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5-year-old Alaska girl is serious about keeping people safe

ANCHORAGE, Alaska

Nova Knight is 5, and very serious about keeping others safe during the coronavirus outbreak.

She said so in a video, the Fairbanks, Alaska, resident made that’s been viewed more than 18,000 times and drawn the praise of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“I’m sorry if you can’t go to your play dates,” Nova said in the March 26 video. “Don’t go anywhere. And wash your hands. I’m serious.”

Nova lives with her parents, Robby and Rebecca Knight and her 2-year-old brother, Colton. She has more advice about washing hands in the 40-second clip, including encouraging repeated viewings of the video as a reminder of what to do stay safe from the virus.

“I’m really, really serious, so you should do this video every single day.”

Nova told her mom that she wanted to make the video after her aunt, Jennifer Trevors in Halifax, Nova Scotia, sent her a video of Trudeau thanking children in Canada for not going on their play dates and for doing their part in stopping the spread of the virus.

Nova said she intended to watch that video every day, so she knew what to do.

“And then she actually asked me, ‘Will you put me on Facebook Live? I have something I want to say,’” her mother said. “I was like, well, you’re not wearing pants so I’m not going to put you on Facebook Live but I will tape a video.”

Nova wasn’t satisfied with the first take.

“Could we do one more?” Knight recalled her daughter asking. “I just don’t think they know how serious I am.”

Rebecca Knight sent the video to her mother, Cindy Trevors of Miramichi, New Brunswick, Canada. The next day, her mother told her she included the video as a comment on Justin Trudeau’s March 27 tweet urging people to stay home.

Trevors wrote, “My 5 year old granddaughter made this video after being inspired by your talk about the virus to children.”

Trudeau responded: “What a great reminder! Thanks for sharing this video, Cindy -- please let your granddaughter know I’m glad she’s helping to spread the word. I hope everyone listens to her advice and remembers to wash their hands and stay home. Because she’s right -- that’s how we’ll all stay safe.”

When Nova found out Trudeau responded, she was flabbergasted.

‘‘This is the best day of my life,’” she told her mother.

Other politicians retweeted the video, Knight said.

The response prompted Nova to do two more videos. In one, she shows people how to properly wash their hands, including using water that’s “not too hot and not too cold.” Her third video teaches people how not to spread germs and encourages social distancing.

Knight said her daughter has “always known that she wants to do something in helping people.”

She may only be 5, but she says she knows what she wants to be when she grows up: either an emergency room physician or a doctor on a search-and-rescue team.

“I want to be there when somebody needs me,” she told her mother.

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While nonstop global news about the effects of the coronavirus have become commonplace, so, too, are the stories about the kindness of strangers and individuals who have sacrificed for others. “One Good Thing” is an AP continuing series reflecting these acts of kindness.