Alec and Hilaria Baldwin may be social distancing with their kids, but they won’t talk about the coronavirus (COVID-19) with them as a way to avoid “contaminating them with fear.”
In an interview with The Howard Stern Show on Wednesday, the parents opened up about how they’re dealing with the health crisis as a family, sharing that they’ll separate themselves from their children should they need to discuss the coronavirus.
“My wife and I, we adjourn to another room. We don’t talk about the nuts and bolts in front of the kids,” Alec, 61, shared. “No point in contaminating them with fear and so forth. We want them to be kids and enjoy their lives and enjoy their day.”
“But at the same time, kids are smart. They pick up more than you think they are,” Hilaria, 36, chimed in, adding that her children have been asking about the coronavirus. “It’s interesting because they’re not stressed about it as long as … we don’t show that we’re stressed out about it.”
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When asked how they would address questions about the coronavirus, Hilaria explained, “You say, ‘Yeah, there’s a virus right now and mommy and daddy are doing absolutely everything to make sure that we’re okay, and that’s why we’re living differently. That’s why we’re not having playdates, we’re not going out, we’re not doing this, we’re not doing that. It’s going to be like this for a while, but it’s because we know that we’re going to be okay.'”
During the interview, Hilaria also said that the family is “spending all of our time together.”
“They are loving that, so it’s interesting to try to get into their eyes,” she said of her kids.
Alec and Hilaria share daughter Carmen Gabriela, 6, and sons Rafael Thomas, 4, Leonardo Ángel Charles, 3, and Romeo Alejandro David, 1. Alec is also dad to daughter Ireland Baldwin, 24, from his relationship with ex-wife Kim Basinger.
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The first cases of a mysterious respiratory illness — what is now known as COVID-19, a form of coronavirus — began in Wuhan, China in late December. Since then, the virus has spread worldwide, leading the World Health Organization to declare a public health emergency, the first since the zika epidemic in 2016.
At first, this coronavirus was contained to China, but Wuhan is a major transportation hub with hundreds of flights leaving and landing from the city of 11 million each day. Soon, as people flew from the area to different countries, the coronavirus reached more countries, including the United States.
The first U.S. case was found in Everett, Washington, just outside of Seattle, in a man who had recently returned from Wuhan. The number of cases grew slowly from there and the virus began to spread more rapidly in communities across the U.S.
As of March 25, there are at least 59,502 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., with 804 people who have died from coronavirus-related illness.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.