HOUSTON - Houston’s Children At Risk is reminding parents to plan ahead for a safe place for their child to go just in case their school is shut down due to Novel Coronavirus.
Youngsters, by the way, are certainly watching coverage of COVID-19. We sat down with a group of Journalism and Yearbook students in Alief who have questions and concerns.
"Just inform us so we can better educate ourselves and just decrease fear,” says student Sharon Eze.
The bright students at Kerr High School are watching coverage closely.
"I just continually wonder how are we going to be able to find a way to cure a disease that we don’t even know how it travels?” asks Senior Vince Lwunze.
"I think the bigger concern is racism. I saw a video of another minority group treating an elderly man terribly. You can hear in my voice how heartbreaking it was for me,” adds 10th grader Natalie Dinh.
The kids say they’re not only disheartened by the way some are treating Asians, as business in Chinatown suffers but they say they want more answers about the virus from health officials.
"I feel like they’re just repeating the basic things like wash your hands,” says Sophomore Aranzazu Carreno.
Houston’s Children At Risk’s Bob Sanborn says he too wants answers. He plans to speak at a state hearing.
"We want medical officials, public officials no matter where in the chain of events they are to be completely transparent and give us, the general public all the information we need,” says Sanborn. Several hospital reps stood with Sanborn saying they are prepared. Texas Children's, for instance, points to its unique unit built after the Ebola outbreak.
"This unit is state of the art. It has eight beds. It has a full biocontainment capability of full isolation, complete with HEPA filtration,” explains Dr. Amy Arrington.
Meanwhile, the kids at Kerr say they want everyone to be properly informed and for social media scares to stop.
“That entire thing is just feeding into this whole idea of paranoia and with paranoia, people tend to make irrational decisions,” says senior Patrick Dang.
"I’m not worried about it really. I do have a heightened sense of washing my hands,” says 11th grader Santi Julian.
“The focus is always on how many people died. If health officials would begin addressing the numbers of people who survive that would be a crucial step into calming the citizens of our own country,” says freshman Al Nahiyan.
Sanborn also says he plans to make sure kids who don’t have health coverage still get the help they need "during this potential health crisis".