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11 Original NPR Comics That Brought Joy, Hope And Help During The Pandemic

It was a big year for comics journalism at NPR.

During the coronavirus crisis, our team has created and published original comics to offer COVID-19 advice and information and to tell stories about people whose lives have been affected by the pandemic.

One of the most popular was a printable zine targeted to children with tips on how to explain it all to them. It was translated into many languages, from Chinese to Spanish to Arabic.

Other topics ranged from how older people are coping to the best way to wear a mask (demonstrated by cats, because, well, the internet loves cats).

Here are some of our favorite NPR comics of the year. See all the coronavirus comics from NPR's science desk here.

You're Wearing It Wrong! A Face Mask Refresher

We break down the different types of masks, their effectiveness — and the right way to wear and handle them. Read the comic here.

A conversation between the cats. "I'm realizing I don't know as much about mask safety as I thought I did," says the cat with the phone. "And look at all these ads ... how do I know which ones are safe?"
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Just For Kids: How To Stay Safe From The Coronavirus

A zine and comic guide on how kids can protect themselves from COVID-19. Wear a mask. Stay 6 feet apart. And try not to pick your nose. Read the comic here.

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/ Malaka Gharib/ NPR
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A Kids' Guide To Coping With The Pandemic

Months of staying at home — and worrying if a loved one catches COVID-19 — are tough on everyone. But sometimes we forget that kids need help coping just as much as adults too. Read the comic here.

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/ Malaka Gharib/ NPR
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How To Care For Older People In The Pandemic (And A Printable Guide!)

Advice on how to help the older people in our lives — parents, grandparents, neighbors, relatives, friends — feel comfortable and safe in the pandemic. Read the comic here.

Grocery Workers Are Essential And Feeling The Strain

Visual journalist Sarah Mirk checked in with a sampling of grocery workers to hear more about their experiences on the job during the pandemic and what they say needs to change. Read the comic here.

Comic journalist Sarah Mirk checked in with grocery workers from across the country to hear more about their experiences during the pandemic and what they want to change.
/ Sarah Mirk for NPR
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Hospitals Turn To Alicia Keys, U2 And The Beatles To Sing Patients Home

They're using a variety of songs to celebrate happy COVID-19 discharges. Read the comic here.

Grace Farris, Chief of Hospital Medicine at Mount Sinai West, explains how songs have become welcome hospital anthems in otherwise difficult times.
/ Grace Farris for NPR
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Grace Farris, Chief of Hospital Medicine at Mount Sinai West, explains how songs have become welcome hospital anthems in otherwise difficult times.

On Dying Alone: 'Behind Every COVID-19 Case, There Is A Story'

A doctor shares his experience tending to a patient who is terribly ill — and how he tries to give comfort to such patients and their family members. Read the comic here.

Dr. Daniel Colon Hidalgo is a physician in the intensive care unit of a Chicago Hospital, where many of the COVID-19 patients he's tending are unconscious and terribly Ill from the minute he meets them.
/ Kristen Radtke for NPR
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A Lost Boy Teaches A Lesson For The Pandemic: How To Be Resilient

He'd been separated from his parents. He was living in a refugee camp in Sudan. And then a snake bit him. Read the comic here.

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/ Malaka Gharib/ NPR
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COMIC: Looking For A 'Helper' In The Age Of Coronavirus

Mister Rogers said "look for the helpers" in times of crisis. Here's the story of Shah Dedar. He's 32, he's a Tom Hanks fan — and he works to protect the most vulnerable in crowded refugee camps. Read the comic here.

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/ Malaka Gharib/ NPR
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COVID-19 Etiquette: 6 Common Conundrums (And A Printable Pocket Guide)

How do you tell a stranger to be better at physical distancing? What do you do when a backyard gathering suddenly has one too many unmasked guests? This episode walks through the new rules of etiquette during COVID-19. Read the comic here.

A comic illustrating how to handle tricky situations during the coronavirus pandemic. On the left, a "do." A person standing in a grocery line says, "Sir, can we please put a little space between us?" as they scoot forward. On the right, a "don't." A person points to others, saying, "The mayor says that masks are required in public spaces, and you're violating the order! Wear your mask!!!"
/ Malaka Gharib/NPR
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I Spent A Day In Coronavirus Awareness Mode. Epidemiologists, How Did I Do?

Can I protect myself from catching the coronavirus? That's a question on everyone's mind. Malaka Gharib spend one day trying to do all the right things — then asked epidemiologists to grade her. Read the comic here.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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/ Malaka Gharib/NPR
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