Durham 8-year-old girl writes mayor with her plan to 'stop' COVID-19 and gets handwritten response

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Kids will be kids. And it often shows in how they act, what they say and how they sometimes intrigue adults with how they think.

"I'm 8 and three quarters," said Durham resident Laila Boney.

The third grader made sure the attention to detail surrounding her exact age was not overlooked. It was that spirit that led her to writing a letter to Mayor Steve Schewel about her plan to stop COVID-19.

"She's definitely missing the interaction of her friends," said mother Latia Boney. "She's missing the whole being active in the morning."

In Laila's letter to the mayor, she referenced how she was tired of not being able to play with her friends and go outside and blamed COVID-19. Her plea went on to suggest people in groups of five march around the world spraying Lysol.


"I felt like her plan for COVID is definitely age appropriate," said father Reginald Boney. "And I'm glad she was thinking logistically at this age. For the mayor to take time to handwrite a response, I felt was a nice move and we really appreciate it he took time to respond to this young citizen of Durham."

In a letter dated Jan 24., Mayor Schewel responded: "Thank you for your excellent letter. I like your idea for a march in groups of five. Just stay outside and wear a mask until the vaccine keeps us safe. Don't worry! You will soon have fun again with your friends. I promise. Best wishes, Mayor Steve Schewel"

"It shows her that she has a voice," said Latia. "That when she sees a problem and she can think of a solution to it, that she can write a letter to our city leaders."

The family said they were excited when they received a reply from the Mayor; as they initially weren't expecting one.

"This was completely her brain child," said Reginald. "We know there is a history of suppressing voices. And so I want to make sure that we foster the kind of environment at home so they know that your voice matters here first and you can take that skill you learned at home and go outside...and flourish."
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