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CNN and Sesame Street Host Town Hall on COVID-19; Experts Answer Questions from Children and Parents about Safe Practices During COVID-19 Pandemic and Returning to School; Olympic Gold Medalists Simone Biles and Laurie Hernandez Discuss Exercising and Staying Active During COVID-19 Lockdown; President Trump Gives Commencement Address to West Point Graduates. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired June 13, 2020 - 10:00   ET




ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: My son Sawyer, we took a break from homework. He made this during arts and crafts time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love the colors, Ms. Erica.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He did a great job.

HILL: Does it look like anyone you know?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, I drew this narwhal. His name is Max, Max the narwhal.

HILL: That is great, Abby. And I love his green hat.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, yes. My friend Kyle likes green, so it's a seaweed hat. It's one of my favorite animals, along with gerbil corns, unicorns, and cows.




GUPTA: Hey, everyone. I'm sorry I'm late. I had to go find my accordion. But Elmo, I did have a question. Why do I need my accordion? Because this is a town hall, right? We're here to answer children's and family's questions about the coronavirus. Don't think I would need an accordion for that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a big opening song. Town halls need a big opening song.

GUPTA: They do?

HILL: They do?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They sure do. And this song is all about how we help care for one another during this pandemic.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But Dr. Sanjay, please help us with our song. Please, please, please, please, please.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please, please.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please, please, please.

GUPTA: OK, I will do it, but only if Erica sings.

HILL: All right, if you're sure about it, I'm in.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like birds of a feather.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're in this together.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To help one another and care for each other.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here is what to do to care for me and care for you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "C" means cover, cover your face, wear a mask in a public place. "A" is for apart, be smart and stay six feet apart. "R," let's remember, remember to wash your hands throughout the day before you eat or after you play. "E" is for everyone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everyone has a job to do, to help others and be healthy, to be kind.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like birds of a feather.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're in this together.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To help one another and care for each other.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's one, one accordion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "C" means cover, cover your face, wear a mask in a public place. "A" is for apart, be smart and stay six feet apart. "R," let's remember, remember to wash your hands throughout the day before you eat or after you play. "E" is for everyone, everyone has a job to do to help others and be healthy, too.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because birds of a feather, we're in this together to help one another and care, care, care for each other.

HILL: That was great!


GUPTA: That was great.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody, it's time to start the town hall.

GUPTA: That's right. This is part two of the "ABCs of COVID-19, A CNN Sesame Street Town Hall."

HILL: Welcome to another installment of our CNN Sesame Street Town Hall, "The ABC's of COVID-19." I'm Erica Hill, and on accordion, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

GUPTA: Did you enjoy that, Erica?

HILL: I loved it. Absolutely loved it.

GUPTA: Well, thank you very much. And joining us once again from Sesame Street is Big Bird. Welcome back, Big Bird.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, thank you. Thank you very much. Thanks. You know, that was some great singing, Erica. And your accordion playing, Dr. Sanjay, is fantastic.

GUPTA: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You two are regular songbirds.


GUPTA: Good one.

HILL: Nice one, Big Bird.

Well, we are so happy that all of you at home are joining us today as well. And we're going to be answering lots of questions from children and families about the coronavirus. We'll also hear from experts on how to stay safe this summer, and how to deal with all these big feelings that children and adults are having.

GUPTA: We are definitely entering a time when some places are beginning to reopen. And people want to be outside enjoying the warm weather, but it's tough sometimes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right. You know, it's still important that we all help care for each other.

GUPTA: That's right, Big Bird.


Staying healthy is going to be especially important as we enter the summer season, because this is typically a time for vacations, sports, swimming, and spending time with friends and family. So how can we do that safely? We're joined by Ohio's Director of Health, Dr. Amy Acton.

HILL: It's great to have you with us, Dr. Acton. You have been working so hard to keep the people of Ohio safe. What's the most important message that you have for families who are watching this morning?

DR. AMY ACTON, DIRECTOR OF HEALTH, OHIO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH: Well, one of the things I think for families, just like the song said, we really have to take care of each other. And I think families and kids can make all the difference. We do something in Ohio, we have a thing about being superheroes. And we know that all kids can be superheroes. We say don your cape and don your mask, so every time you put on this mask you're being a superhero. And you know, when kids do that, they really keep everyone safe. You keep me safe and I keep you safe. So we say, don your cape and don your mask.

GUPTA: That's so empowering, which I think is such an important part of this, right? We need to empower people in some way so they don't feel helpless. Dr. Acton, we received a lot of questions for this town hall from a number of kids, all with a similar theme. Take a listen.


EVAN, THREE YEARS OLD, PARKVILLE, MISSOURI: Why can't I see my Gigi again?

KANE, FIVE YEARS OLD, LA HABRA, CALIFORNIA: Why can't I go visit my grandpa and my grandma? And my cousins? Why can't I?

DEVON, EIGHT YEARS OLD, TYLER, TEXAS: Why can't I hug or shake my best friend's hand?

DYLAN, THREE YEARS OLD, WINTER PARK, FLORIDA: When will it be safe to hug my friends and teachers?

OSCAR, SEVEN YEARS OLD, MANHATTAN, KANSAS: When can we hug our grandparents again?


GUPTA: What do you think? What do you tell people, Dr. Acton?

ACTON: I know. It's so hard. I know we all miss our friends and our families. And it's something that we had to do together to keep people safe, and you've done such a good job of that. And I think you know as we get to move around again, we might get to go visit some family members. If one of the most important things, though, is that we always tell the truth. If we're not feeling good, we should tell an adult that we don't feel good, because that's not a good time to go visit. But your family might decide now might be an OK time to visit. So, I know you miss everyone, and we're really looking forward to seeing you. We miss you, too.

HILL: That's for sure. Sanjay, this next question from Angelina is one I think that a lot of people have as we're heading into summer. Take a listen.


ALEC, EIGHT YEARS OLD, PORT ST. LUCIE, FLORIDA: Dr. Gupta, my sister and I have a question for you. ANGELINA, 11 YEARS OLD, PORT ST. LUCIE, FLORIDA: Are there any chances

of coronavirus spreading at beaches?


GUPTA: Another very common question, right? It's interesting. I think about the idea that when you're outside you're going to be much safer than when you're inside. So outside is good. I think a lot of people should remember that, and it's probably healthy both physically and mentally. You just have to apply the same rules outside as you do inside. Try and keep a physical distance away from people, and watch out for shared spaces. If you have to use the restroom, for example, surfaces can potentially be a problem. But I hope you kids get outside. Just try to be there at a time when there's not a lot of other people there. Hopefully there's a lot of opportunities this summer.

HILL: Hopefully there is.

Dr. Acton, when it comes to being socially distant, like Sanjay was just talking about, how do we teach children about why that's still important even as they're seeing a number of different rules maybe for different people, different friends? Like maybe if you're at a crowded pool or you see those pictures of a crowded beach on television.

ACTON: I think that's really hard. And we all know as kids that different families have different rules. So you really want to listen to what your family says. And sometimes when we live in different places there's different rules.

But there's some fun things you can do to keep distant, too, like if you're at a beach, you can make a giant circle out of the sand the same way you make sand castles, and you can make it big enough for your family, and there can be ones for other families. You can do the same thing in a park with chalk, chalk dust. So there are ways that we can be outdoors and even be close to each other but still be safe.

GUPTA: Dr. Acton, I understand Big Bird has something to tell us as well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My friend has a big question for everybody.


NOAH AND CHRISTOPHER, SIX AND FIVE YEARS OLD: We want to play. We sweat a lot. Can we take our mask off when we are hot?


GUPTA: Those kids are really cute. So, I'll try and field that one. Tell me if you agree, Dr. Acton. It's OK to take the mask off. First of all, outside, again, as a general rule is going to be safer than inside. So I hope that people can get outside, especially as the weather is getting warmer and it's nicer outside. You can take the mask off. Just you want to keep a certain distance away from people. They say around six feet. The virus likes to move from person to person, but it doesn't go very far.


ACTON: Being six feet apart is like six steps of your feet in a row, or it's like stretching your arms out as far as you can reach, but that really makes a difference and it keeps you safe.

HILL: I love that, too. That's such a great visual and so easy for kids to really put that in action. Dr. Acton, I'm sure you're not going to be surprised to hear this, but we have received a lot of questions about playdates. Take a listen.


JAYA, 10 YEARS OLD, ATLANTA: Can I have a play date with my friends this summer because I didn't get to see them in school?

MEGAN GEARHART, POMONA, CALIFORNIA: Are playdates safe? Inside? Outside?

MEGAN, 11 YEARS OLD, WILLIAMSBURG, VIRGINIA: If I've stayed at home for 15 days and my friend has stayed home for 15 days and neither of us has the virus, why can't we hang out or sleep over? Shouldn't we be OK?

NICHOLAS, SEVEN YEARS-OLD, ACCOKEEK, MARYLAND: Can my friends come over and camp in my backyard?

ALEX, 10 YEARS-OLD ACCOKEEK, MARYLAND: Is it safe for them to come inside and use our bathroom?


GUPTA: These are great questions. I'm sure you're hearing this a lot. There's a nuance here as well, right, that we have to sort of acknowledge. How do you think of play dates? What kind of playdates are safe?

ACTON: Well, first of all, you know, it really is up to your family. And you have to make sure that everybody is feeling good, that you're not sick. And sometimes it's a good idea. Families are kind of picking other families to pair up with. So you kind of become two families that get together, and that's the same families you always get together with. And that helps you keep safe as well.

GUPTA: Yes. And the bathroom thing as well. Like, I hate to tell kids to hold it, but hopefully they can go before they come to use someone else's bathroom because I think that could be a potential risk.

HILL: You read my mind on that one, Sanjay, Because I wanted that answer, too. Some restaurants, as we know, are starting to open again. One parent sent us this question.


KRYSTLE RAGSTON, HEMPSTEAD, TEXAS: My children are ready to get back to some of our normal activities. Is it safe to visit restaurants? Do we need our own disposable cutlery if it's not provided?


GUPTA: I thought about this issue a lot. And I think it's interesting, just like what you're saying Dr. Acton, first of all, you want to assess your own family. If anyone is not feeling well or if someone is vulnerable, going to a restaurant is probably not going to be the best thing to do right now. And then think about the restaurant that you're going to. Is this a place that's going to be very crowded? Is there going to be a lot of people sort of congregating at the entrance or around a bar or something like that? Probably avoid those as well.

A lot of restaurants you can get an online menu that helps you cut down on the number of surfaces you have to touch, like the menu itself. Sit outside, if you can, at the restaurant. If you have to sit inside, get a table that's out of high traffic area. Try and go at an off time if you can as well. I don't think you need to bring your own cutlery. Restaurants have generally been good about that. But just think about all the surfaces that you might touch and the interactions that you might have with people. That's how you best stay safe, I think.

HILL: There's so much more that goes into every decision these days. Our friend Abby Cadabby is standing by with something. Abby?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The letter of the day is "Q." "Q" is for question. And here's another question.


LILLIAN, EIGHT YEARS OLD, KOBE, JAPAN: I live in Japan and China. My grandma lives in California, and I'm wondering, when can I see her again? And what will traveling be like?


HILL: Oh, what will traveling be like and when can she travel, Dr. Acton?

ACTON: Wow. Well, that's one of the things that the grownups in your life are going to have to check on the rules, because there are different rules in different places about traveling. And then in airplanes it's going to be a little different, too. So the things that you can do, once again, are wash your hands before you get on the airplane and after you get off. Remember to still even on an airplane keep real far away from everyone. Wear your mask. Remember, don your cape and wear your mask. And then you can travel safely.

HILL: Such great advice. Dr. Amy Acton, we really appreciate you taking the time to join us this morning. Anything else you want to add for all of our friends watching at home?

ACTON: Well, I just want to say that kids are so powerful. Sometimes they don't realize just how powerful they are. You can do so much for people around you during this time. You can make beautiful artwork. You can make chalk drawings. I know a little girl in my town who decided to play tic-tac-toe with her postman. She would play the game every day. She would do an x. And he would do an o. And they had fun that way. So you can really make a difference. I know kids are really bringing a lot of sunshine to everyone around them.

GUPTA: Love it. Those are some great stories there. Thank you, Dr. Acton.

ACTON: You're welcome.


HILL: Well, look who is back, our favorite furry red monster, Elmo.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, Erica. Hi, Dr. Sanjay.

GUPTA: How have you been, Elmo?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm good. Thank you for asking. Elmo and his daddy even made their own mask just like Dr. Sanjay.

GUPTA: That's great. Elmo, congratulations.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. Elmo put a picture to show you. See.

GUPTA: That looks great. That's fantastic, Elmo.

HILL: I love your masks. Are those fire trucks on your mask, Elmo?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, they are. They're red, just like Elmo. Yes, when Elmo goes outside with his mommy and daddy, Elmo pretends that he's a hero, just like the firefighters that are helping people.

GUPTA: That's really great, Elmo. There are so many essential workers out there. There's so many heroes that are helping us stay healthy. Where were you and your daddy going in those masks?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were going to the store for groceries. But Dr. Sanjay, Elmo didn't see any viruses when he was outside. So why does Elmo need to wear a mask?

GUPTA: What do you mean, Elmo?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, Elmo sees little bugs and bumblebees and cute little ants on Sesame Street all the time, but Elmo has never seen a virus before.

GUPTA: Elmo, you can't see germs or viruses.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You mean they're invisible?

GUPTA: Well, not invisible exactly, but they are teeny, tiny.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Smaller than an ant?

GUPTA: Yes, much smaller. In fact, you could fit a billion of them on the head of this pin right here. HILL: Wow. Of course, just because we can't see them, Elmo, doesn't

mean they're not there.

GUPTA: Viruses are tiny organisms can make humans and even monsters sick. And the viruses jump from person to person, but they usually can't jump that far. So staying six feet apart, wearing a mask, washing your hands so the viruses don't stick to them, that can help keep you and others around you healthy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh. OK, well, Elmo will wear his mask outside to help protect him and his neighbors from viruses in June. Thank you for answering Elmo's questions, Ms. Erica and Dr. Sanjay.

HILL: You're welcome, Elmo. And it looks like someone at home has a question for you.

GUPTA: Yes. Joining us now from Woodbury, New York, is Arya (ph). Hey Arya (ph).

HILL: Hi, Arya (ph).


GUPTA: You have a question?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi. Do you have a question for us?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I do. My mommy and daddy are doctors. They help people every day. How can I help my mommy and daddy?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a great question, Arya (ph). How can you help your mommy and daddy? Your parents are both doctors? That's so cool. That's a great question. And there's lots of ways you can help your parents at home. You can set the table for dinner, or you can pick up your toys, or help sort all of the laundry.

You know what, Elmo has a question for you. What is your favorite color?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Elmo likes purple and pink, too. Thank you for talking with us today, Arya (ph). Elmo loves you Arya (ph). See you later.


GUPTA: She is so cute, right?

Well, coming up, we'll answer a lot more of your questions.

HILL: And talk to our experts about helpful strategies to manage our big feelings.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Big feelings. That's like when I feel sad or frustrated.

HILL: Yes. Those big feelings that kids and all of us adults are feeling right now.

But first, let's learn a little bit more about social distancing from the greatest counter around, Count von Count.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Greetings. It is I, Count von Count. Remember, when in crowded places, we should all social distance and stay six, six feet apart. But what is six feet? Let us count it together. Six feet is equal to one, two, three, four, five, six -- six chickens. Social distancing is nothing to balk at.

Six feet is also one, two, three, three of Oscar's trash cans. Oh, Oscar's trash makes social distancing easy.

Six feet is also the length of one, one canoe. Remember to keep your social distance and stay six feet away.

Now, how am I going to get this canoe out of here?


This is one, one puzzled count. Ha, ha, ha.



OLIVER, SIX YEARS OLD, LEBANON, NEW HAMPSHIRE: Is it safe to give Cookie Monster a cookie?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, Oliver. That's so sweet of you, to want to give Cookie Monster a cookie. But right now, we no should share food. Yes, yes. We don't want to spread little germies. Yes, that's also why we wash hands before we eat.

But here the good news. We may not be able to share food, but we can still have a cookie together. Like this. Cheers, Oliver. Cookie. Delicious. OK, back to you, doc.


GUPTA: Thanks, Cookie Monster.

And welcome back to our town hall, "The ABC's of COVID-19." And we're here with Abby Caddaby from Sesame Street.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. Rudy, I'll be right there. Yes, yes, yes. Rudy, stay out of my room. Sorry about that. Hi, Erica. Hi Dr. Sanjay. That was my little brother Rudy.

HILL: Abby, have you and Rudy been spending a lot of time together? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, since we've been at home, we have play time

together, learning time together, story time together, movie time together, outside time together, arts and crafts time together, and dinner time together.


GUPTA: Sounds like you're spending the whole day together?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Well, yes. I mean, I love spending time with my brother. It's just that I really miss my friends.

HILL: I know, Abby. It's tough. I miss my friends, too.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes? Well, I hope I get to play with them again soon because, well, sometimes, sometimes I get a little frustrated with my brother.

GUPTA: I can understand that, Abby. I can appreciate that. We are all spending a lot of time together without being able to go places, like school or do normal activities like have play dates with our friends.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, yes. And it's not that I don't like having him around. I love my brother. He's hilarious. It's just that, well, sometimes I just want to do my own things.

HILL: And time alone is also important for adults and kids, Abby. At my house, we have alone time where everyone can do something they want, like maybe draw a picture or have a snack or --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Or look at a picture book or something?

HILL: Yes, exactly. And it's so important that we have those moments when we're alone so we can recharge, but we also have to remember that we're all going through the same things together, and we're doing it in some pretty close spaces.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. So I shouldn't get upset with my brother Rudy?

GUPTA: Well, it's OK, Abby, to get upset. It's natural even. Kids and adults are going through a lot right now. But I think it's important that we're aware of our emotions. Sometimes you need to say I'm sorry. Sometimes you may ask for a do-over.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, a do-over. Thanks, Dr. Sanjay and Erica, because I do love spending time with my brother. Rudy, I said I was coming. We're doing some finger painting. We love that. OK. Well, I got to go. I'm going to make another narwhal. Hey, Rudy, I call blue. Bye. Rudy!


GUPTA: While Abby goes off to play with Rudy, we're going to answer some more questions. We have a lot of good ones. So joining us to help, Dr. Rosemarie Truglio of the Sesame Workshop, that's the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, and Dr. Wanjiku Njoroge of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Welcome back to you both. Thanks for being here.

Dr. Rosemarie, we get so many questions from parents basically asking how much information to share with their children. Here is an example.


JAIME DAPPER, LAS VEGAS: Our household is filled with three young children who are constantly asking why, why, why. My husband and I disagree on how much to explain to them. Do you have any recommendations on how much is too much? Or how much is not enough?


ROSEMARIE TRUGLIO, PH.D., SENIOR V.P., CURRICULUM AND CONTENT AT SESAME WORKSHOP: That's a great question. Why questions can be rather taxing for families right now during stressful times. But a why question is a great question, because it shows just how curious your children are. And it's through asking questions that they're learning more about what's happening around them.

What parents have to remember is to truly listen to what the question is and just answer that question, and not give too much information, because when you do, children can often be overwhelmed by this amount of information and can lead to worry and anxiety.

The other thing for parents to remember is if you don't know the answer, it's OK to say I don't know, but let's find out together. And I'm sure that if -- if your answers are still not what they're looking for, they'll be asking a lot more why questions.

HILL: They will keep coming back for more. That is for sure.

GUPTA: I say I don't know a lot nowadays, for sure.


HILL: Our next question coming to us from Beth who is a parent in Tennessee.


BETH HODGE, MURFREESBORO, TENNESSEE: My five-year-old has been afraid to leave the house because she doesn't want to get the coronavirus. She has had bad dreams about a giant coronavirus germ flying through the backyard and hurting her. She says the reason she fights with her brother in the car is because she's scared when we leave the house.


HILL: Dr. Njoroge, those are big fears. It's great that she's able to talk about them, but how can we help manage kid's fears about the coronavirus?

DR. WANJIKU F.M. NJOROGE, DIRECTOR, YOUNG CHILD CLINIC AT CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL IN PHILADELPHIA: Yes. Well, I think you're right. It's great that she's telling her mom why she's concerned and why she's fighting. I think the thing to tell kids is that we have learned a lot over these past few months. We know how to not get sick. That is staying apart, six feet apart from people who aren't in our house. That means wearing a mask when we go outside. That also means washing our hands.

So before they go to in the car to go any place, or even just outside to the backyard or the front yard, is doing all those thing we know how to stay safe, even though we cannot see the coronavirus because it's teeny tiny, like Dr. Gupta told us earlier, we know how to protect ourselves from getting it.


GUPTA: Yes. I think it's so important to empower kids to do things, because I think otherwise you have this sense of helplessness. And by the way, it is teeny tiny. That's a little bit what it looks like, courtesy of a red playground ball and a crown for which the coronavirus gets its name.

Here is another question from Triana, who, like many of us, is now balancing a lot of new responsibilities.


TRIANA WANDICK, BAKERSFIELD, CALIFORNIA: How do you keep it together while working full time and now becoming a teacher to your grade school student?




GUPTA: Erica, you want to take this one?

HILL: I don't know that I am keeping it together. That's the real answer. I think surrounding yourself with people who can be as honest with you as you are with yourself in that it's a struggle. And some days maybe work gets more attention. Some days school gets more attention. But at the end of the day, if we can make sure that our kids are loved and that we can answer the questions when they have them for us, then I think we plow ahead and move on to day two. But I'm not a professional. I'm just a mom.


HILL: It's a tough one. You know, even the Muppets as we know, they have a lot of questions, and monsters have questions, too, including Elmo's daddy, Louie. And Louie has this question for you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, hi, Erica. Being at home Elmo and I have been playing lots of games together. And while I have let him win 20 games of Go Fish in a row. Is it OK to always let Elmo win?


HILL: Louie, your secret is safe with us. Dr. Rosemarie, that's such a great question because parents are now not just parents but they're also playmates.

TRUGLIO: I certainly understand why louis is letting Elmo win, because he probably doesn't want to deal with Elmo's big feeling reaction to losing. But it's during these play moments that parents can help their children build resiliency skills. Children need to have these big feelings. And it's parent's responsibility to help children label what this feeling is, explain why they're having this feeling, but most importantly, help them manage overcoming this feeling, so that they could move on and play some more. And in this particular case, play another round of Go Fish. And maybe Elmo then will actually win and have the experience of accomplishing a great win and also having that sense of excitement.

HILL: A lot of parents, guilty, may be saying no to things that maybe we used to say yes to, like going to the playground. And there are also a lot of parents, guilty again, are saying yes to things that maybe we normally we would say no to. Maybe you're getting candy in the morning. Mayor you're getting more TV time, sugary cereals. So what advice is there for parents who feel like they're kind of walking on egg shells to avoid a feelings explosion, Dr. Njoroge.

NJOROGE: Well, I think it's what you just talked about, Erica, and that is, parents need to give themselves a break. This is a really difficult and challenging time. So there might be days when it's breakfast for dinner, and that's OK.

But you also need to keep the routines that Dr. Rosemarie was talking about with not letting your kids win every single game, because they're still developing during all of this, and they need to learn all the lessons they would have learned if we hadn't had this pandemic. So that means you can't have cake for breakfast five days a week. Maybe Saturday is going to be the cake day. But you need to come up with those decisions as a family. Maybe make some plans as a family. And that empowers everyone.

HILL: For all of you parents watching, there are some really phenomenal resources on the parenting section of our CNN website to help you deal with all of this.

GUPTA: Still got another question, though. This comes from Akash in White Plains, New York.


AKASH, SEVEN YEARS-OLD, WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK: Can you please create a GoFundMe page so I can donate my money from the piggy bank for the children that lost a parent in COVID-19?

(END VIDEO CLIP) HILL: Akash is seven. That's what gives you hope, right, for the future is to see a sweet, thoughtful young man like that. We know there are so many people and groups who are trying to help. You can talk to your grownups, to parents to support Sesame Workshop's Critical Needs Response Fund. And you can find more information on that at You can also text "Sesame" to 51555.

GUPTA: That was really sweet. It does give you hope.

And to everyone else watching, no matter how old you are, please remember, there's another way to help. Just be kind. Just be kind to everyone, no matter who they are, where they're from, what they look like. This is a challenging time for everyone. So let's all show a little extra love for one another.


HILL: That extra love goes a long, long way. Thank you so much Dr. Rosemarie, Dr. Njoroge. Thank you for all the great advice.

GUPTA: Lots of children have had their outdoor activities like clubs and sports and camps cancelled.

HILL: Coming up, we're going to talk about staying active at home with two very special surprise guests.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's Olympic gold medalists Laurie Hernandez and Simone Biles. Oh, did I ruin the surprise, Erica? I'm just so excited.

HILL: That's OK, Big Bird. We're excited, too. We are going to speak to Laurie and Simone. We'll talk to them about staying active and still practicing gymnastics at home.


But first, my friends Abby, Elmo, and Grover, have a special song for all the amazing heroes in our neighborhoods helping keep us healthy.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at all these heroes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These are the heroes in your neighborhood, in your neighborhood, in your neighborhood, yes, these are the heroes in your neighborhood, they're the people that you meet helping everyone on our street. They're the heroes that you meet each day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sorry about that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you to all the amazing heroes out there helping and caring for others.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Thank you, thank you, thank you. (END VIDEO CLIP)



HILL: Welcome back to "The ABC's of COVID-19." And speaking of ABC's, school has been a big topic for families around the country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. You know, with school closed I've been video chatting with my teacher and classmates every morning to go over what we're learning. And my granny bird has been reading to me on video chat.

GUPTA: Those are great ways to keep learning, Big Bird.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. You know, it's been fun, but I kind of miss going to school. You know, riding the bus and having music class with my friends. When will we be able to go back to school?

HILL: Oh, Big Bird, that is such a great question. And it's one that we got from so many kids just like you. Take a look.


LENA AND LONNIE, FIVE AND THREE YEARS-OLD: If I wear a mask, wash my hands and am very careful, could I please go back to school?

MALIQUE, NINE YEARS-OLD, BAKERSFIELD, CALIFORNIA: I want to learn in a classroom, and I miss playing at recess with my friends.

OMAR, SIX YEARS-OLD, BLACKSBURG, VIRGINIA: When will school go back to normal? I miss my friends. I miss my math activities. I miss my teachers. I miss my friends.


HILL: Well, here to help us answer these questions is Dr. Sonja Santelises. She's the CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools. Dr. Santelises, it's great to have you with us today, because I know you can help us understand how schools are making these decisions about the best way for kids to learn, and also when schools may reopen.

DR. SONJA SANTELISES, CEO, BALTIMORE CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS: So, in getting ready to return to school, we are, number one, making sure that all students and teachers are safe. So we are thinking about the way the space in the classroom needs to be different. We are thinking about how we can keep groups of students together in smaller groups. It may also look like not everybody coming to school on the same day. But I think what will be important is making sure also that students get a chance to still be with their teachers and still have the opportunity to learn.

GUPTA: It's going to look different, I think, no matter what. Doctor, I was really impressed with remote learning and how quickly it sort of ramped up considering most places hadn't done it. But there were a lot of challenges as well. I won't lie. What's your message to parents who were worried that their kids are falling behind as a result of remote learning? How can they keep their kids engaged?

SANTELISES: So, first, all parents should know that we realize this has been a challenging time for families. So, one of the things that we are looking at as educators is how do we make sure that we get the right sense of where students are in terms of how they're feeling when they come back to school, but also where their skills are. Where is their reading, their math, their science knowledge? For older students, I have three daughters, some days they are just not in the mood to do as much work at the same time. But we make sure that every day there's a little bit of work done and some of those key skills in reading and math.

HILL: I have to say, I see that, too, sort of taking the temperature on certain days, and sometimes you just have to let that dictate where everybody in the house goes.

Kendall has a great question I think a lot of students are wondering about. Take a listen.


KENDALL, FIVE YEARS-OLD, BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA: When I go back to school, am I going to wear a mask? When I see all my friends when I see all my friends.


SANTELISES: Yes, that's a great question, Kendall, and the chances are that you will have to wear a mask when you come back to school. The great part about that, though, Kendall, is other students will wear masks. And if you don't always have one when you come, we'll have one for you. So, prepare to have a mask, but I think one of the things my girls are looking forward to are all the different kinds of masks students will be wearing when they come back.

GUPTA: I have three daughters as well, and that has been a big topic of conversation. They're actually making their own masks already in preparation.

SANTELISES: That's right.

GUPTA: We do have another question from a child at home, Miriam, who asks how can I not be afraid of going back to school?

SANTELISES: I think one of the things that students should feel comfortable about is your teachers are, one, going to still be there to welcome you. That's not changing. You will still have friends there. That's not changing.


And we are all working to make sure that you're safe, and that it's OK to be a little scared. I think all of us are scared from time to time, but we are working to make sure that you are as safe as possible. And I bet you when you see some of your friends even at a distance, some of that fear will go away.

GUPTA: Yes. I'll take this opportunity to remind people, it's important to remember that regular vaccines are part of being safe as well. A lot of people because of all that's been going on have missed those vaccines. They haven't been able to go to the doctor. So don't forget about those vaccines before you go back to school as well.

HILL: So important. Dr. Sonja Santelises, it's great to have you with us today. Thanks so much for helping us out.

SANTELISES: Thank you. Good to be there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I heard that children and families all over the world are dealing with the coronavirus.

GUPTA: Yes. In some countries, children are starting to go back to school and life is slowly returning to normal. But in other parts, people still remain at home.

HILL: Let's check in with some of our friends from around the world to see how things are going.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, guys. I'm David McKenzie in Joburg. This is an awesome city near the tip of Africa. Now, kids here wanted to show you all the cool things they're doing while they stay home and stay safe.

Check out Tondo (ph). She is singing "Happy Birthday" to her nana. She makes delicious cupcakes. Sumalki (ph) is cooking, too. Sikler (ph) cleans the house while his brothers get to play video games. Oliver (ph) and Catherine (ph) like to draw. Schools here have been closed. Everyone does their school work right from their homes to keep learning. There's also time for lots of fun and exercise. My kids are always bouncing. All across South Africa want to say, hi, molo, dumela, and sanibonani to all of you.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Oren Liebermann in Jerusalem, here at the YMCA kids are back to school with a few extra steps to make sure kids stay safe and healthy. Parents drop of their kids at the entrance and sign a form saying they don't have a fever. Kids take off their shoes to keep all the dirt and the germs outside. And then the classes are broken up to make sure it's not too many kids crowded into one area. When the kids came back, they had double reason to celebrate. It was the Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr and the Jewish holiday Shavuot, and each one has its special food. For Eid al-Fitr it's Ma'amoul, a pastry with dates on the inside. And for Shavuot it's dairy, so there's lots of cheesecake to go around.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, everyone. I'm Raya here in home in India. Schools are still closed, but I was able to go outside to the park today. I practiced social distancing, but I still got to see my friend. I waved to him from across the park, and I even gave him an air five. It was great to see him. Even at a distance. FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi,

everybody. I'm Fred Pleitgen, and just outside of Copenhagen in the lovely Denmark. And children here are actually already going back to school, at least most of them. But as you guys know, in these times we all have to stay apart a little bit. And they had a little bit of a problem here with that in that they didn't have enough space in their schools. So what they did is they moved their lessons to the local church where they do have enough space. Learning is a bit different, but it all does work.

DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Here in China where the coronavirus outbreak began, students are finally able to start going back to school. For some of them it's been more than four months that they have been stuck at home. To keep safe and healthy, they're learning new rules. Walking into the building, they now have markings on the ground to keep a safe distance from their classmates. In between classes and before lunch, students are washing their hands many times. And when it's time to eat, notice some schools leave an empty desk in between each student. That makes it more difficult for the virus to spread. And because you cannot eat lunch with a face mask on, students have plastic folders like these to keep their masks from getting dirty while they eat. And to monitor whether or not a student has a fever, some students are wearing bracelets that alert school staff if a student's body temperature is too high.

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Matt Rivers in Mexico City. And just like in the United States, things are really different here for kids these days. Schools are closed and they probably will be for a while. Playgrounds are, too. And you have to maintain a sana distancia, a healthy distance from other people even if you know them.

But how do you say hi to the people that you know if you have to stay so far apart? I have two friends here Camilla (ph) e Osalin (ph) and they're going to help us come up with a way to say hi to each other while staying far apart. With their elbows just waving and blowing kisses. And that's staying far apart.

And do you have a question for Dr. Gupta?


So she's asking, Dr. Gupta, when will it be safe for them to return to school?


GUPTA: Thanks so much for that question, a big one, obviously, around the world. First of all, your teachers and your principals are going to make sure your school is safe before you return. So just remember that. But they're going to make sure that the virus, while it may still be around, that it's spreading really slowly before you go back to school.

HILL: My nephews live in Paris, and they get to go back to school next week, only a couple days a week. But, hey, two days is better than zero days, especially for their parents.


GUPTA: Hey, everybody, look. It's Rosita from Sesame Street. Hey, Rosita.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hola Dr. Sanjay. Hola, Erica.

HILL: Hi, Rosita. Rosita, we have a question from Rahim (ph) in Washington, D.C., and maybe you can help us answer it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What else can I do other than playing games in the house?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hola, amigo Rahim (ph). I know it can be frustrating that we can't do the things we want to do, like play with our friends outside or going to the park. But you know what, Rahim (ph), at first, I felt really, really grouchy. I felt like stuck in Oscar's trash can.

But then I realized there are lots of fun, new things to do, like you can talk to your abuela on a video chat, or you can have a letter scavenger hunt around the house. Or, you can have a dancing party with your friends -- cha cha.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Or you know what, today I'm learning how to bake cookies with my pappi. See, there are so many fun things you can do at home.

GUPTA: Yes, you've given me some good ideas there, Rosita. It is important to stay active during this time for everybody. And it's also a good idea to keep practicing a sport or a hobby that you love.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But how, Dr. Sanjay? I can't go to the soccer field and play soccer.

GUPTA: That's right. But you could practice juggling your soccer ball skills, for example, in your yard or in your garage. There's all sorts of different ways to just stay active and practice at the same time.

HILL: We could give some advice from experts who know just how to do this, Olympic Gold Medalist Gymnasts Simone Biles and Laurie Hernandez. It's so great to have you both with us.

GUPTA: Welcome.

HILL: This is such a challenging time for kids and for adults. So Simone, how have you been staying active and training?

SIMONE BILES, U.S. OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST: Yes. So, our gym just opened up two weeks ago after having two months off, so we're trying to get back into the swing of things. It wasn't easy, but before that, we had to do Zoom workouts.

HILL: Zoom workouts. That certainly changes things. Laurie, speaking of workouts, we actually have some video of you and your new coach, I guess we'll say, trying to do a beam routine on the rug.

LAURIE HERNANDEZ, U.S. OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST: Yes. When the lockdown hit, I was trying to run some skills on my rug, but at some point, my dog just kept getting in the way. I was cool with it, though.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wow. Your dog looks like a very good coach.

HERNANDEZ: She's great, yes. It's great.

GUPTA: A lot of kids are missing big events -- birthdays, graduations, summer camps. You guys missed a big event as well. How did you feel when you found out that the summer Olympics in Tokyo were going to be postponed?

HERNANDEZ: I think, honestly, every athlete will probably agree it was a good choice to at least delay it and make sure that the world's health comes first. That's the most important part, that everybody is safe and we're keeping everybody healthy. But also I think it was kind of tough. It was like getting the rug swept out underneath you. Nobody was really expecting anything that happened this year to happen. So we're all just hanging in there and trying to make the best of it that we can.

GUPTA: Same with you, Simone?

BILES: Yes. Just trying to stay positive and letting kids know that we're all in this together, and to keep your head up.

HILL: Such good advice. What other advice do you have? A lot of people are adjusting to new habits and new routines these days. Laurie, do you have any advice for kids trying to adjust?

HERNANDEZ: I think kind of bouncing off what Simone said, just trying to stay positive. I know that right now everything feels like it's upside down. So finding things that make you feel good or make you happy, whether that's working out or trying to learn how to cook, watching your favorite TV shows, music, connecting with your friends, whenever that might be.


Just try to do things that make you happy, because right now it feels a little scary, but I think also making sure that you connect with your friends is really important.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Those are very good advice. And I have a question, Miss Laurie and Miss Simone, if you please help me. Do you think I can learn to flip, flip and jump like you? BILES: Yes, of course.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, good. Good, good. I really want to start right now.


HILL: This has been such a treat. Laurie and Simone, thank you both so much for joining us and for your great advice today.

GUPTA: Thank you.

BILES: You're welcome. Thank you, guys.

GUPTA: Our town hall is coming to a close. We would like to thank all of our experts for their thoughtful advice today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. And I would like to thank everybody that sent in their questions. I learned a lot.

HILL: I did, too. Thanks so much to everyone. Bye.


HERNANDEZ: Bye, bye.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bye, bye, everybody. Elmo loves you.


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. Thank you for joining me this Saturday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield in Atlanta.

A big thanks to Sesame Street, who you saw, before the president, for that amazing hour. And we want to let parents know that we're going to return to our normal grownup news broadcast in case you need to move the little ones to another room.

So, as you just saw, President Trump just started his commencement address to West Point graduates. More than 1,000 students are gathering at the U.S. military college for a ceremony unlike anything before. Due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus, each graduate is wearing a mask, and they are socially distanced, as you see right there in that shot. Family and friends are the only ones allowed to watch the graduation, but online. And let's listen in starting at the beginning of the president's remarks.

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you, general. And hello, cadets. On behalf of our entire nation, let me say congratulations to the incredible West Point class of 2020. Congratulations.

Everyone, have a good time. Enjoy yourselves, because we are here to celebrate your achievements, and great achievements they are. Let us also recognize your remarkable superintendent, General Darryl Williams, for his outstanding stewardship. General, thank you very much. Great job. Thank you.