Virtual town halls in English and Spanish were held on the topic "
Staying Healthy During COVID-19" earlier this month. The speakers included
MariAngela Cavagna Sanchez '02, supervisor of psychologists for the New York City Board of Education; Kimberly Ostolaza, PsyD, '98, clinical psychologist, Creedmore Hospital; Karen Schneider, MD, pediatrician and pediatric emergency physician at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Schneider is also a Sister of Mercy. Sr. Alicia Zapata, RSM, served as a translator for Dr. Schneider.
The best way to ease high schoolers back into society is to stay calm and offer reassurance," says Ms. Cavagna. "Be aware of how you talk about COVID-19. Remind your children that your family is healthy and that you are doing everything within your power to keep them safe."
She adds, "If children ask questions, listen and try to answer as best you can. That will help them feel empowered."
Ms. Cavagna also suggested making responses stay on the developmental level of the child you are speaking with.
says teenagers are going to want to go out. "Larger stores with high ceilings and lots of floor space are probably safer....It is better to visit with people outside than inside. Still when outside they have to wear a mask and sit six feet apart....When New York begins to open up it doesn't mean you are safe," cautions Dr.
. "It doesn't mean that COVID-19 is under control. If people aren't safe, New York is going to wind up having a spike in cases."
Looking at an opportunity for a vaccine, Dr.
explains once a vaccine is developed it will take a year or more to produce enough for everyone in the country. She says with the U.S. population of over 300 million it will take nearly a year just to vaccinate the population even at a rate of 30 million vaccinations a month.
spoke of a friend who is getting bleach stains on her clothing. "You don't have to use straight bleach. You can use four teaspoons of bleach into one liter of water and put it in a water bottle and now you have a bleach solution that will kill COVID-19." The diluted solution is safer for clothing. She also points to alcohol as being as effective as bleach and safer for asthma patients. The solution must be at least 60% alcohol.
gives a word of caution--even if you test negative you can have the virus. If you have symptoms, self quarantine, she says.
You can watch the full version of the town hall (English) here.