Explaining the “Science” of COVID to Teens – Clarion Herald

By Christine Bordelon
Bugle Herald

Teenage girls taking Archbishop Chapelle’s biology, physiology and environmental science classes were recently diverted from regular classes when Dr. Brian Credo introduced a COVID Omicron variant lesson plan, complete with juice. sparkling grapes and chocolates.

“The lesson teaches what a variant is, what makes it different, and how to calculate the ‘R Naught’ (basic reproductive rate) transmissibility factor,” said Credo, associate professor of clinical pediatrics at Tulane. School of Medicine and director of the Bio-Med Track in the pre-professional program at Archbishop Rummel High.

He said the coronavirus is a topic of interest to his students at Rummel. He knew others would be too.


Falling down a “rabbit hole”

Creed illustrated the indomitable human spirit when bad things happen by reading a poem, “Invictus”, written by William Ernest Henley, a dying patient. It reminded him of “Alice in Wonderland”, which falls down a rabbit hole and enters an altered reality.

“That’s how the pandemic made people feel,” Credo said.

Demonstrating they weren’t alone, he showed a short film, ‘Cocoon’, detailing how children in Portland, Oregon coped with quarantine – not knowing what day it was, missing friends , teachers and school. The Chapelle students laughed when the Portland students said they were eating more junk food and going crazy at home with their siblings 24/7.

“The pandemic has affected people in different ways and been difficult,” Credo told them.

When identified in the United States in March 2020, the virus was labeled “coronavirus” until November 2020 when the variants were named.

A New York Times slide detailed variant waves in America and their mutations into new variants such as Epsilon, Iota, Gamma, Beta, Mu, Delta and the current variant of Omicron, which has been more transmissible but less lethal to the most people, he said. .

Credo divided the girls into two groups. One of them drank fizzy cider and was called a champagne minister and asked to write words of encouragement to his classmates on sticky notes.

The others – called ministers

chocolate – heard him discuss different characteristics of variants and explain that a variant is “a group of coronaviruses that share the same inherent set of distinctive mutations”.

chocolate – heard him discuss different characteristics of variants and explain that a variant is “a group of coronaviruses that share the same inherent set of distinctive mutations”.

He decoded how virus spike proteins hijack living cells and replicate. Vaccines target spike proteins.

“If we can stop the spike proteins from docking, we can stop the virus from entering your cells and replicating,” he said.

Credo cited the effectiveness of different masks according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Wearing N95 and KN95 masks reduced the odds of testing positive by 83%, surgical masks by 66% and cloth masks by 56%.

“Not every mask is the same,” he said.

The groups changed and the champagne ministers learned that the CDC planned to detect the coronavirus in sewage since “40 to 80% of people infected with the coronavirus can excrete viral genetic material in their stool before they even pass show any symptoms.

Viral material in sewage typically appears four to six days before an increase in cases or hospitalizations. These data are not affected by access to health care or the availability of clinical tests, “which makes them particularly powerful”, although they are a better barometer in small towns than in large ones. .

“It could be a fascinating way to get data,” he said, to help the healthcare system control the spread.

Credo also explored the “R null” factor – how we measure transmissibility – the number of people an infected person can transmit the virus to and how a person’s contact factor affects transmissibility.

“I really enjoyed the lesson,” said 17-year-old Chloe Mathes. “It made me see the more scientific side of it. Often when people talk about the virus, they don’t know much about it. It’s good to hear from someone who knows the facts.

Continue sharing
During the pandemic, Credo began a collaboration with Catholic high schools and parents to address teen depression and anxiety as part of the “Raising a Teen During the Pandemic” conference. It was so well received that he created this talk for any Catholic school seeking to clarify for students what a variant of the virus is.

“Having experience with a medical practitioner as a teacher is valuable,” said Danielle Rohli, a science professor at Chapelle and dean of academics, who attended the conference. “He is a specialist in the field, and it is better to ask him questions than someone who is not in the medical field.”

Credo, a product of Catholic Schools, encourages schools to share knowledge.

“It just seems like our schools can be so much stronger when we work together and help each other out,” he said. “Catholic educators nourish the body, mind and soul of students” and teach the light of Christ to students.

[email protected]

He decoded how virus spike proteins hijack living cells and replicate. Vaccines target spike proteins.

“If we can stop the spike proteins from docking, we can stop the virus from entering your cells and replicating,” he said.

Credo cited the effectiveness of different masks according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Wearing N95 and KN95 masks reduced the odds of testing positive by 83%, surgical masks by 66% and cloth masks by 56%.

“Not every mask is the same,” he said.

The groups changed and the champagne ministers learned that the CDC planned to detect the coronavirus in sewage since “40 to 80% of people infected with the coronavirus can excrete viral genetic material in their stool before they even pass show any symptoms.

Viral material in sewage typically appears four to six days before an increase in cases or hospitalizations. These data are not affected by access to health care or the availability of clinical tests, “which makes them particularly powerful”, although they are a better barometer in small towns than in large ones. .

“It could be a fascinating way to get data,” he said, to help the healthcare system control the spread.

Credo also explored the “R null” factor – how we measure transmissibility – the number of people an infected person can transmit the virus to and how a person’s contact factor affects transmissibility.

“I really enjoyed the lesson,” said 17-year-old Chloe Mathes. “It made me see the more scientific side of it. Often when people talk about the virus, they don’t know much about it. It’s good to hear from someone who knows the facts.

Continue sharing
During the pandemic, Credo began a collaboration with Catholic high schools and parents to address teen depression and anxiety as part of the “Raising a Teen During the Pandemic” conference. It was so well received that he created this talk for any Catholic school seeking to clarify for students what a variant of the virus is.

“Having experience with a medical practitioner as a teacher is valuable,” said Danielle Rohli, a science professor at Chapelle and dean of academics, who attended the conference. “He is a specialist in the field, and it is better to ask him questions than someone who is not in the medical field.”

Credo, a product of Catholic Schools, encourages schools to share knowledge.

“It just seems like our schools can be so much stronger when we work together and help each other out,” he said. “Catholic educators nourish the body, mind and soul of students” and teach the light of Christ to students.

[email protected]

Comments are closed.