During two sit downs with student council representatives at Stratford and Memorial High Schools, Dr. Annamaria Macaluso Davidson from Memorial Hermann Health System “spelled out” the reasons for continuing safety measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Davidson, an Occupational and Environmental Medicine specialist, who is also an SBISD alumna and district parent, talked with the schools’ student leaders about the current state of the pandemic, and used the letters of COVID to help drive home key points:
- C stands for care. “COVID-19 has shown us the things we care about that maybe we took for granted in the past,” said Dr. Davidson. She also reminded the students that a lot of people in the community and in the district care about them, and have worked hard for it to be possible to be going to school in person.
- O stands for overcome. “We will overcome this,” she said of the pandemic. “This is just a season. It will end.” She referenced the flu pandemic of about 100 years ago when people had to wear masks and take precautions to prevent the spread of the virus, which eventually eased.
- V stands for variable. “There has been confusing safety guidance about COVID-19,” said Dr. Davidson. She explained this is because, scientifically, a lot has been learned over the months of the pandemic about what it takes to maintain safety, as well as how to treat patients with the virus.
- I stands for inconvenient. Dr. Davidson stated the obvious, “Everyone wants to stop wearing masks!” However, she went on to emphasize that the inconvenience of wearing masks at school and when around others is a trade-off: following safety precautions keeps yourself and others safe to be able to participate in more normal activities versus having to quarantine after exposure to someone with COVID-19.
- D stands for do your part. The student council members were reminded to set good examples for their peers, younger students and their families by properly wearing masks, washing hands and physically distancing as much as possible. Even when outside or riding in a car with people outside the family, she advised continuing safety precautions to lower the risk factors for contracting COVID-19.
The students asked thoughtful follow-up questions, and came away from their time with Dr. Davidson with better understandings of COVID-19 risks, protection methods, scientific efforts to treat the virus and develop a vaccine, and what they can do to model best prevention practices.
Imparting this knowledge is especially timely in light of a big rivalry football game between MHS and SHS this Friday evening. If each does their part, the winner of the “game” will be everyone.