Remaining Safe from COVID-19


Junior Sarah Koudjeti making sure to wash her hands for a full 20 seconds while at home.

As worry surrounding the coronavirus continues to grow, learning how to stay healthy and the actions Holy Cross is taking are important for the safety of the Holy Cross Community. Extra sanitation, social distancing, and keeping informed about the virus can all help contain this world-changing virus. 

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a new strain of a more common group of coronaviruses. COVID-19 was first documented in Wuhan, China in December 2019; by January cases were confirmed in the US, along with several more countries. 

“The virus began in China, but continued to grow throughout Asia and eventually areas in Europe due to it being highly infectious,” explained junior Eileen McConville.

The virus seemed to take the world by surprise, with many countries unprepared for such a rapid virus to take force, which caused a widespread response. 

“I think people are so worried about it because there is no specific vaccine,” added junior Allie Lawson. “But for younger people it’s basically the flu. My main worry is spreading the disease to others, like my parents or grandparents.”

It is highly contagious, living for a maximum of three days on surfaces, nine hours on clothing, and in the air for around two hours, after physical contact with an infected person. 

This information is why the cleaning staff at AHC took extra precautions in making sure the school was clean after every day, while classes were still on campus. 

“The cleaning crew is cleaning all high-touch surfaces more such as doorknobs, the front and backs of chairs, and the stairwell railings, as a safety precaution,” school nurse Kathleen Clark explained. 

There are also personal precautions that can keep coronavirus away. Coughing or sneezing into an elbow, avoiding high-touch surfaces, or using gloves are effective approaches. Using proper sanitation, such as, “washing your hands using soap and warm water, and washing for 20 seconds, or singing happy birthday twice,” Clark noted. 

Since COVID-19 has symptoms similar to a common cold or the flu, being cautious and aware of general health are important in containing the virus. 

“A temperature reading above 100.4 degrees means you should stay at home until you are without fever for 24 hours,” Clark added. 

While having a fever or shortness of breath are potential signs of coronavirus, these may not show for up to two weeks after being infected.

This, along with many other variables, is why the Holy Cross administration came to “the conclusion that the best intervention is to close the school for an extended period of time,” explained school president Kathleen Prebble, in an email sent to school families. 

While remote learning continues, remaining aware of changes in virus and staying clean can be life-saving precautions during this time, including not forgetting to sing happy birthday twice when washing hands.