America Ferrera, the star of “Ugly Betty” and NBC’s “Superstore,” was recently interviewed by former CNN journalist Kanika Chadda-Gupta about her experiences as a parent of young children during the pandemic, and the ways she and her family have learned to cope in the last couple of years. 

In collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ “We Can Do This” campaign, the interview hopes to quell some fears parents may have about giving their young children the vaccine, as well as the ways in which Ferrera’s family has adjusted to the new normal of pandemic life.

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Ferrera, who’s currently working with writers and directors Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach on the upcoming live-action “Barbie” movie, had this to say: 

“I’ve always valued my community and held my people close. But I had a newborn child at the beginning of the pandemic. Having a newborn child can be an isolating experience on a good day! But to really be physically isolated from your community, from your support system, as a mother who’s recovering from giving birth [with] a toddler who has needs… it was a lot to go through alone.”

“It’s really hard to be isolated,” she continues, “[it] really changes, I think for good, how I look at and value my community and the energy that I want to put into developing my community, and keeping my community close. And making sure that I’m investing the time and the energy and the thought into the things that truly bring real value to my life and my children’s lives.”

In addition to acknowledging the importance of her community at home and otherwise, Ferrera depended on the wisdom of health care professionals in her life, and the support of her family at home, to keep her worst fears at bay and to continue being strong for her children. 

At a time when so much information is passing through our communities every day, it can be hard to tell what’s reliable and what isn’t. Ferrera knows how important it is to surround yourself with knowledgeable individuals who trust the science and can discern between fact and fiction. “We can’t wait to get vaccinated!” Ferrera says in reference to her children who are under five years old and therefore not eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

Still, Ferrera has put the time into educating her children on why it’s important to wear masks, get vaccinated, and stay safe. At one point in the interview, she talks about how impressed she is with her children, and how they’re already becoming the kinds of people she hoped they would be. 

The actress is also very aware of the necessary social development that’s been more or less halted by the pandemic. She discusses what it’s been like to weigh the options and try to ensure safety while not isolating her children from the kinds of social and emotional interactions that will allow them to grow into happy and healthy kids.

In response to this issue, Ferrera says: 

“We did what we could to stay safe but also provide social interaction for our older son. It’s been really important to find ways to give our children what they need socially and emotionally. And I think it’s been really important to not miss the opportunity to model for our children what it means to be a caring citizen.”

Ferrera and Chadda-Gupta wrap up the interview talking about Mother’s Day and what they hope to see come to fruition. “My deepest wish for every mother, every parent in the world,” Ferrera says, “is that they have access and opportunity to keep their babies happy and healthy and safe.”

Watch the full interview now on YouTube!