When We Talk Masks and Vaccines, Let’s Stop Talking Politics and Focus on Health and Safety

Much of the conversation around the Ebola crisis has focused on the fact that the virus has no cure and survivors can spread the virus with their sweat and saliva. This is a scary and important fact, and we must be careful in how we talk about it. Not all Ebola survivors will develop symptoms and spread the virus — and we must do everything we can to prevent that from happening.

We all use masks on a daily basis. You know, those face masks that you put on when you’re about to step outside for some fresh air. And I’m sure some of us know some people who wear full-face masks when they’re out of the house, some even during the day, just to be safe.

Sports mascots are fun, but they can be detrimental to children’s health and safety. Sports mascots are often presented as characters who can inspire children to get active and stay healthy. However, Doreen Nicoll, PhD, DPT, Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa, has pointed out that mascots can negatively influence children’s health and safety by fostering the false belief that sporting activities are safe.. Read more about education week and let us know what you think.



Some people are trying to turn being vaccinated and wearing masks into a political issue — we’ve seen it all around — but it isn’t. I don’t care whether you’re a Democrat, a Republican, a liberal, or a conservative; none of that matters when it comes to your safety and the protection of your students and coworkers in your building.

For those who refuse to be vaccinated, let me first state that I completely support your decision. I understand that some of you are dubious of the science underlying vaccine development. I completely understand! Before I finally chose to buy it for myself, I was one of those people. My primary reasons for changing my mind were my wife and my 3-year-old kid.

Allow me to be even more open for a moment.

Despite being properly vaccinated and following social distancing recommendations, including wearing my mask in public, I contracted COVID-19 during a recent family trip overseas. I was asymptomatic the whole time and would have been infecting others, including my family, if it hadn’t been for the fact that I had to go to a medical facility to obtain a necessary negative test to board the aircraft.

I didn’t have any of the main symptoms linked with COVID-19, such as fever, tiredness, loss of smell or taste. Why would I even consider going to the doctor if I felt perfectly fine? That’s how simple it is to acquire and spread the virus if we’re not cautious or underestimating the scope of the problem.

I’m no scientist, but I’m certain that my physical state would have deteriorated considerably if I hadn’t gotten the vaccine.

Consider what would happen if you or a coworker accidentally caught the virus and had the same asymptomatic symptoms as I did. Unless your school or district tests teachers and staff workers on a regular basis, your asymptomatic self will report to work since there is no reason to stay home. Isn’t it true that you’re feeling fantastic and that you’re in good health?

You don’t want to be the unvaccinated California teacher who contracted COVID-19, continued to teach, and infected half of the kids in the classroom.

Let’s also assume that, like me, you’re completely vaccinated. Even while we should all know by now that the vaccination does not provide 100 percent protection against the virus, it does prevent you from severe disease and death, most of us who are completely vaccinated are even less inclined to believe we are walking around with an asymptomatic COVID infection. But it’s possible.

Consider the fact that no vaccination against the virus is presently available for children under the age of 12. This implies that if you educate children in kindergarten through sixth grade, they will not be vaccinated and will be at a greater risk of acquiring the virus. Even if you are taking all of the required measures in the classroom, such as social distance and handwashing, it is still possible for any of our children to acquire the virus despite your efforts. This pandemic has reached epidemic proportions.

I don’t believe there is a single teacher on the planet who enjoys the idea of wearing a mask all day in their classroom. I don’t think so. If I’m working in a school building, however, you’ll notice that I’m wearing my mask because I know I’ll be protecting my students and others.

Even while it pains me to see teachers dismissed or resigned for refusing to wear masks within the first month of the new school year, the basic fact is that the safety and health of kids, teachers, and staff members must be the first concern right now. If some people can’t accept it, they won’t be able to stay on the job.

The CDC isn’t flawless, to be sure. I’ve been critical of their management of schools in relation to the epidemic at times. But I’ll never question their scientific knowledge, and I’ll never know more about COVID-19 than they do.

As a result, if they report that COVID-19 instances are on the rise and that we still need to take preventive steps to control the virus, you can bet I’ll pay attention because, at the end of the day, this isn’t a political issue. This is a matter of safety.

Maybe there wouldn’t be as much tension if we all looked at it through that perspective. Let us do the right thing by our kids and coworkers by putting safety first and putting our political differences aside. COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate based on race, and it doesn’t care which political party you support. It only cares about your cells and critical organs in the end.

In the midst of this epidemic, most teachers, school administrators, and staff members throughout the country are working very hard and trying their utmost best to safeguard their kids. I don’t want you to lose sight of the wonderful story I’m telling you.

I’m writing in the hopes that any vaccine- and mask-resistant instructors who read this would at the very least be open-minded enough to consider an alternative viewpoint on the COVID-19 issue. My main worry is for the safety of the instructors, kids, and staff members returning to school. 

Adobe Stock-licensed photo by wavebreak3.

The flu season has just passed and it’s time go over this year’s flu cases. There were 11,000 flu cases reported in New York City in 2017. What’s the biggest thing that caused this increase in cases? According to the CDC, the most common reason for this increase is that there were more flu-like illnesses in the beginning of the year. The city reported the highest number of cases of Influenza B, while the next most common were Influenza A and Influenza C. Although the city’s flu cases are still higher than last year’s cases, they are not as high as they were at the beginning of the year. This means that we need to continue to protect ourselves and our families from flu and other contagious diseases.. Read more about edutopia teaching through a pandemic and let us know what you think.

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