COVID-19 Experts Answer Community Questions

This week Alex Sinclair '21 hosted a panel and Q&A with COVID-19 experts Dr. Carey Thomson P'22 and David Sinclair P'21, two panelists who come from different sides of the frontlines. Dr. Carey Thomson works in the ICU as a pulmonary specialist at Mt. Auburn Hospital. She has spent much of the pandemic in the intensive care unit and deploying physicians across institutions since the surge in need. She has also been distributing PPE and setting up testing sites, as well as focusing on how to take care of patients who do not have COVID-19. David Sinclair, a geneticist at Harvard Medical School, has started interpreting scientific papers for the general public and is involved in distributing medical supplies to hospitals around the world. 

Both panelists answered questions related to COVID-19 and shared their thoughts on how the U.S. and the world have been handling the pandemic. Topics ranged from coronavirus testing around the world to the staffing challenges hospitals have been facing to the importance of wearing masks to help prevent the spread. 

One community member wanted to know why there was a range of testing and why the same tests aren't being used around the world. Dr. Thomson explained the reason was lack of access to testing supplies. Some tests were not reliable, there were long delays in getting supply and there were not enough swabs, forcing healthcare workers to create their own.
 
When asked what they believe could have been done differently, they said they believed there should be a more strict lockdown and that resources—including people—should have been allocated more efficiently. Another big issue was tests not being distributed as quickly as they should have, causing the virus to sweep the country. The United States' decision to privatize the development of the tests instead of utilizing the World Health Organization's test kits has raised challenges, though Dr. Thomson remains hopeful that there will be more rapid testing in the future. A test that could test for COVID-19 and the flu at the same time, would be most efficient.
 
Dr. Sinclair predicts that a return to normalcy may take a year, but businesses may gradually begin to open with certain gatherings remaining banned. They both agreed not enough coordination went into this pandemic and hope the next pandemic (if and when it happens!) is better coordinated.
The Cambridge School of Weston is a progressive high school for day and boarding students in grades 9–12 and PG. CSW's mission is to provide a progressive education that emphasizes deep learning, meaningful relationships, and a dynamic program that inspires students to discover who they are and what their contribution is to their school, their community and the world.