Submitted by Susan Marrinan
Recently, I had a brief conversation with a Coronado resident that left me concerned and curious.
We were saying how fortunate we are to live in Coronado, and I added that we are lucky to have a great school system with such outstanding teachers. I remarked that it must have been hard to teach during a pandemic. The other person’s demeanor changed, and she responded, “So what? Children can’t give anyone Covid.”
Taken aback, I responded that children get Covid and can transmit it and that teachers have died from Covid. (https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/educators-weve-lost-to-the-coronavirus/2020/04).
We know children in Coronado who have tested positive. That’s why they get sent home from school. (https://hms.harvard.edu/news/children-spread-covid-19)
She then remarked, “Well, other people have to go to work every day too. What makes teachers think they are so special?”
Not everyone could work from home or stay home from work, but not every worker has to be in a room with 30 or so unvaccinated people all day. Not all workers had to learn new skills to do their jobs as teachers had to do when they transitioned to online learning.
Then the other person said, “It’s the Teachers’ Union!”
Not wishing to prolong this encounter, I didn’t respond that without unions, there would be no laws against child labor, six-day work weeks, no minimum wage, no benefits, and no workplace safety measures. One of the main functions of any union is to work to protect the safety of its members.
Our conversation left me wondering how many people believe that children can’t transmit Covid? How many think teachers didn’t have to do anything special to keep teaching during the schools’ closures? How many believe that workers’ unions are unnecessary?
Our teachers work hard to prepare our children for the adult world. If you know a teacher, now might be a good time to show appreciation.