COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. — A 12-year-old Collierville girl is getting national attention after writing an article on COVID-19. Shanaya Pokharna is one of 16 children from around the world to be featured in a recent issue of “TIME Magazine“.
“It just didn’t seem real to be in TIME Magazine at the age of 12,” she said, “That was really cool.”
The article details her experiences during the pandemic including her efforts to get people vaccinated. In fact, she helped start and participated in a social media challenge. A Facebook video shows her and her father taking a shot of lemon juice.
“Okay. We took a lemon shot,” Shanaya says in the video, “So, now, it’s your turn to take the vaccine shot!”
Shanaya also talked about attending school online and how afraid she was when both her parents contracted the virus. First, her mom got it in March of 2020.
“When she got it there wasn’t really a cure or protocol to what should be done,” Shanaya said, “So, she was stuck for around 20 days in a room, isolated.”
Her father, Dr. Hiren Pokharna, an infectious disease physician at Baptist East, tested positive in November and was in the hospital for five days.
“He got it in November,” Shanaya said, “So, we knew what the outcomes would be or how he can get better but being in the hospital was really scary for all of us.”
Shanaya, a rising 7th grader at Lausanne Collegiate School, was previously featured in “TIME for Kids” in June of 2020 when she submitted an essay. Her parents couldn’t be more proud.
“I’m impressed with her writing skills,” Dr. Hiren Pokharna said, “I didn’t know that she writes so well.”
“I was very excited, jolly proud of my daughter,” her mother Payal said.
Shanaya says she’s now turning her attention to a new issue, gun control.