SLU Public Health Professor talks COVID-19 with Junior High Students

On Friday, March 13, our Junior High students took part in an interactive teleconference presentation by professor Dr. Lauren Arnold, the Director of the Biostatistics, Health Management and Public Health undergraduate programs at Saint Louis University’s College of Public Health and Social Justice. Via Zoom teleconference, Dr. Arnold discussed the origins of the COVID-19 Coronavirus, how it’s spreading, and proactive measures to contain the virus.

Dr. Arnold asked the students several questions including how the virus began. One student accurately named the animal to human transmission, and Dr. Arnold explained how this transmission is possible from animals to humans, although rare. The students’ several responses to questions reflected their overall accurate understanding of the virus and its spread. Dr. Arnold engaged the students in an activity, asking them to first record where they were and who they interacted with the prior day. She then challenged them to do the same thing for the date two weeks prior. The activity showed how difficult it may be to recall activities and the number of people one came in contact with over a two-week period – the recommended isolation time for those infected or exposed to the virus.

Near the end of the session, a student asked what happens after a pandemic, which reflects the optimism of our young learners. Dr. Arnold explained that there is yet much to learn about the COVID-19 virus, but direction from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control will assist us navigate containment and treatment of the virus. Ultimately it may be a disease that goes extinct, or becomes seasonal like influenza strains. In a foreshadowing moment, a student questioned how a decision to close schools will be made. Dr. Arnold advised that a community is better off being proactive rather than reactive after someone in the community’s been infected. Upon multiple recommendations and for the consideration of the health and safety of our community, City Garden Montessori heeded this advice with school suspended through April 22 as of this date.

In partnership,

Christie

Christie Huck
CEO/Executive Director
pronouns: she/her/hers