Dear FUS parents and students,

We would like to share a message sent to us by an infectious disease specialist, the father of a Franklin sophomore, who wants to share his perspective and advice on the coronavirus (COVID-19) with other parents:

Dear FUS parents,

I am an infectious disease specialist with firsthand experience treating patients with COVID-19. More importantly, I am the father of a FUS sophomore. Given my unique situation, I thought I would share my perspective and the advice that I am providing my FUS daughter, my patients and my community.

Perspective is important but hard to achieve given nonstop media attention generated by this new virus. I wish Influenza would get this much attention. Per the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, about 3 million Italians have been sickened with Influenza and approximately 300 have died from Influenza-related illness this season alone. Hundreds of thousands are being infected with Influenza every week in Italy. This happens every year. Compare that to the 270 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Italy and one in Ticino. In the United States, we are caring for 53 COVID-19 patients (none of whom are particularly ill) while at the same time 30 million have been infected with Influenza resulting in 280,000 hospitalizations and 16,000 deaths since October 2019. All this from a vaccine preventable disease. Influenza should be the headline.

COVID-19 has captured our attention because of its rapid spread and novel nature. We are continuing to learn more about this virus and are developing a vaccine and treatment options. Countries around the world are cooperating to reduce its spread and impact. For me, two of the most reassuring aspects of COVID-19 are that > 80% of infections are very mild and are similar to a common cold, and this infection tends to spare the young. The more severe infections tend to occur in individuals over the age of 60.

We are also lucky that the same interventions which prevent the spread of Influenza also prevent the spread of COVID-19. 80% of these infections can be prevented by keeping your hands clean and away from your face.

Here is my advice to my FUS daughter:

  • Get your annual Influenza Vaccine – she did.
  • It is never too late to get vaccinated for Influenza, so if you or your loved ones have not been vaccinated, do it today.
  • Clean your hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your face since viruses often enter through your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Avoid large groups of people when viruses such Influenza or COVID-19 are spreading in the community.
  • Eat well and get lots of sleep.
  • Stay in your dorm or at home if you are sick (let the school nurse know if you become ill).
  • And, of course, stay put, study hard, and get those grades up!

Philip Robinson, MD, FIDSA

Thank you, Dr. Robinson!

All updated announcements on COVID-19 are available at: