‘Not a normal childhood’: California parents struggle as Covid and fires collide

Kids were already grappling with shutdowns and online school. Then the wildfires forced them to stay inside

With much of northern California still under lockdown and wildfires raging across the state, Corinne Perham’s nine-year-old daughter recently asked: can coronavirus and fire make people extinct?

Covid-19 changed the lives of Perham’s family in ways large and small – her husband, an emergency room doctor, started showering before he came home from work, and her nine- and 10-year-old daughters were distance learning at their Chico home. Then a deadly wildfire burning nearby rained ash on the region and created hazardous air that meant no one could go outside for days. Perham’s kids started asking “when will the fires be over?” along with “when will corona be over?”

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