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时间:2020-12-03 00:45来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]

There is an unusual way to measure the emotional1 cost of the coronavirus pandemic.

It can be seen in letters to Santa Claus now arriving at a post office in southwest France. The post office answers mail sent to the traditional Father Christmas from around the world.

Jim, from Taiwan(China), put a face mask inside the letter he sent to Santa Claus and wrote "I (heart) u."

Alina, 5, asked in her letter that Santa please use the front door because the back door is only used by Grandma and Grandpa to lower their risk of catching2 the new coronavirus.

And 10-year-old Lola wrote that she is wishing "that my aunt never has cancer again and that this virus no longer exists."

"My mother is a care-giver and sometimes I am scared for her," Lola explained. She ended with "take care of yourself Father Christmas, and of the Elves."

The letters arrive by the tens of thousands. They show what children are thinking about this Christmas season after a year of illness and financial difficulties.

Young Zoe asked only for a music player and a visit to an amusement park because "this year has been very different from others because of COVID-19."

"That's why I am not asking you for many thing(s) to avoid infection," Zoe wrote, signing off with "Merci!" and a heart.

Since 1962, any letter for "Pere Noel" — French for Father Christmas — and mailed anywhere in the world is sent to this town in France's Bordeaux region3.

Working among the vineyards of southwest France, volunteers spend the months of November and December opening and answering letters to Santa.

The first letters were opened on November 12. Then, it quickly became clear that the pandemic is worrying children, says the chief elf, Jamila Hajji. Along with the usual requests for toys, there were also requests for vaccines4, for visits from grandparents, for life to return to the way it was. Thirty percent of the letters discuss the pandemic, Hajji says.

"The kids have been very affected5 by COVID, more than we think. They are very worried. And what they want most of all, apart from presents, is really to be able to have a normal life, the end of COVID, a vaccine," she says.

"We are like elf therapists," she adds.

Answering about 12,000 letters each day, the team of 60 elves sets aside some of the letters that most affect them. Lola's is among those that have stood out so far, with its heartfelt words to Santa that "this year more than others, I need magic and to believe in you." The elves say they think the children are expressing worries that they may not have shared with parents.

Emma Barron is a psychiatrist6 specializing7 in the mental health of children and teenagers at the Robert Debré pediatric hospital in Paris. She says important days like birthdays or Christmas give children security8 and structure. They are an important part of the child's well-being9, she said. This year, they are especially important.

Some older people are writing in as well.

One asked for "a pandemic of love." A 77-year-old wrote that the "lockdown is no fun! I live alone." A grandparent asked Santa to "say ‘Hi' to my two grandkids that I won't be able to see this year because of the health situation."

Grown woman Anne-Marie wrote that "you will need to sprinkle10 stars across the entire world."

Words in This Story

mask– n. a covering worn on the face, especially one worn for medical or social reasons

elf– n. (pl. elves) a small creature in stories with pointed11 ears and magical powers

pandemic– n. the fast spread of an infectious12 disease13 over a very wide area or even the world

amusement park –n. a place with games and rides for entertainment

region–n. a large area set apart from others for a special reason

therapist– n. a person who helps people deal with physical or emotional problems who is not a medical doctor

psychiatrist– n. a doctor who treats mental or emotional problems

sprinkle– v. to spread small pieces


1 emotional 3pDxl     
  • Emotional people don't stop to calculate.感情容易冲动的人做事往往不加考虑。
  • This is an emotional scene in the play.这是剧中动人的一幕。
2 catching cwVztY     
  • There are those who think eczema is catching.有人就是认为湿疹会传染。
  • Enthusiasm is very catching.热情非常富有感染力。
3 region RUtxZ     
  • The students went to study the geology of that region.学生们去研究那个地区的地质情况。
  • It is unusual to see snow in this region.这个地区难得见到雪。
4 vaccines c9bb57973a82c1e95c7cd0f4988a1ded     
疫苗,痘苗( vaccine的名词复数 )
  • His team are at the forefront of scientific research into vaccines. 他的小组处于疫苗科研的最前沿。
  • The vaccines were kept cool in refrigerators. 疫苗放在冰箱中冷藏。
5 affected TzUzg0     
  • She showed an affected interest in our subject.她假装对我们的课题感到兴趣。
  • His manners are affected.他的态度不自然。
6 psychiatrist F0qzf     
  • He went to a psychiatrist about his compulsive gambling.他去看精神科医生治疗不能自拔的赌瘾。
  • The psychiatrist corrected him gently.精神病医师彬彬有礼地纠正他。
7 specializing 9b16089041247e3e4c2eb6af88d174c3     
v.专门从事,专攻( specialize的现在分词 )
  • I'm specializing in differential and integral calculus. 我正专攻微分学和积分学。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Thus, specializing in pain made no more sense than specializing in fever. 因此,专门研究疼痛与专门研究发烧的意义差不多。 来自时文部分
8 security iTdzh     
  • A security guard brought him down with a flying tackle.一名保安人员飞身把他抱倒。
  • There was tight security at the airport when the President's plane landed.总统的专机降落时,机场的保安措施很严密。
9 well-being Fe3zbn     
  • He always has the well-being of the masses at heart.他总是把群众的疾苦挂在心上。
  • My concern for their well-being was misunderstood as interference.我关心他们的幸福,却被误解为多管闲事。
10 sprinkle wGGzu     
  • Sprinkle sugar evenly over the top of the cake.把糖均匀地撒在蛋糕上。
  • Sprinkle some water before you sweep.先泼点儿水再扫。
11 pointed Il8zB4     
  • He gave me a very sharp pointed pencil.他给我一支削得非常尖的铅笔。
  • She wished to show Mrs.John Dashwood by this pointed invitation to her brother.她想通过对达茨伍德夫人提出直截了当的邀请向她的哥哥表示出来。
12 infectious I7jx1     
  • Influenza is an infectious disease.流感是一种传染病。
  • What an infectious laugh she has!她的笑声多么具有感染力啊!
13 disease etMxx     
  • The doctors are trying to stamp out the disease.医生正在尽力消灭这种疾病。
  • He fought against the disease for a long time.他同疾病做了长时间的斗争。
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