Germs, Flu, Cold, and Corona

The effects of Coronavirus during the holidays, and the community effort to keep people healthy.



A common sight during vaccination season as a nurse extracts medicine to give to a patient.

By Deja Fitzwater, Editor

   “Covid is a type of coronavirus, similar to swine flu. The virus infects the lungs and air sacs, causing fluid and inflammation,” RN Sadie Fitzwater said. 

     Fitzwater worked on OHSU’s Covid 19 level. She tended to patients in a hazmat suit, and would have to hold the hands of people as they took their last breaths. 

     Fitzwater talked about how the holidays would be a turning point for the virus, and cautioned everyone to stay safe.

     “There’s plenty to do inside and on zoom with loved ones! Puzzles, fun holiday crafts, starting new traditions, or outside fun,” Fitzwater suggested. 

     Following the nurse’s suggestions, was sophomore Heather Haase. 

     “I’m keeping safe from COVID by not seeing people, and if I do see people (which is very rare), I will wear my mask and only see them for a short time span…I’m not allowed to see people unless it’s a good reason,” Haase said.

     Haase’s family celebrates Christmas, and misses the group traditions she normally does with friends and other family members. 

     “At least we can still all open our presents at midnight, but not everyone will be there, like most years,” Haase said. 

     Another person who misses the community feeling of the holidays is health and fitness teacher, Connie Jolley. 

     “[We have] So many traditions: ZooLights, making cookies, hosting Christmas Eve festivities, going over to  my parents’ [on] Christmas Day,” Jolley said. “My dad is super high risk and they are usually who we spend the holidays with.” 

     Jolley then went on to talk about how all of their presents were wrapped two weeks in advance, so that when the family met up Covid-safe in the garage, the presents would be Covid free too. 

     Though excited for the Covid vaccine, and careful to have a mask on when around family, Jolley was not enthusiastic about getting the Flu Shot this year.

     “I am very proactive for people washing their hands, and the low possibility of someone getting that specific strand of flu virus? Very unlikely,” Jolley said. 

     Haase did not get her flu shot either this year, and also supports Jolley’s excitement for the Covid vaccine.

     “Once it is available for my age group, I 100% plan on getting my Covid-19 vaccine,” Haase said. 

     Fitzwater, (who has taken both rounds of the vaccine as a frontline worker), was glad to hear about people’s anticipation for the vaccine, but suggests they take the flu shot while waiting. 

     “It’s so sad to see people not take [Covid] seriously,” Fitzwater said. “Even if the flu shot isn’t a COVID vaccine, preventing any kind of flu-like illness will be better for everyone. It will make it easier on the stressed out medical facilities caring for the sick, whether it’s the flu or COVID.”