Double-threat looming: COVID-19 and flu

CDC and Dobie Nurses warn students and staff to take precautions


Brooklyn Rice

Dobie School Nurses Ms Mudge and Ms Garcia lead efforts to help keep students and staff safe and healthy.

COVID-19 has been a worldwide pandemic for the past 8 months, but flu season is right around the corner. Knowing all of the facts will help us as a society to take precautions to fight against the spread of both viruses.

According to the Centers of Disease Control website: “You should get a flu vaccine before flu viruses begin spreading in your community, since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against flu.”  

Dobie School Nurse Ms. Mudge says that students and staff should continue to take precautions to stay safe. “Now more than ever we should be cleaning our belongings, like our devices,” said Mudge, who has been one of the key people at Dobie leading efforts to keep students and staff safe and healthy.

For students who started school in person after Labor Day, Mudge released a presentation about Covid safety. Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in household common areas (tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, phones, tablets, touch screens, remote controls, keyboards, handles, desks, toilets, sinks etc.,) according to the CDC.

An email from Dobie Principal Mr. Simmons on October 6 informed parents and staff of a student on campus who was diagnosed with COVID-19. October 6, 2020

“In keeping with SCUCISD’s practices to respond to COVID-19, we are notifying all student families that a STUDENT from our campus who was test-confirmed to have COVID-19 was present on the campus of Frank Dobie Jr. High on October 5, 2020.”

Simmons went on to say in his letter that due to privacy requirements, the school would not release the name of the individual or details that may identify him or her. “All students and staff identified as close contacts have already been directly notified with a phone call. Those individuals identified as close contacts will remain off campus for up to 14 days to ensure they do not have the virus, so that there will not be any further spread,” he wrote in the email.

The added risk of flu season

The risk of complications for healthy children is higher for flu compared to COVID-19. However, infants and children with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for both flu and COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control website

On September 24, several Dobie teachers got flu vaccines after school. Flu vaccines are available at doctors offices, clinics and even pharmacies.

“If there is any time to get a school flu shot this would be the year,” said Dobie Nurse Garcia. Even the   CDC estimates that flu has resulted in between 9 million – 45 million illnesses, between 140,000 – 810,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 – 61,000 deaths annually since 2010 In the US.

On the other hand, stay home if you experience at least 6 of the following, it could mean you have COVID-19. Here are some of the symptoms, according to CDC:

  • Cough Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Nurse Garcia says she was nervous of coming back, not knowing what to expect…slightly scared.”

There are important steps to take to stay safe and healthy and help not spread COVID-19. “Regularly wash your hands, and use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.” according to   


Nurse Mudge said that she cannot stress enough how important it is to: “Not touch your face” and to always wash your hands.

The virus is transmitted through mucous membranes in the mouth, nose and eyes. According to UMMS, Home-Swab-in-cheek tests are now available for COVID-19 testing. These would be the easy alternatives to the nasal test. President Trump even quotes that they were “quite difficult.”