I’d been feeling so good, so hopeful about having a classroom full of consistently present students this year. That there would be no more masks at school. No more social distancing. No more diligent seating chart documentation. Hopeful there would be no more quarantines.
I was feeling good about devoting my mind and energy to educating my students, not keeping them disinfected.About sending my boys back to school where the focus would be back on schooling.
I’ve been vaccinated. Many of my fellow faculty members have as well. Even some of my high school students have been. These vaccines, plus Covid19 cases subsiding due to a variety of factors, had me feeling hopeful.
But then July hit. And the delta variant began wreaking havoc. Cases are rising again.. as rapidly as November of last year. But this time, a new fear comes with the rise. This time, kids are getting really, really sick.
Last year, the severe coronavirus cases – and/or severe aftereffects — were more likely to occur in adults. And even mild cases left some adults with severe aftereffects – my baby sister being one. Covid19 saddled her with viral myocarditis and only 15% of a functioning heart.
She tells anyone and everyone she can to get vaccinated. I agree. My physician daughter does too. I trust my daughter who knows and trusts the science.
But our kids… the little ones… they can’t get vaccinated yet. And that scares me.
Last year, our children, our students, were fairly safe. Our school system had only one student hospitalized – with Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome — due to Covid19. Thankfully, that student pulled through.
But this year, things could be very different.
This year, with this delta variant, children are being more heavily impacted. This past week, here in Georgia, a five-year-old with zero preexisting conditions died of Covid19. In Mississippi, seven children under twelve are in the ICU with Covid19. Two on ventillators.
Y’all. That’s scary. As a parent, it’s terrifying. As a teacher, it’s terrifying. This year is terrifying on a whole different level. And while some would argue the odds are minimal, tell that to the parents of these children.
Our middle and high school students have the option to be vaccinated. And some have been. I am thankful for that. But not all of them have been. Likely, not many.
And none of the elementary school age kids have been. No children under twelve. No children my boys’s age. They haven’t because they can’t yet. But rest assured, as soon as they can be, my boys will be. I want to protect them. And I want to protect others.
But until then… I’m hopeful that masks will be back. And social distancing. And diligent seating chart documentation. And while I’m prayerful that there will be no more quarantines, I’m worried.
This teacher is worried, yes.
But mostly, this Mama is worried.