No one has been trained to work under our current conditions of either remote learning or learning while maintaining a social distance while wearing face coverings.
Everyone is doing what they can to make things work.
Some of the teachers who have worked hard to be there for their students have gotten sick.
Some have died.
We've discovered that COVID can strike anyone...even children. Even in school.
Parents who work outside the home can infect their children, and those children can infect their teachers.
When students or teachers get COVID, school systems, cities, and municipalities are quick to say “it didn’t happen at school.” This keeps the schools open and the kids at school so parents can work even if it’s not true. (And I understand the need for parents to work. I understand the difficulty for some parents of not being able to work from home...and at the same time having to be home with their children).
Sometimes if it gets too bad, schools will "go virtual."
What happens to the parents, then? Do they quit their jobs? Do they lose their jobs? Do they enlist the aid of grandparents who might be more susceptible to serious illness?
The adults in schools can get sick and die from this disease. When they do, who do we blame? Who is responsible when teachers (or kids) get sick and die from COVID-19? Do we blame the teachers themselves because "it couldn't have happened in school" so "they must have gotten it from somewhere else?"
Can we stop blaming educators for getting COVID?
Could we please have the decency to admit that, in many of these cases, we have no idea where they got it? While it is possible these educators contracted the virus outside of school, it’s just as likely that they didn’t. We simply don’t know.We're all doing what we can.
What we do know about this virus is that the only way to truly stay safe from it is to avoid crowded public places, perform regular disinfection and ensure proper ventilation and clean air flow when we must share space with others. Those conditions are hard to come by in a public school.
These educators who have lost their lives during the pandemic have been forced to choose between increasing their risk of infection by returning to in-person instruction and not being able to feed their kids or pay their mortgage.