Emerson wanted to know, "When do you think we can see our friends again?"
The young Aurora resident was among more than 2,000 participants Wednesday afternoon in a virtual town hall for kids held by U.S. Rep. Jason Crow, an Aurora Democrat.
During the town hall, which took place on the Zoom teleconferencing platform and streamed simultaneously on Facebook, Crow took more than a dozen questions about the coronavirus pandemic and the government's response to it.
Lily asked a similar question: "When can kids hang out with kids again?"
"The short answer is, we don't know yet," Crow said from the basement of his Aurora home, along with his wife, Deserai, their son, Anderson, and daughter, Josephine, and the family dog, Zuma, who played on the floor with a squeaky toy.
"We're hoping in late April we will be able to restart some things, restart some meetings, but we don't know yet," Crow said, noting that Gov. Jared Polis has said he hopes to start relaxing some restrictions on gatherings and other activity on April 26.
It all depends, he said, on whether measures in place since late March have slowed the spread of the virus.
"We don't want to do it too early because it will lengthen the amount of time we have to stay at home," Crow said. "We want to be sure we do it at the right time."
He added: "The hardest part of this is not knowing, but we have to make sure we're listening to the doctors and the nurses and the scientists and keeping people safe."
Children asked questions about the masks and gloves that many people are wearing.
"The masks limit the spread that comes out of their breath and out of their mouth and limits the amount of it in the air," Crow said. "It prevents people who are already sick from spreading it, and it limits how much we touch our face."
Sophia Loevy wanted to know what young people can do to help the people on the front lines of the epidemic who are risking their lives.
Crow said that following guidance to prevent transmission of the virus was the best way.
"Staying at home, washing your hands and wearing a face mask," he said. "These doctors and nurses are working really hard, seven days a week; they need our help. Those days it's really hard to stay home, you're missing your friends, missing summer camp, you're actually helping people, keeping people healthy."
"What games do you and your family play to keep from getting bored while you're a home?" Jacob asked.
Crow said the family has been playing Minecraft and some old-school board games, such as Uno and Battleship, "games your parents probably played." He said that his son had only recently started playing Dungeons and Dragons, and Crow was serving as the dungeon master.
Madison asked what the long-term effects of the pandemic will be on the United States.
"The economic effects will be with us a long time," Crow said, including higher unemployment and a slower economy.
"This is something we need to be honest with each other about," he aid. "It might be with us for a little while before we can go back to where we were before."
Crow concluded the town hall on a brighter note, talking about lessons he said his family has learned while the stay-at-home order has been in effect.
"We're all in this together," he said. "One of the things I've been really inspired by is how our community has come together."
Crow is holding his fourth telephone town hall — aimed at a more traditional audience — tonight at 6:30 p.m.
Guests include Dr. John Douglas Jr., the Tri-County Health Department executive director, and state Sen. Jeff Bridges and state Reps. Meg Froelich and Tom Sullivan, all Arapahoe County Democrats. Join the call by dialing 855-286-0296 or finding the link on the congressman's website.