You thought I was going to say “coronavirus,” didn’t you? Well, I thought we have enough information, misinformation to keep you reading for a while, so I thought I would write about something else.
But, I want to say that I am a teacher here in Arizona, and I will be off until March 27th. I am grateful for the time off, not because I’m exhausted, but as a teacher, we encounter all sorts of germs and bacteria in our classrooms. In my specific school, I have had instances where students come to school sick (and I mean fever, eyes are glassy, and they can’t breathe). I don’t understand why parents would send their ill child to school! I know we have to work, but ignoring a child’s illness places risk to other students and teachers!
In my school (like many other classrooms across America), we have to keep our doors closed for safety reasons. While I understand that too, the air gets very stagnant, especially having a group of ninth-grade students in the room after P.E. The windows in my class do not open at all, and the stench of puberty is offensive. So, if I have students who don’t shower after P.E., I know very well that they are NOT washing their hands when they come back from the restroom. When students ask if they can go to the toilet, I’ve noticed that some of them return in less than a minute! I know they didn’t wash their hands!
This odyssey of COVID-19 this past week had me in panic mode. I suffer in silence as well as pray in silence. I am over 50; I am diabetic; I was diagnosed with asthma. I cannot afford to have this illness – it will wreak havoc on my body. I am at home. I have enough toilet paper because that’s the type of person I am – I buy in bulk when it comes to toilet paper/paper towels and cleaning supplies. But, the panic settled when I thought about a few students who have been out sick for the longest, and when one student who coughs so profoundly, I can hear the rattle of phlegm in his chest! I’ve had one student who didn’t know how to sneeze into his elbow and sneezed on me.
(I’m shaking my head right now because that was utterly disgusting).
I get the flu shot every year, and this year, I got a touch of the flu. I guess what I’m saying is this: children are walking germ factories. I wipe down the desks with Clorox wipes, I have hand sanitizer in my room, and Lysol spray. I have tried to do my part and place two boxes of tissues in two different areas with garbage cans nearby (mind you, I have gone through 10-15 boxes of tissue this year).
Parents need to educate their children about cleanliness and help their children to become well. Students need better nutrition, drink more water (not sports drinks or Red Bulls); and, get enough sleep. All of those steps will help teachers immensely! It will keep these viruses from spreading!
Oh…yeah, you’re probably wondering how does concussion play in this? Well, last week, while monitoring students in the gym during lunch, a volleyball hit my face at top speed, which threw my head back and hit a concrete wall.
I was sent to an urgent care facility and diagnosed with a concussion. I was sent home with a pounding headache, sore neck, and very angry. I had some very compassionate seniors who stood around me, waiting for the driver to pick me up to take me to urgent care. That’s the beauty of teaching. But the hardship of education is getting injured and sick. We are on the battlefield daily!
Concussion? Coronavirus? I have no words. I’m taking these two weeks to decide my future as a teacher.
By the way, thank you to those in the medical field working expediently hard to diagnosing and reducing the sickness for many people. It’s hard work, and I pray for their health and strength.