Rain, Rain Go Away...

02-06-2022Nurse's LetterShannon David, RN, NCSN

Wednesday, January 26, 2022 marked an anniversary. Though, as anniversaries go, it is one to simply remember, rather than celebrate. It was on January 26, 2020, that Arizona recorded the first confirmed case of COVID-19. Since that time, we have been through a lot! No one would have predicted that 2 years hence, we would still be battling the coronavirus. Even one year ago, January 30, 2021, when the 7-day average for cases in Maricopa County was 2622, we couldn’t have imagined that on January 30, 2022 the 7-day average would be 6075! Yet, there is reason to be optimistic! 6075 cases is a significant decrease from the 13,742 7-day average recorded just two weeks before (EPI Curve).

Though we remain in a time of high viral transmission, data compiled through February 3, 2022 shows a 40.2% drop in COVID cases in Maricopa County (CDC COVID Data Tracker). At school, the last case reported was on January, 27, 2022. Believe it or not, through contact tracing, it can be demonstrated that this last case links back to the high number of cases we had during the first and second week of January. This past week, January 31 - February 4, 2022, we had 0 new cases of COVID and saw a significant decrease in the number of students absent due to illness (we recorded 158 students were absent due to illness during the month of January!). All normal school activities resumed this week and one need only look at the pictures on social media to see that the pandemic in no way hindered our celebration of Catholic Schools Week! We were actually able to hold field day during Catholic Schools Week this year and the kids didn’t seem to mind the chilly weather.

Speaking of weather, Dr. Ashish Jha, Dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, writing and speaking on multiple media platforms this past week, provided a simple analogy that makes a lot of sense. Dr. Jha suggests we think of the pandemic like the weather. ‘A big spike, like the Omicron surge, is a major storm. If you don’t want to get wet, you need to stay home. But, if you venture out, bring a big umbrella (vaccines), wear a raincoat (good masks) and rain boots (avoid crowded indoor spaces). As the bucketing rain becomes a drizzle (infections falling and hospitalizations down)’ less rain gear (restrictions) is needed.(Dr. Ashish Jha - January 25, 2022, @ashishkjha). We will continue to monitor the “weather” at OLMC and pray that we have seen the worst of this storm. In the meantime, please continue to do a Daily Screening for your children, keep them home if they are sick and contact the Nurse’s Office if you have questions.

He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. Psalm 107:29

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel - pray for us!