The Dr. Fauci of SSSAS: How COVID Has Changed the Role of Dr. Stanton
By: Chumani Chamberlain'21
Dr. Stanton reflects on her life throughout the pandemic: “I think when it first started in the spring I will still teaching and was on our task force but it was a lot going through zoom after zoom after zoom but then also trying to handle four kids at the same time it was definitely a crazy spring. Then rolling into summer it was much different because typically I am not doing a whole lot in the summer as far as work goes, but it was a different summer because we are basically planning for reopening. It has been insane and as the cases grow this year it has just been really busy.”
Dr. Stanton continued stating how her job has changed: “Before I was just running the athletic training room but now I am overseeing the Lower, Middle, and Upper School medical teams. So it’s just a lot more oversight for all three divisions which is needed because we all need to be on the same page when it comes to the pandemic. It has been a lot more oversight, policymaking, and procedure making.”
Dr. Stanton said in regards to her family life she is leaning “on my husband to help me out with the kids, but he is also busy due to his job and his requirements. So I just feel like I am not able to spend as much time with my kids but I still can see them, we are still hanging out and doing our thing!”
Besides family, do you allow anyone else inside your home, such as cleaners or service people for repairs?
“Absolutely, again you always have to remember the four major things: masking, disinfecting, hand sanitizing, and distancing. Those are the four key things to remember any time you have people in your house. Now seeing people outside of school we don’t do as much as we used to, I will see close friends who I know are practicing the four major keys and that would just be with one person.”
Would you dine inside a restaurant? Outside? Do you get takeout?
“So we do all of that, I make sure if I dine inside that the restaurant has the policies in place so that they are distancing the tables. I don’t take my children, this is just if my husband and I go out and this is very rare, and if we go out by ourselves and we just make sure wherever we go we can get a reservation and that we are distanced from other people.”
Do you take any precautions with your mail or packages?
“I do not, and the reason why is because the chances of the virus being on a package are very low...I just make sure that I always wash my hands, and I always try to make sure I know where my hands are and I try to keep my hands away from my face as much as I possibly can.”
Do you go to friends' homes for dinner, or have friends at your house, or see them in other ways?
“I don’t normally, we don’t go out to other friends’ houses. If I have anyone over it’s just one of my close friends.”
Are you willing to fly? What about bus, train, subway?
“I stay away from them and I normally don’t travel that way though. Planes make me leary, I did go home over the summer but I did not fly, I drove. When I drove I had more control over where we were stopping and washing in-between.”
Are you working in your office? What precautions do you take?
“I have hand sanitizer here, and if I am alone in my office I can take my mask off because no one is around me. If someone comes to visit me my chair as you can see is far away from my desk and we are obviously masked.”
Will you ever shake hands again? Hug someone?
“That would be such a weird feeling because I have not done that since February and for me and my job we have to evaluate and look at ankles and knees. I have done a few assessments but it feels weird because I am within your six-foot space. So I have to be careful with how much time I spend with somebody during an evaluation. I will eventually hopefully hug other people other than my family and shake hands but that’s only when we know the spread is low.”
With a new job title, lifestyle changes, a different workload, and an ever changing pandemic, Dr. Stanton is the embodiment of adapting. As the Director of Health Services for the entire school community, she has worked on the development of protocols and tactics to keep the Saints community safe during the COVID-19 Pandemic. In her new office located near the Upper School Dining Hall, Dr. Stanton keeps her office door open, and towards the back are her desk and supplies, while six feet on the other end has chairs placed for visitors in accordance with CDC guidelines.