This seems as insane as can be, and should never be happening if our government had actually taken — and sustained — serious measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus, and yet here we are…
Teachers in many school districts around the country are preparing their wills and last testament, and writing goodbye letters to family members, loved ones, and friends, as they prepare to go back to school next month for in-person teaching, even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to worsen in many areas of the country.
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In a damning new feature in People, several teachers come forward with stories confirming how they have been getting their financial and family affairs in order should the worst happen to them once they return to school. It’s unthinkable that a country as advanced as the United States would be in such a state to put teachers in this position, but alas… here we are. Just sickening.
One middle school teacher from Ohio, Terri Crothers, told the mag about her feelings of anxiety and fear in going back to school and potentially catching the virus — which could leave her dead or with “debilitating” after-effects, considering she’s nearly 60 years old. The educator said (below):
“I’m scared as hell about going back into the classroom. I’m frightened that if I catch the virus, I won’t survive or I will be left with debilitating effects. I don’t want to leave my family with the mess of taking care of whatever I might have left behind.”
The divorced mother and longtime teacher has already written up letters for her 19-year-old daughter and her elderly parents, and has asked her attorney to deliver them personally should the worst happen once she returns to school. She’s also legally laid out her final wishes, getting them on paper now in case she is stricken with the virus when she gets back to teaching as her Ohio school readies to re-open.
Crothers’ plight isn’t unique, either. Shawn Arthur, a 36-year-old eighth grade math teacher in St. Louis, has done something similar for his family. A father of two young children, Arthur has asthma, and his wife further has Crohn’s disease, taking medication for it that impacts her immune system. He also created a last will during the summer break before preparing to go back to school in the fall, telling the outlet:
“I felt like it was time to solidify and put it in writing, and make our wishes known. We’re worried about what might happen to the kids if something might happen to both of us.”
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John Midgett, the secretary for the National Association of Estate Planners, told the outlet that they are seeing quite a few new demands for wills and other end-of-life directives recently — with many specifically coming in from teachers. The exec said:
“We’re seeing a lot of uptick in demands for wills, powers of attorney and other healthcare directives. In case something happens, they don’t want to leave more problems for their families … This is a wake-up call for many people to do what they should have done for their families. This is the silver lining of the pandemic.”
Silver lining in terms of better long-term family planning, perhaps, but it’s absurd to think teachers need to have their wills updated just to go back and teach once again in the fall.
Maybe we’re trying to open up schools too quickly?? Just a thought?!
Lily Eskelsen Garcia, the president of the National Education Association, can at least see how clearly inappropriate and inexcusable it is that teachers are being put in this position, saying:
“We’ve heard of panicked teachers updating their wills. It is unconscionable that educators and parents are being asked to plan for end-of-life decisions because our country has no plan for reopening schools and institutions of higher education safely.”
Amen! The fact that teachers are even being put in a position like this is insane.
And yet, here we are…
Where are our leaders?!
Is this really the way we want our society to function??