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Upper School Journal Club Educates Nueva Community about Coronavirus
Antonia Ehlers, director of communications

According to sophomore Kira W., Upper School students have made a commitment to practicing social distancing, avoiding travel, and washing their hands frequently for 20 seconds—sometimes singing “Happy Birthday” or the University of Michigan fight song twice.

As the co-leader of the Journal Club, Kira feels a social responsibility to educate the Nueva community about the sobering realities of the coronavirus. She and other Journal Club members presented the facts a few weeks ago to 50 attendees in room 175C.

“We kept the talk factually based,” she said. “Our goal was to prevent the spread of misinformation. There are two potential outcomes that the majority of experts agree on. The first is that this virus essentially runs its course. According to data from the WHO, most of the serious cases of COVID-19 occur in people with underlying conditions, so it’s possible that the virus will slow down once it ‘runs out’ of people with these conditions. The most likely scenario is that this virus becomes seasonal and does not go away altogether, and vaccines will become available. A recent study found that the virus is most prevalent in certain temperatures and humidities, similar to the H1N1 virus, so it’s possible that that trend will continue for the foreseeable future.”

Kira added that Nueva students understand that they are not at a high risk for dying from the virus. “While the importance of hygienic practices and social distancing should not be underestimated, they seem to understand that the primary concern is that they would be carriers for the virus and infect others who are at a higher risk,” she said. 

Kira stressed the importance of the Journal Club, especially now. 

“Our team members learn how to read papers, make well-informed decisions, and share that with our broader community,” she said. “Every week, we give students and faculty members a chance to learn about real science that is being implemented as we speak. This unique opportunity is fostering a culture of scientific literacy, which is vital in today’s world of misinformation. Journal Club is more than a hobby, it’s the chance to do real work worth doing.”

For more information about Journal Club and COVID-19, feel free to email Kira or follow the club on Instagram at @nuevajournalclub.

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