Here it Comes...

Mile 20. If this pandemic was a marathon, I think it’s fair to say we are at about mile 20. Carry the analogy a little further and we are just starting up Heartbreak Hill in Boston. It’s not over, we have all worked so hard to contain the spread of this virus so far, to run this proverbial race, to throw in the towel at this point would be so futile……….. Pandemic fatigue at my house set in after 3 weeks. We’re now at about 53 weeks and it hasn’t gotten any easier. Our ears are more accustomed to the insult of mask wearing. I have discovered that on a windy day I rather enjoy the warmth the mask provides for my face. I have learned to keep a full and well-stocked pantry in case of unexpected quarantine. But I am so very tired of social distancing. I miss eating in restaurants. I miss spending time with friends and going to concerts. I have a middle schooler and a 3rd grader, so I definitely understand the challenges of parenting in a pandemic. I have all the same questions as everyone else - how do you differentiate between spring allergies and COVID? When is a headache just a headache? When there is a case reported in my child’s classroom should we switch back to remote learning? The hard part is that there are no easy answers. And when there are answers, no one likes them. NO one can differentiate between allergies and COVID without a test. If there is even a question, there needs to be a test.. As of March 22, 2021, New Hampshire has a 7 day average positivity rate of 3.5%. (Data) While that puts us happily below the goal of 5% set by the World Health Organization, our numbers in New Hampshire are on the rise (again). In the last 7 days we have had 1,928 new cases of the virus. (detail) We have almost 13% of the population fully vaccinated, and that number is rising quickly. While we don’t know the exact percentage of vaccinated people we will need to reach that elusive herd immunity, we do know that for measles it requires about 95% of a population to be vaccinated to protect the 5% who are not vaccinated. This is a plea from your school nurse to please continue to follow the guidelines until we are safely out of this pandemic. Don’t quit running at mile 20. We have come too far to risk it all at the end. Wear your masks. Ensure your children do as well - I have plenty of masks in my office and they are placed in various locations around the school. If you need masks, I will happily send them home with your student. Please continue to be vigilant with social distancing. The weather is finally cooperating! Play outside! Avoid unnecessary travel. If you’re unsure about the relative safety of your activities, you can use a chart like this one to check yourself.And if you have any questions or concerns, you can always reach me at the school or via email at acook@sau66.org This is a link to an article by my favorite pediatrician. Using layman's terms he breaks down what is and isn't safe, now that you're vaccinated. (yay!) When you have 5 minutes, give it a read. And then read it a second time. It has a lot of information to digest.

Staff Members

This is from Dr. Steve Silvestro:

Having a playdate—even if it’s a small one—defeats the purpose of everything shutting down.

If your family of four has another family of four coming over for a playdate—and that family had another family of four over just yesterday—you’re not now exposed to only four people’s germs, you’re exposed to eight. Worse still, let’s say your kid’s friend’s mom went grocery shopping before coming over and stood in line with twenty people. Now your primary and secondary exposure is to twenty-eight people’s germs—a whole classroom.

You can read his entire article here https://www.drstevesilvestro.com/no-coronavirus-break-playdates-heres-why

Please follow the intent of this shutdown. If your kids are desperate to play, have an outdoor playdate. Stay away from playground equipment (where the virus can live for up to 45 hours), wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, and keep your hands off your face! I never realized how much I touch my own face until a few weeks ago.

I’m thinking about this:
illustration of a dog and a human who is wearing a head cone

I can’t credit the artist on this one - my mom sent it to me in an email.

If you have any concerns I can help with, please reach out to me via email:

acook@sau66.org

In the meantime, stay well, stay home, and enjoy this unexpected time with your children. I know I’m planning to do just that.

Nurse Amy