Students and Staff are Catching COVID at School. What Does That Mean? 

 
 
Everyday people catch Covid-19 at my school


 
Sometimes you can only tell by the vanishing students and teachers or the everyday need to sub for staff members mysteriously absent for days or weeks in a row.  


 
Sometimes a student will stop by the room to tell you she’s leaving and will be quarantined for the next five days.  


 
Sometimes a fellow teacher will cough and sneeze their way through hall duty and then disappear for the next week or so.  


 
But always, ALWAYS the emails and phone calls: 


 
“We have learned that two High School students, two High School staff members, three Middle School students, six Elementary students and one Elementary staff member have tested positive for COVID-19.  Close contacts have been identified and notified.  Thank you.” 


 
What does it all mean? 


 
One thing’s for sure – we aren’t taking this pandemic very seriously.  


 
Gone is any attempt to keep people from getting sick


 
No mask mandate. No vaccine mandate. No random testing to see if anyone even has the disease.

 
 
Now it’s a constant game of chicken between you and a global pandemic. 


 
Will you beat the odds today?  


 
Given enough time and high infection rates, you probably won’t. And no one seems too worried about that.  


 
We’re acting like this virus is just a cold. People get sick. They convalesce at home. They come back. No problem.  


 
But that is just ableism.  


 
The consequences of getting sick vary from person-to-person.  Some people have symptoms that last for months. Others have permanent damage to their hearts, lungs or other organs.  


 
And someone like me who is triple vaccinated but immunosuppressed because of existing medical conditions could have severe complications.  


 
That’s why I’m afraid. I don’t know if getting sick will mean the sniffles, a stay at the hospital or the morgue. 


 
And no one seems to care.  


 
In fact, nothing seems to make anyone do a thing about the dangerous conditions in which we’re working.  


 
Judging by the emails in the last week and a half, alone, there have been at least 60 people in my small western Pennsylvania district who tested positive for Covid. That’s 17 in the high school (10 students and 7 staff), 22 in the middle school (17 students and 5 staff), and 21 in the elementary schools (16 students and 5 staff). And this doesn’t include close contacts. 


 
However, with the new CDC guidelines that people who test positive only need to quarantine for 5 days, some of these people are probably back at school already. Though it is almost certain they will be replaced by more people testing positive today.  


 
I have a student who just came back a day ago who’s coughing and sneezing in the back of the room with no mask. And there’s not a thing I can do – except spray Lysol all over his seating area once he leaves.  


 
The imperative seems to be to keep the building open at all costs. It doesn’t matter who gets sick, how many get sick – as long as we have one or two adults we can shuffle from room-to-room, the lights will be on and school directors can hold their heads high that they weren’t defeated by Covid.  


 
The daycare center – I mean school – is open and parents can get to work.  


 
But this isn’t the number one concern of all parents. Many are keeping their kids at home because they don’t want them to get sick.  


 
We have a Catholic school right next door. It’s closed and classes have moved on-line.  


 
Don’t get me wrong. I hated teaching remotely on and off during the last few years. But safety is more important to me than being as effective as I can possibly be.  


 
When the Titanic is sinking, you get in the life boats and don’t worry that doing so might mean you won’t dock on time.  


 
Somewhere along the line in the past few years we’ve come to accept the unacceptable: 


 
We’re not in this together. 


 
I don’t have your back. You don’t have mine. 


 
When it comes to a disease like Covid – you’re on your own. 


 


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10 thoughts on “Students and Staff are Catching COVID at School. What Does That Mean? 

  1. Did you read this? I have four indicators. I am in quarantine until 1/17 from in school exposure. I am fully vaxed and bostered.

    This is more contagious than we are being allowed to know.
    And my mild symptoms are moderate symptoms after nine days after in school exposure.

    Thank you for continuing to write.

    Stay home if you can. Blessings

    https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/covid19vaccine/96542?xid=nl_mpt_SRInfectiousDisease_2022-01-12&eun=g1551315d0r&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=InfectiousDiseaseUpdate_011222&utm_term=NL_Spec_Infectious_Disease_Update_Active&fbclid=IwAR1l0xvZU4YDu2Gg4w1Vh1y020BbR5TQegep2gvxACGVRBK4sZFk5CrXn5s

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  2. It has been heartbreaking to hear these stories from other states. I don’t work for a school district anymore, but below is the one I live in that my children went to. I live in California where, for the most part, attitudes are very different. Everyone at school masks, gets tested, and most people are triple vaccinated. The bad news is we are still getting sick with the Omicron virus. The good news is, most people are not getting a severe illness. Check out my local district’s policies. Be sure to go to the links as well: https://www.sjusd.org/your-resources/covid-19-update/

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  3. Your article is spot-on. I work in a large high school in a large school district. I stay informed and am active in my union, yet I feel almost completely uninformed about the prevalence of Covid in my school and district. Teachers “disappear,” and the only way we know if they have Covid is through word of mouth. We are asked to sub for missing teachers on a daily basis. The emotional toll this is taking on me is intense. I have been fully vaccinated and boosted, yet I’m in a 50+ year old building with problematic ventilation (some rooms are boiling hot while others are freezing cold). I highly doubt our ventilation is up to par. Kids don’t wear masks correctly and they eat in class. I know I’m doomed. It’s only a matter of time. How can I focus on students and learning when I am so fearful for my own health? I get home completely worn out. I can’t make it to dinner without taking a nap on most days. The only priority seems to keep building opens so parents can work and the economy can keep going.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Even if teachers don’t all get COVID, the long-term health effects of living with such high anxiety is very concerning, not to mention the effects of cognitive dissonance caused by being in a “caring profession” where caregivers can’t give themselves a measure of safety, let alone provide a safe environment for the children…
    It is completely unsustainable and dangerous.
    I wish the powerful would listen to the people.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Steven,
    I have been a long time fan of yours. I read in earnest and relief as you told the truth of continual propagandized assaults on public education, and teachers. From No Child Left Behind, to charter schools, to Common Core, everything was a giant psy-op by the oligarchs to make the public distrust their schools and teachers and therby get them to hand the whole of education over to them. They used this to bring computer programs to teach and replace teachers,
    They were instilling fear that their children were not safe at school and that they were failing to learn.
    How is it that you do not see that this highly propagandized, “be afraid”, pandemic is the very same playbook?
    Fear is being induced to make huge changes in everyone’s lives. While the virus is real, its danger to healthy adults and children has always been very minimal. Listening to the media, though, you would never know that.
    There was also, knowledge on how to prevent and treat the virus – but it was censored. Instead they made it seem like the only cure was a vaccine – which (surprise, surprise) they found in less than a year.
    Meanwhile, we followed orders to lock down and be afraid. The fear was magnified by the mainstream media – owned, funded and operated by oligarchs.
    Please do a little research on what I am saying. Children are in as much danger of getting hit by lightening as they are dying from the virus.
    I know that these words sound heretical in the current environment, but soon you will see that The Hague will be prosecuting some prominent actors with Crimes against Humanity by way of the Nuremberg Code. The vaccine is not a vaccine, and it is injuring and killing more people than the virus ever did.
    The Great Barrington Declaration has many doctors and scientists saying as much. The book, “The Real Anthony Fauci”, is trove of information and documented source material.

    Much respect
    Linda

    Like

    • Linda, you have been grossly mislead. More than 5 million people have died of Covid-19. More than 317 million people have tested positive. That would be almost impossible to fake. I know personally people who have died of this disease. It is not a conspiracy theory to make schools look bad. And the Great Barrington Declaration that you mentioned was drafted at the American Institute for Economic Research. That’s a libertarian think tank. Please wake up. We cannot afford such illogical thinking. We need everyone to help fight the true enemies. This is life and death.

      Like

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