Category: Health

Yes, Masks do work

Yes, Masks do work

As of Monday, April 4, La Joya ISD removed its mask mandate. Instead, they “highly recommend” the use of face coverings for all students, employees, and visitors in high traffic areas such as hallways or school buses.

Since then, many students have reported seeing their peers and teachers stop wearing their masks, as well as abandoning different safety precautions La Joya ISD previously suggested, such as removing sneeze guards from students’ desks. The removal of the mandate makes no sense because evidence has shown that masks prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

In September of 2021, the Center for Disease Control(CDC) released numerous studies showing the importance of masking in schools. Studies, such as one from Arizona, show how school districts that did not implement universal masking policies were at higher risk of a COVID-19 outbreak. The report said that two of the state’s most populous counties were 3.5 times more likely for an outbreak. The CDC would also say that “facemasks when used as part of the larger strategy can reduce the spread of COVID-19 and prevent outbreaks in schools.” As of today, the CDC continues to uphold this recommendation. 

The second study, taken between July 1 and September 4, 2021, showed that pediatric COVID cases in counties with mask mandates had a rate of 16.32 cases per 100,000/day compared to counties without mandates with a rate of 34.85 cases per 100,000/day. This report shows how much of an impact masking policy can have on communities. 

Early in the year, Texas school districts struggled to stay open because many teachers and bus drivers were calling in sick. Fort Worths Northwest ISD saw a nearly 900% case increase during this time.[need a warrant between previous and next] Northwest ISD does not have a masking mandate but does highly encourage students, employees, and visitors to wear a mask and socially distance when on district policy. The district has a student population of about 25,264. 

The Hidalgo County Health and Human Service Department issued a press release on October 14, 2021, against public businesses/schools requiring face masks although, a school governing body shall vote to opt-out of the order. During this time, COVID cases were low, most of the time hardly reaching tripe digits but by the new year, cases would go up to over a thousand cases daily. On January 14, 2022, there were 11,157 new cases as opposed to the previous high of 1,329 cases on November 24, 2020. That is just over eight times as high. 

Perhaps the only change that has been made is that people have stopped wearing their masks, both at school, at work, and even at the grocery store. These extreme increases in cases are something that we know how to prevent; possible school closures and outbreaks can be prevented. 

People pushing shopping carts inside of a grocery store

Stocking Up!

Customers at the H.E.B in Sharyland, Mission are continuing to make purchases while following socials distancing guidelines. Customers have continued to make these purchases to ensure that they are providing enough food for themselves and their families. H.E.B has followed the social distancing guidelines by leaving markers on the floor to indicate the six feet distance and by leaving hand sanitizer at the exit.

A step towards health

Type One Diabetes is responsible for taking 700,000 American lives every year and is the 7th leading cause of death in the nation. A statistic registry done by the UTRGV Border Health Office found that 17.8% of the population in Hidalgo County has been diagnosed with diabetes, and it affects a majority of the people throughout the rest of the Rio Grande Valley as well.

As a response to this issue, Diabetes Awareness walks were started in the La Joya ISD by the Wellness Department and are coordinated by Marissa Saenz.

On November 12, the La Joya Stadium will have a Diabetes Awareness Walk, where members of the community will gather to raise awareness for this prominent community issue.

Many school organizations will volunteer and attend the walk, including our own Leo’s Club. “I find it important to attend the walk because it shares an awareness that diabetes is the second leading cause of death here in the valley for Hispanics, and I don’t think enough of us know that,” said Yesenia Torres, the coordinator of Leo’s Club at Carter.

Not only does the walk help raise awareness, but it also shows the community that those attending are passionate about finding an affordable alternative for insulin and supporting people that are diagnosed with diabetes.

Carter students are getting involved and plan on attending the walk. “I think it’s important that students are involved in the walk because it demonstrates that Red Wolves care about the community,” said junior Victor Saldivar.

By ensuring that the community is involved in bringing awareness to diabetes, it makes finding a solution a real possibility.

Medicine at School


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Medication that must be administered to a student during school hours must be provided by the students parents: all medication, whether prescription and nonprescription, must be kept in the nurse’s office and administered by the nurse or another authorized district employee, unless the students are permitted of asthma or a severe allergy as described below or as otherwise allowed by law.

Facts about Medication at School

  • All medications must be in a labeled container and must be provided by the parent or guardian.  
  • Students who must keep an inhaler or any other medication on their person for emergency purposes must receive written permission from an administrator.
  • The teacher may know about the student that is on medication so that nothing will happen to the student.
  • All students who self-administer/self-carry their medications are responsible for bringing them to all off-campus events.

Why does medication need to be prescribed?

  • The doctor should give the student a prescription so the nurse could give the student the medicine he/she needs.
  • Every kid has to be safe because the nurse cannot give any student whatever medication because they can lose their job.

Jimmy Carter ECHS selling harmful drinks

Let’s consider the effects of Monster drinks. 


What is a Monster drink?

Hansen Natural Company introduced monster Drinks in April 2002. Monster drinks are energy based beverages that have stimulating herbs and nutrients. There are a few types of Monster drinks like coffee and fruit flavored. Some of the ingredients in Monster are glucose, taurine, caffeine, and l-carnitine.

Glucose is sugar that is the primary ingredient in a Monster drink. A 16 oz Monster contains 54 grams of sugar. According to the National Institutes of Health, its a primary source of energy for most cells of the body.

Taurine is an amino acid that supports and helps regulate water and minerals salt level in the blood. A 16oz Monster has 2 grams of taurine. Studies show that taurine improves athletic performance.

Caffeine is that main ingredient in that Monster drink. According to the National Institutes of Health, stimulates the nervous system.

L-carnitine is an amino acid that converts fat into energy. The University of Maryland Medical Center says there is no proof that it can increase athletic performance.  

What are the side effects of a Monster Drink?

All the high caffeine that’s in the Monster is responsible for most of the side effects. Nervousness and jitteriness are side effects of drinking Monster. Agitation can cause sweating, tremor, and racing thoughts. Also the more you drink, the more anxiety you get.

What do the compounds in energy drinks do to the heart?

Energy drinks neither for children nor safe for their hearts. Each can contain high amounts of caffeine. 

Dr.Steven Lipshultz said, “The drinks have no benefit for children who drink them.” 

The American Heart Association’s meeting in New Orleans found that drinking Monster can mess with the heart’s rhythm. It can also increase blood pressure. The aforementioned changes can lead to irregular heartbeat and even sudden death.

Why are kids so obsessed with drinking Monster?

Most kids think energy drinks will give them more energy. Kids also think it will help them lose weight, but there is no evidence that energy drinks help with any of thesis goals. 

Students stomachs rumble in response to food guidelines

The district has adopted and implemented the state and federal policies and guidelines for food service, including the instructions to restrict students access to vending machines. Schools are more healthy with vending machines with products like apples, bananas, oranges, fruit salad, water, juice, and many more healthy things. The school has an opportunity and responsibility to create a healthy campus.

It will be great for our school to have healthy vending machines to have more healthy snacks and not chips around our campus. One of the advantages of having vending devices is to provide efficiently for students. The problem of installing vending machines is that the U.S Department of Agriculture has recently proposed to impose restrictions on food items sold in schools.

A student  said, “ It will help us get snacks when we do not like the food for lunch, and it will still give us the nutrients we need.”

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