As the Omicron wave of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic sweeps across the country, an increasing number of people are getting infected. As a result, many people take strict measures to avoid exposure to the coronavirus. In the case of a Texas mom, she took prevention measures considerably too far. To avoid exposure from her coronavirus-infected son, she stuffed him in the trunk of her car.
Mother drives son to coronavirus testing site with him in the trunk of her car
Sarah Beam, a 41-year-old English teacher at Cypress Falls High School in Harris County, Texas, took extreme actions to avoid getting exposed to her coronavirus-infected 13-year-old son, as reported by CNN. For the drive to a Houston-area coronavirus testing site on January 3 to get additional testing for her son, she put him in the trunk of her car.
Health services director at coronavirus testing site discovers a boy in a car trunk
The director of health services at the coronavirus testing site was collecting information from cars in a line when “she found a female driver, later identified as Sarah Beam, having her child in the trunk of her car.” In an official statement to police, the health director stated, “the defendant confirmed that her son, K.H., who is a 13-year-old child, was in the trunk of the car due [to] the child having been tested positive for Covid.”
The health official further detailed her interactions with the mother. When asked to see her child, the “mother opened the trunk where the child was lying down inside the trunk.” In response, the health official told Beam that her son would not get a coronavirus test until “he was removed from the trunk and placed in the back seat of the car.” The health official then called the police. When the health official returned to the car, she found the child in the rear seat.
Police arrested the mother, and her school district employer placed her on administrative leave
In the ensuing investigation, the police viewed footage from surveillance cameras at an adjacent middle school. They corroborated the health official’s account of how the child “exited the trunk of the car and entered into the back seat of the vehicle on the passenger side.” The police then arrested Beam. Later, the police released the mother from jail on a $1,500 bond.
Additionally, the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District (CFISD), the school district in which Beam teaches, released a statement to CNN:
“CFPD was alerted that a child was in the trunk of a car at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site last week. Law enforcement conducted a full investigation, resulting in a warrant for arrest. Thankfully, the child was not harmed. Sarah Beam most recently worked as a teacher in CFISD and is currently on administrative leave.”– Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District
CNN reached out to Beam for a comment about the incident of placing her son in the car trunk. However, the news outlet did not yet receive a response from the mother and teacher.
How to safely avoid exposure to coronavirus in a car
There is no foolproof way to completely and safely avoid exposure to coronavirus in a car. However, there are some preventative measures that you can take. First of all, don’t do what the Texas mom did and put someone in a car trunk. Not only is it very dangerous to ride in a car trunk, but it’s also illegal.
If weather permits, roll down the car windows. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), rolling down the car windows is an effective measure to reduce airborne transmission of the coronavirus. It’s also more effective than using the ventilation system in a car.
Additionally, another effective coronavirus prevention measure is to sit in the back of the car, diagonally adjacent to the driver, and open the window that is the furthest away from you. Furthermore, you can follow the same CDC-recommended guidelines for other enclosed spaces. This includes proper hygiene with hand washing and the use of hand sanitizer, as well as wearing a mask.