The Importance of Vigilance

09-19-2021Nurse's LetterShannon David, RN, NCSN

Tomorrow will see the occurrence of a “first” for this school year. It will be the first day that we have NO members of our school community in isolation or quarantine since the beginning of the current school year! Add to this--sports are back (with a record number of student athletes participating), field trips are scheduled, and community events are being planned--and it is not hard to see why we consider ourselves blessed! Within our school community, we are in a good place.

Within the community at-large, however, viral transmission is still very high. This can be seen on the Maricopa County epi-curve which shows the 7-day average new case count for September 12, 2021 was 1,638. Though new cases per day have begun to show a slight decrease, we still have a long way to go to get back to where we were just 3 months ago (June 12, 2021) when the 7-day average case count was 282. Additionally, 175 K-8 schools, in Maricopa County, remain in “open outbreak” status and 76% of COVID cases have been in students (MCDPH Data).

Being aware of the risk of illness in our surrounding community helps to understand what we must do to maintain a safe, healthy environment within our smaller school community. Together, we must remain vigilant--that is ‘careful, watching for possible dangers or difficulties’ as we continue to fulfill the mission of educating our children in a “holistic Catholic Christian environment that serves the soul, mind, and body of each child”.

Vigilance is not a foreign concept. In Christianity, we are reminded frequently to be watchful and attentive--vigilant, ”Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival” (Luke 12:37). In nursing, Florence Nightingale, the “Lady with the Lamp” provides an inspiring image of vigilance as it is told, ‘she would walk among the beds, checking the wounded men at night, holding a light in her hand’. Vigilance and light complement one another. As co-workers, in Christ, by remaining vigilant in our pursuit to become “Smart, Healthy & Holy” we can bring light to the darkness of this pandemic and inspire others by our actions!

On Saturday, September 25, 2021, the annual Vitalant Blood Drive will be held. This blood drive was established 10 years ago in memory of a 1st grade OLMC student who died from aplastic anemia. If you would like to donate blood, please go to The blood drive code is: mtcarmel.

St. Januarius, whom we remember this day, pray for us!