Storytime helps children forget about lockdown

By Cristina Sánchez Reyes

Mexico, Jul 14 (efe-epa).- Every day just after three in the afternoon, little Patricio escapes lockdown by going out onto his balcony to wait for his friend Percibald, who reads stories to him and his young neighbors.

The readings have taken place in the Tlatelolco neighborhood in Mexico City every day for two months while residents have mostly been confined to their homes.

They help children use their imagination to forget about the Covid-19 outbreak, which in Mexico has infected more than 300,000 people and caused 35,491 deaths.

The project has drawn a growing crowd of young residents who want to watch, listen and request their favorite tales.

“We forget that children have their needs and their own way of feeling and thinking about the world,” Percibald García, the project’s founder, tells Efe on Tuesday.

He says he realized during lockdown that children need to deal with their boredom and that he could help his young neighbors disconnect from reality for a few minutes.

A song plays on a loudspeaker announcing that the reading by García, who is known as Perci in the neighborhood, will begin in a few minutes.

Little heads start to appear out on the balconies and greet “their friend the storyteller” from a distance.

Patricio lives with his mother Fernanda Silva and has hardly left his home since 17 March.

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