Covid is taking its toll on schools, students, parents and teachers all across this great country we call America. It is ravaging the world as well, but for my purposes I will write about what I witness on a daily and weekly basis as a local career educator and coach. Different states, cities, towns and districts all have different standards and protocols in place. This inconsistency has gotten things all jumbled up and out of sync. Governors are putting in mandates while others are leaving it up to the local school board to decide. Some washed their hands of it due to political reasons while others are doing what they want regardless of the polticial consequences.
Covid is very real and I am a survivor of the sickness. Last December right around Christmas while I was at home ordering food in, staying out of the public, wearing a mask, being careful and teaching from home online as directed by my school district I contracted the sickness. Within five days it had ravaged my body and put me in the hospital. I could not breath, walk or hardly talk as it took its toll on my lungs and body. I fought back and survived and Thanks to God I came home. It took 30 pounds off me quickly, messed with my lung function and put me at a high risk of other issues. So as I write about Covid I do so as a survivor that nearly died in the hopsital fighting to breath and not give up.
I see schools are trying to return to normal and have implemented mask mandates, staying six feet apart and other guidelines to protect their students, teachers, staff and families. But is that enough and are those simple little guidelines realistic to stopping the spread of Covid and saving peoples lives? I am not for nor against a mask and other guidelines. I am simply saying this Covid thing goes much deeper and farther than a guideline. If a person is exposed the guideline says this. If they are vaccinated it says this. If they are not it says this. All of this means nothing because when it comes down to it Covid scares many people and even others that will not admit it.
If you are a teacher you know that it is true that kids come to school all the time sick with colds, coughs, flu and other things. Parents send them to school to make sure they do not miss any work time or even do not have to keep the kids at home. I have seen the stress Covid is putting on the staff at schools and the anxiety it gives many of the students. Some act as if it is no big deal, but to others it is real because they have had it, seen someone fight it or even worse lost someone from it. Covid does not care if your young, old, healthy, fat, skinny, diabetic, sick, not sick, etc. Covid attacks us when we are weak and takes it toll on the body.
I know of several people I would conside fit as a fiddle that died within a week of it. I have seen case after case at school, exposure after exposure at school and your told look at the protocol. What they do not understand is a person that has a mother, father or older person at home does not care about a damn protocol. They are worried they may take it home and give it to someone else that could pass away. A paper of process cannot replace lives lost due to protocol. Covid will not be going away soon and will continue to ravage as it wants to.
How we react to it is what matters. Do we live scared? Do we live free of it? Do we proceed with caution? What do we do? Is remote learnig best? Is alternating weeks best? Is face to face with spacing and masks best? These are the things the politicians, school boards, administrators and leaders must face. But for the front line people, the teachers, nurses, police, firemen, and other civil servants it is more of how do we face it and move forward. I see people taking time off, stepping away, leaving the field and doing safer occupations. I see people on facebook talking about “if you do not like what you do or are scared then do not do it”. That is easier said than done when it comes to leaving a profession you love, giving up an income and not taking care of the family needs and wants.
Covid, you suck and need to go away. Our kids need to be in school. Our teachers need to be teaching them. Our kids need to play football, be in the band, hang with friends and live life. We need you to go away as quick as you came. Wishful thinking yes, but it sounds good to me for it to go away. As for me I will be at work, be as safe as I can and take care of my students, my family and myself. Prayerfully I can teach, coach, mentor and survive this thing called Covid.