Duarte Barral speaks about COVID-19 to 1st grade students


Duarte Barral, the principal investigator of Membrane Traffic in Disease group, held a question and answer (Q&A) session for 1st grade students of the Carlucci American International School of Lisbon (CAISL), on November 10th.

This Q&A session was a success. “(…)[Students] were well prepared and the questions revealed a great curiosity and willingness of the children to understand what this pandemic is and when we will have a vaccine” - said Duarte Barral. At the present time, where it is often difficult to distinguish the facts, more science-society initiatives like this are urgent, as Duarte Barral advocates: “it is increasingly important that scientists share their knowledge with society to clarify the myths spread through social media”.

For the investigator, this event was very rewarding, as he refers: “I also learned some things I didn't know: one of the questions was whether whales could be infected by coronaviruses. I immediately thought the answer would be no, but when I searched, it was already reported the infection of a beluga whale by a type of coronavirus!”

Besides its usefulness in informing the public, the session is also a good example of children's curiosity and capacity of wonder before the world. According to Duarte Barral: “children may ask questions that adults don't even think of or feel ashamed to ask, and some of them may seem simple, but they have a complex answer”.

Delight yourselves with some of the questions asked by the students. May we all learn from kids the capacity of questioning!

• How is the coronavirus made?
• How many coronaviruses are there?
• Do all of the countries have the coronavirus?
• Can the coronavirus go to other planets?
• Do whales get coronavirus?
• Can coronavirus infect itself?
• When is a vaccine coming?
• How do you make a vaccine?
• Can a child´s antibodies defeat the coronavirus?
• Do kids feel coronavirus?

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