hard. She feels it too. But she’s hoping that we can all be our own heroes through this pandemic if we just take a bit of her advice.

“If you look up at the sun and you feel the breeze, you just know it. You know that you’re going to get through with your family, the ones you love, people around you, the community,” Matthew said. “If you all hold together, you’ll make a big rainbow. I want you to stay home, be healthy and never give up.”