The Coronavirus has recently taken over the whole world. It’s affected everyone’s lives in many, many aspects. School has been canceled, cities and countries are under lockdown, and everyone seems to be getting sick. The virus has caused many people to lose their jobs for the time being. Teachers are included. With the schools closed, teachers can’t teach their students. Instead, they have posted online lectures and assignments for students to complete at home. I was curious as to what LHS staff members have been doing outside of school with their free time. Mr. Walterbach, Ms. Thomason and Ms. Franke have shared their stories about what they have done to help out their community:
Mr. Walterbach, Social Studies teacher
Mr. Walterbach made a website to make things easier for his students. He has his students keep up with their daily lives since the epidemic, and he’s doing the same thing.
“One assignment I gave my students was to journal the coronavirus and their daily lives,” Walterbach said. “I started doing this myself. I try to include news from the day, my thoughts, and what I did for the day. I hope to look back at this in 20 years to remember the confusion.”
The virus has impacted his plans.
“We had a ‘boys’ trip (me and two of my kids) scheduled for Denver during spring break. That was canceled. Also, this is my 4-year-old’s first time playing on a baseball team. Every day he wakes up and asks if today is the day he can go to basketball practice.”
“I always joked that I want to retire, but after this, I never want to retire! I miss Liberty, I miss our students, I miss having a routine.”
Walterbach said this about what it’s like to be away from school and many students can agree.
Ms. Franke, English teacher
Ms. Franke has been making masks to help out people in her community.
“A friend posted on Facebook that she needed fabric masks for her medical office staff,” Franke said. “I made some and donated them. Then I made a few more and gave them to my friends and they donated money so I used that money to buy more fabric. I posted them on Facebook offered them for free; it just snowballed from there.”
So far, Franke’s friends and family have donated $500 which she has used to buy more fabric and thread to make more masks.
“I am donating them to hospitals, friends, and family,” she said. “They tell me what they want on my Facebook page, I let them know when they are ready. They go in the cooler on the front porch and people pick them up and leave money if they want. They can also donate via my Paypal or Venmo account. We have made 150 so far, with plans to make another 400-500 by the time this is over. I’ll keep making them until there is no longer a demand.”
With the donations being made and all of the people coming together to help out, it really warmed Ms. Franke’s heart.
“I had no idea how generous people would be. It’s been so awesome to see people come together.”
In total, she has made 231 masks and purchased over 100 yards of fabric.
Ms. Thomason, School Nurse
Ms. Thomason has been volunteering her time at the St. Charles County Emergency Operations Center. Her job while volunteering there is to notify patients of their positive COVID-19 results.
“We then interview the patient and find out where they have been and who they might have been in contact with starting the day they started having symptoms,” Thomason said. “We answer any of their questions and instruct them on self-quarantine and what that should include. We give them a hotline number to call with questions or if they need help getting essential items such as groceries. After that interview, we then call all the people that were listed as close contacts. We inform them that they had been in contact with someone who recently tested positive for COVID-19 and give them mandatory quarantine instructions.”
Thomason said they interview that person to see if they are having symptoms. If they are, they give them information on how to get tested and find out their contact tracing information.
“If they aren’t having symptoms, we let them know what to do if symptoms start and encourage them to take their mandatory 14-day quarantine seriously,” Thomason said.
She has seen firsthand what the virus can do to people and its frightening.
“I personally have seen the virus spread throughout our county. I also believe we have way more positive cases in our county. People are not getting tested (because their doctor tells them they don’t need it or because they just treat their symptoms at home).”