Kiwis can access accurate and easy-to-understand information about the coronavirus in a new science video by popular presenter Michelle Dickinson and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

The video aims to explain the coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak and how to keep safe in a clear and simple way, says Dickson, also known by her alter ego Nanogirl.

It features Dickinson, Ardern and Ardern's chief science adviser Juliet Gerard sitting down for a chat.

"Through social media there is a lot of fear and panic around coronavirus and some misinformation ... and that causes people to panic and apparently stock up on toilet rolls," she said.


The Ministry of Health had done a good job throughout the outbreak, but some people may find the jargon and medical terms difficult to understand, Dickinson said.

"We took data from the World Health Organisation and Ministry of Health and translated it into a way you would chat about it over coffee to help the public understand it in a non-jargon filled way."

She said a key message was that most people recovered from the coronavirus and that New Zealand could contain it.

"We are an island and New Zealand has the potential to keep this thing under control but we all have to pull together to do that," she said.

"And so our message was that everybody in New Zealand has a part to play."

The video included a guide to the virus' symptoms and what to keep an eye out for.

"I mean Kiwis are pretty bad at staying home when they are sick, they like to battle through it. So the big advice is if you think you are sick, just stay at home."

Dickinson said countries were making such a big deal about containing the coronavirus because there was no known vaccine for it.


Dickinson is an engineer specialising in nanomechanical engineering, who has travelled the world giving educational talks and shows about science.

She said that since New Zealand reported its first coronavirus case and students at Westlake Girls' and Boys' High Schools had been affected, parents had been contacting her asking for help explaining coronavirus to their children.

That led her to release a video about the virus for kids on Friday.

It shows her holding a soft toy and using it to explain how the virus takes hold in our bodies.

"The coronavirus or Covid-19 that people are talking about has dangly bits that stick to our lungs - and our lungs help us breathe - and so people who get this type of coronavirus, they have a shortness of breath and they struggle to breathe," Dickinson said in the video.

She also said that children under 15 appear to be showing immunity to the virus.