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The official student newspaper of St. John's School.

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New strains of Covid-19 spread throughout Upper School community

Medical+Director+Scott+Dorfman+urges+all+St.+Johns+students+to+get+vaccinated+and+follow+CDC+guidelines.
CREATIVE COMMONS (FLICKR)
Medical Director Scott Dorfman urges all St. John’s students to get vaccinated and follow CDC guidelines.

Bethany Goldman felt seemingly endless exhaustion, falling asleep before dinner and waking up the next afternoon. This was her first time contracting Covid-19 in May 2021, right before finals. Goldman, the math department chair, was bedridden for days. Even after she went back to teaching, she still felt the long-term effects of Covid-19.

Remembering her awful encounter with Covid-19, Goldman has stayed vigilant, receiving new booster shots every six months. As the variants of Covid-19 changed from Alpha to Delta to Omicron and now EG.5, Goldman did not think she would catch Covid-19 again. 

But Goldman woke up one weekend morning with a sore throat. As the day went on, her symptoms worsened, and by the following morning, her infection was in full force: “I had all my symptoms—sore throat, headache, fever, chills, all of that.”

Despite her struggles with Covid-19 the second time she contracted it, Goldman was still able to Zoom into her classes and teach. 

When asked if she was worried about missing school, Goldman said, “We are really fortunate to have Mr. Mercado step in. I was able to keep most of my classes on track.”

Goldman’s second case of Covid-19 lines up with a large uptick in cases throughout Houston and the United States. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that students and faculty isolate at home for five days after symptoms appear. They may only return after being fever-free for 24 hours and must wear a mask for the next five days.

Two new Covid-19 variants are raising concern. EG.5 is now the dominant variant and is responsible for increasing infections in August and September.  Another variant, BA.2.86 is concerning because “it had over 30 mutations in its spike protein,” according to St. John’s Medical Director Scott Dorfman. “Because it had so many mutations, there was a concern that our current vaccines and our current level of readiness to fight it off would be significantly decreased.”

Fortunately, symptoms have not significantly changed, and vaccines are still the best way to reduce spreading and severity of symptoms

The School will not be going back to mask mandates and social distancing. However, students still must comply with the School’s policies on infectious diseases.

The School recommends that Mavericks who believe they may have contracted Covid-19 exercise caution. (Ella Hughes, Genevieve Ederle)
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About the Contributors
Daniel Pan
Daniel Pan, Staff Writer
Daniel Pan ('27) joined The Review in 2023 as a freshman. He loves watching soccer, especially Liverpool. His favorite restaurant is Tiger Noodle House.
Evan Williams
Evan Williams, Staff Writer
Evan Williams ('27) joined The Review in 2023 as a freshman. His favorite rapper is Drake (?). He’s been swimming competitively for six years.

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