Saturday, July 4, 2020

The Corona Chronicles: Anxiety

I'm tired of this virus. Aren't you?

It's been several weeks since I posted about it; my original intent in even writing about Covid in this space was to keep a sort of record for my own later recollection about this very strange time in which we are living.

My productivity has improved; I've made some progress on my next book project and have finally moved into the actual writing part. I'm still doing some research as it arises, but I'm at least working. For the first several weeks of this pandemic I was mired in inertia and could do nothing productive except devour the internet for news on the pandemic.

So, there's that.

I am out of sorts today because I am at this moment missing my grandson's eighth birthday party because of the pandemic. Both Louisiana, where I am, and Texas, where he is, are citing spiking case numbers. So, err on the side of caution.  We really have been trying to be careful.

And we usually travel to Iowa about this time every year to visit family, but again, not worth the risk. My husband's mother is definitely in the high risk group because of age.

All of this, yet we are talking about returning to school in what....five weeks?

I have so many questions and concerns about that. Right now, our numbers are spiking.

I know that leaders and administrators are doing their best to make good decisions. And people tell me, "The kids need to be in school! We have to go back!"

But I have concerns.

And I don't have those answers yet.

So, I worry.

Like, if I get exposed, do I have to use my sick leave to self-quarantine for fourteen days? How many times will this happen?

What about new teachers with no accumulated sick leave; is pay docked when you can't work because of Covid?

What about teachers that live with high-risk family members? Are we supposed to abandon that caution simply because the kids need to go back to school?

Do I have to sanitize my desks between each class? Where in the world will all of that sanitizer come from? I haven't seen Lysol wipes in the store since March.

Do I have to teach both in-person and virtually for those who opt for a virtual classroom?

If our school is on an A/B block, and one cohort comes on Monday and another on Tuesday, what is going to keep the Monday kids from infecting the Tuesday kids when the teacher sees them all and gets the virus and exposes them all?

How many students will actually be in my classroom and am I going to be able to space them out far enough?

How in the world am I actually going to be able to teach through a mask?

There are so many questions. I've talked to colleagues who tell me to chill out; it's no worse than the flu and we get through flu season every year. But COVID-19 is not the flu, and in many cases has serious after effect and long recovery times. According to The New York Times:

Patients may leave the hospital with scarring, damage or inflammation that still needs to heal in the lungs, heart, kidneys, liver or other organs. This can cause a range of problems, including urinary and metabolism issues.

As I said, I live with a person who meets most of the high-risk criteria, and age-wise, while we aren't 65, we aren't far off, either.

So yeah, I have a lot, a whole lot, of anxiety about returning to school.

In all likelihood, I'll be just fine, and once I get back to work and into my routine, it will have been much ado about nothing. But, I'm a worrier.

So, I'm recording those worries here, so hopefully come August, or September, when I look back at this I will laugh and chastise myself for being such a ninny.

I hope.

Additional Reading:
How the Hell Are We Going to do This? (Politico 7/4/20)
Strong Start 2020: Louisiana's Plan
Teachers Worry About Return to Classroom Amid Surges in Covid-19 (ABC News)

Recording Covid-19 (March 17)
Surreal Times (March 18)
The Corona Chronicles: Day 3 (March 19)
The Corona Chronicles: Spring Cleaning (March 21)
The Corona Chronicles: Rising Numbers (March 26)
The Corona Chronicles: Unfocused (March 29)
The Corona Chronicles: Be Kind (April 3)
The Corona Chronicles: Stir Crazy (April 13)
The Corona Chronicles: Classroom Cleanout (May 15)

1 comment:

Bteal said...

Not a ninny....legitimite described my life too. Just because we are tired of it, and students need education and we want "normal" doesn't mitigate the effects of this vurus right now.
Valid concerns that I think about too!