Director's Column - Feb. 2020

What a great fun time we had last weeks at our Go Texan Cook Off! Everything was SOOOOO delicious (although often too spicy or hot for me ☹) and many were enhanced with a terrific presentation. Congratulations all the First Place winners: Devon in the Bacon category, Blanca and Nicole for dips/salsa and Sandra Uribe in the dessert category! Appreciate everyone who brought an entry and to all who attended the gathering, even if they had already eaten lunch! A special thanks to Deanna for encouraging everyone to participate and for teaching us so much about the history of BACON. I have already mark Tuesday, February 23 for the 2021 Go Texan Cook off. What should the featured item be????


Very grateful for everyone who joined the Superintendent’s Fun Run fundraiser to support the students of our district. We will work out a schedule to provide lunch or dinner for of the departments with 80% participation. If you missed Early Registration, you can still sign up until race day on Saturday, March 21.


It’s hard to turn on the radio and tv or look at internet feeds without reading something about the coronavirus (COVID-19). It is important that you verify what you are reading or hearing by visiting the Center for Disease Control (CDC) or World Health Organization (WHO) and don’t panic. CFISD has great cleaning procedures which Claudia’s team follows that include wiping door handles, hand rails and hard surfaces. The district is actively monitoring those sites to provide us with information. As you know there are no reported cases of COVID-19 in Harris County.


Since there are no vaccines available to protect us against COVID-19 at this time, the CDC recommends you wash your hands many times a day for 20 seconds. The easiest way to “time” yourself is to sing the Happy Birthday song two times, which should take you an average of 20 seconds. Make sure you lather soap between your fingers and across the tips. Soap will kill the virus. For those times when soap and water is not available, use a hand sanitizer or a rubbing alcohol. We will have 10 hand sanitizer dispensers on stands in place for our events this weekend with another 10 dispensers to arrive soon so we can cover all points of entry. If you are sick with the flu and have symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath stay home and contact your health provider. When you cough, cough into your sleeve rather than your hand or the air.


Here are some facts I have found to share:

1. The virus is predominantly spread by close contact with infected individuals or through respiratory droplets released when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These tend to travel approximately 6 feet from the infected person. Walking around in a medical mask will not protect you from the virus. An infected person can touch an object and leave the virus on that object. If you touch this object, fail to wash your hands and touch your face, nose, or eyes then you can become infected with COVID-19. It is also possible to be asymptomatic and pass the virus onto others. In summary, washing your hands is the best way to prevent infection.


2. You will not automatically know that you have COVID-19. The symptoms for an infection are fever, cough and shortness of breath. 80% of people that are infected with COVID-19 have mild symptoms. If you suspect that you have COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone who may have COVID-19, the CDC recommends that you contact your health care provider.


3. If you are sick with COVID-19, access to medical care, should you need it, appears to be very important. The death rate in Wuhan province is higher than other provinces in China. It is possible that limited access to health care in Wuhan province contributed to a higher mortality rate.


4. Perspective, in this situation, is incredibly important. As of February 15th, at least 29 million Americans were infected with influenza. This resulted in 280,000 hospitalizations and 16,000 deaths. 135 kids have died due to influenza. Contrast this with COVID-19, 53 people in the US have been infected (most from the cruise ship). Furthermore, globally, not a single child under the age of 9 has reportedly died from COVID-19.


5. The best way to prevent yourself from getting infected is to wash your hands. Coronaviruses are surrounded with a layer of fat that soap and/or a mild alcohol rub breaks up. This will ‘kill’ the virus. Most people ‘underwash’ their hands and miss large areas. This link can help you make sure you are washing your hands properly.


https://www.who.int/gpsc/clean_hands_protection/en/


Take care of yourself, enjoy spring break and WASH YOUR HANDS!

© 2020 Berry Center, Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District