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The Westview School Blog

Posts Tagged "social distancing"

Staying Safe at COVID-19 Level 1 in Houston

September 02, 2021
By The Westview School COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee

It seems like déjà vu that we are starting this school year with masks and health screenings again, but we’ve had some noteworthy scientific progress compared to this time last year. Hopefully these changes will make life a little more manageable and get us closer to being done with COVID!

There are so many things we were doing last year that we no longer need to do, since we know more about COVID-19. We don’t need to: wipe down our groceries with Clorox wipes, avoid takeout (no more missing out on Houston’s amazing restaurants!), or hide in our houses 24/7 (although sometimes it’s nice to catch up on Netflix!).

We just need to:

- Get vaccinated against COVID-19 when you’re eligible. When your children are eligible for the vaccine, get them vaccinated as well- currently only children 12 years and older can be vaccinated. Also, plan to get a booster shot when you’re eligible (currently, approximately 8 months after your 2nd dose of Pfizer or Moderna). If you have questions about the vaccines, check out our previous blog post on the topic.

- Maintain physical distance from others. While we have high rates of COVID-19 in Houston, try to stay away from others, even outdoors, and avoid large indoor gatherings.

- Wash your hands often. Soap and water is best, but hand sanitizer is a great option too.

- Wear a mask, especially in indoor space and even if you’re already vaccinated.

- Keep monitoring your personal and your family’s health. Watch for symptoms of COVID-19, even if you’re vaccinated. The most common symptoms of the delta variant COVID-19 are runny nose, sore throat, headache, and fever, which are also allergy symptoms in Houston! Take a COVID-19 test if you are experiencing any signs of illness.

- Maintain your hobbies and your support system. Now, more than ever, we need to keep up our spirits and keep an eye on our mental health.

As a community, we’ve banded together time and time again to face numerous challenges for our children. We know that this is one more trial that the Westview Wildcats are ready to meet. We are strong, flexible, and caring, and we can do this! Hopefully, we can help all of Houston get COVID-19 under control too, so we can truly put this pandemic time behind us for good.

Tried & True Tips for Keeping Your Family Healthy this Fall

October 15, 2020
By The Westview School COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee
Fall Health Tips

Temperatures are dipping below 90◦F and the smell of pumpkin spice is in the air. Fall has arrived in Houston! As we move into another season of 2020, we have learned to be flexible, anticipate the unexpected, and go with the flow. That said, there are several reasonable ways in which we can consistently support our families’ and communities’ health.

Tried and true methods to stay healthy:

-Wearing a mask, washing hands, and social distancing, as Covid-19 is still a concern.

-Eating a healthy and varied diet to ensure that we are getting the nutrients that we need and that our kids are getting the nutrients they need too.

-Exercising regularly and encouraging physical fitness for the whole family.

-Getting enough sleep, as well as getting good quality sleep with healthy sleep hygiene.

-Keeping up to date with doctors’ appointments (including check-ups), dentist visits, therapy sessions, and flu shots. As we move into flu season and as we are seeing another uptick in Covid-19 cases, our communities must try to keep the hospitals from getting overwhelmed again. This means we all need to keep from getting Covid-19 and the flu (there’s a flu shot for that!).

-Staying home if you aren’t feeling well, and getting tested for Covid-19 if you are showing any possible symptoms. This epidemiologist tried out the free test at Minute Maid Park- Lot C and was impressed. It was an oral swab, rather than nasal swab, and the PCR results were in my email within 46 hours. 

New and novel ways to support good health:

-Supporting your family’s mental health through mindfulness. Stress has been a constant factor, especially lately, and mindfulness methods can be helpful in providing relief.

-Maintaining relationships with your social circles, even while maintaining physical distance. As a community, we have really gotten creative in the many ways we can stay in touch. Weekly Zoom get togethers, drive-by birthday parties, sending cards in the mail, and taking classes online together are some fun ways to keep up with loved ones. Consider creating a social bubble with another family whose Covid-19 exposure level is similar to yours; commit to only spending social time with each other and maintain strict social distancing with all others.

-Creating new traditions for holidays and special times. Halloween is a great time to “boo” your friends by dropping off treat baskets on their doors. Thanksgiving could be a multi-state event with families sitting together online to eat dinner at the same time and even playing games like bingo together! Cookie exchanges can easily become online events, and you can even include long-distance friends!

-Reaching out to give and receive support. One of the silver linings of the pandemic has been watching people standing up to support one another. Whether saying a kind word, smiling eyes behind a mask, or showing gratitude for the “helpers,” we have shown the strength and resilience of the human spirit.  

As we move into the end of the year, look back and see how far we have come in 2020. Our children are thriving and doing well in so many unexpected areas, and our communities continue to stand together through thick and thin. Hang in there and enjoy the cooler temperatures- we’ll see you outside!  

Wishing you strength and good health,

The Westview School COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee    

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The Westview School COVID-19 Medical Advisory Board is comprised of Westview parents and former parents with experience on the front line during this pandemic.  These highly-trained professionals work in many different fields of medicine, such as epidemiology, pulmonology, and critical care. This group of medical professionals continues to be an invaluable resource to The Westview School leadership team.

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Social Distancing during Labor Day Weekend

August 24, 2020
By The Westview School COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee

Finally! The longest Spring-Summer Break EVER is coming to an end and it’s time to send the kids back to school! Over the last few months, we have all worked together as a community to control COVID-19 and keep our families safe. We have perfected social distancing, found the cutest masks, tried out Zoom play dates, and held drive-by celebrations. But there is one more challenge lurking ahead- Labor Day weekend!

Yes, the traditional end to summer poses a big challenge this year! While we would all love (LOVE!) to return to pre-Pandemic Life fun for Labor Day, we also need to remember that our children are returning to their classrooms the day after the holiday weekend. We are focusing on the upcoming long weekend specifically because we have seen that Memorial Day weekend and Independence Day have brought big increases in COVID-19 infections about two weeks after each holiday. We attribute those spikes in cases to less social distancing during the summer holidays, including spending time with extended family and friends.

Let’s avoid a huge COVID-19 outbreak right after Westview opens.  Having school close only a few days or weeks after it finally opens is not in our children’s best educational interest. The best way to avoid a COVID-19 school outbreak is to stick to the three precautions that have consistently demonstrated effectiveness in reducing infection transmission:  

 - Wear your mask

 - Wash your hands frequently

 - Maintain Social Distancing

“Social distancing,” or rather physical distancing, is one of the best tools we have in public health during a novel pandemic as we wait for physicians and scientists to develop effective treatments and preventions. In the case of a very infectious respiratory disease like COVID-19, wearing masks and staying away from others not in your household are the best ways to stay healthy.

Close contact with others (within 6 feet or 2 meters) is one of the primary ways that COVID-19 is spread between people. Transmission occurs when an infected person talks, sneezes, or coughs, and droplets from the infected person’s mouth and nose enter the mouth or nose of people who are nearby. Worse yet, people who aren’t showing symptoms can also unknowingly spread COVID-19 others. The safest approach is to assume everyone you meet is a COVID-19 carrier, keep your distance, wear a mask, and wash your hands often.

While we have found that some people are greater risk for severe disease effects than others, EVERYONE is at risk for COVID-19. No one is immune.

The COVID-19 task force at Westview has spent countless hours trying to examine every possible way to keep everyone on campus safe and healthy. The re-opening plan has been refined numerous times as more information about COVID-19 and other resources become available. However, the re-opening plan also depends on our entire community working together as a team.

What does this mean for our return to school? We all know that our Westview Wildcats thrive on campus. It’s a remarkable place and they need to be there on campus with their friends, teachers, and supporters. But if we want school to open and stay open, we all need to do our part.

So this Labor Day weekend, please continue social distancing. We aren’t saying to stop celebrating! Rather, find a new, Pandemic-Safe way to have fun with your household. A picnic in the backyard, Zoom drinks with friends, a movie marathon at home, camping out in the living room, and indulgent dessert takeout are some fun, social distancing-safe ways to enjoy the long weekend and look forward to a healthy return to school on Tuesday (and on Wednesday, on Thursday, … and the following weeks!). Hang in there Westview community, we’ve got this!

Wishing you good health,

The Westview School COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee       

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The Westview School COVID-19 Medical Advisory Board is comprised of Westview parents and former parents with experience on the front line during this pandemic.  These highly-trained professionals work in many different fields of medicine, such as epidemiology, pulmonology, and critical care. This group of medical professionals continues to be an invaluable resource to The Westview School leadership team.

 

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Recent Posts

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