Parents don't always know how to explain the COVID-19 pandemic to their kids, but this lovely, thoughtful animated special can help. Daniel is miserable when he finds out that not only won't there be a neighborhood carnival this year, he also can't have any of his friends over or visit their homes. The reason, his mom and dad gently explain, is that everyone must stay home in order to stop the spread of germs (the flu, and COVID-19, are never mentioned by names). That makes Daniel feel sad and frustrated, and he's not alone. Mom and Dad are sad too, and no one knows exactly when this will be over. But as sweet, simple songs remind Daniel and viewers, grownups are there to take care of you, and kids can ask questions about what's going on and follow the adults' plans to be safe. Visuals spell out all the ways that kids can help, including coughing into their elbows, sneezing into a tissue, and washing their hands carefully.
Daniel also struggles when Dad works from home, but doesn't have time to play with Daniel. Again, a song comes to the rescue as Dad reminds Daniel that one of the best ways to be a helper is to find something to play with or work on independently when a grownup is busy. Daniel could draw a picture, hug his stuffed animal, or send a letter in the mail to someone he misses. He can also spend time with his family, taking walks, doing arts and crafts, and making music together. Daniel's take-away message in Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood: Won't You Sing Along with Me?: "Things have been different, and that makes me feel a lot of feelings. But being with my family and asking questions makes it a little better." This gentle animated show may make kids feel a little better, too, and that's worth something.