Teachers have been back to work for three weeks now. The students have been back for one week. There have been 16 positive Covid cases in the schools so far, all adults. I had my own Covid crash this week. One of my work friends spiked a high fever on Monday night. I had been in close proximity to her quite a few times. The next day, I started getting a sore throat and headache. Taking no chances, I went to get tested during my lunch time. The next day, my eyelids were so swollen, I could barely open my eyes. I stayed home that day. The next day, I took some allergy medication, and went to work. By noon, I got a call from my administrator. She told me that I needed to stay home for 10 days since I had symptoms, OR I needed to bring in proof of a negative covid test and an alternate diagnosis. I went home for the rest of the day. The next morning, I received my negative test result. I had to take a little trip to the doctor for a note. They were shocked that my employer was requiring an alternate diagnosis. They said it was a violation of hippa. They gave me what I needed, but they didn’t really have an alternate diagnosis, so they just printed off my after visit summary that said,” Virus”. I turned in my letters and went back to work.
I’m not sure what I will do if I start getting sick again. It seems like pretty much any illness can present Covid symptoms. How many people just keep on working with a sore throat? I usually work through most illnesses. I don’t like staying home from work unless I have a fever.
I had to laugh when I first saw a fellow teacher in my county, share a picture of the mask that was provided by the state. It doesn’t look like any mask I have seen. It kind of looks like something from a sock factory. We are still waiting for our “kits” from the state. Even with the lovely masks, I just learned that the teacher in the room next to me, refuses to wear a mask. I had noticed, but kept my thoughts to myself. Our classrooms are at half to three fourths capacity, and less than half of the students wear masks.
This week, our county mayor referred to the pandemic as fake. Some of us are wondering why he continues to do a Facebook live daily update on the pandemic if it is fake.
Our mayor also used his platform to post a racist meme, which was very distasteful. he defended it as “just a joke”, and put down anyone who said otherwise. I am sad to say that my town seems to be full of racists. I was married to one of them. I don’t feel like our mayor is serving ALL of the people of our county. I have never thought much about public officials, but this crisis has brought them into the light.
This is the decision tree that our schools are using. The only change has been that on the green side, we are to report to work as long as we don’t have symptoms. I can say, it definitely doesn’t feel right having to report symptoms, doctor visits, and Covid testing, to others. I personally think the schools should have put most of the students into remote learning to start the year. I think there needed to be a better plan in place for testing in the schools. In the university where my sister works, they have required all students to have a covid test before coming to campus for the fall. They were establishing a baseline- found almost one percent of students were positive.
On a happy note, Little AoA is a HUGE Dolly Parton fan. She found a sweet little quilt, and made one of her dolls a “Dolly” with a coat of many colors. We anxiously await the day that we can finally take a trip to Dollywood!
This next week, I will start seeing my students! I am really looking forward to getting into a routine with them. I am getting through my practice curriculum on google classroom. I suspect I may be making it harder than it should be. Luckily, my students won’t hesitate to give me honest feedback.