Teachers: Vaccine Provides a Light at the End of the Tunnel

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https://www.dw.com/en/covid-19-risks-and-side-effects-of-vaccination/a-56136620

Shea Pettit

In the past few weeks, teachers have gotten the chance to be vaccinated. A lot of teachers at Westminster are now fully vaccinated, but some of them aren’t. A few teachers guessed that 75% to 95% of the teachers at Westminster are vaccinated, but the school isn’t allowed to ask people if they have been vaccinated due to their privacy, so there’s no way of knowing for sure.

These teachers that are now vaccinated feel a little more comfortable in public places but are still following the safety protocols. Carolina Mares, Middle School Spanish and French teacher, says, “I feel much more comfortable going out to eat at restaurants and being indoors, but when it comes to places like school or grocery stores,I don’t feel any more relaxed about the rules because I’m still trying to protect others.” Even though most people are vaccinated, it’s important to keep others safe when in public places.

Another advantage of being vaccinated is that people are starting to get to see family members that they haven’t been able to see in a while due to safety precautions. “My favorite thing [is] seeing my parents and having the assurance, and I guess it’s not 100%, but being able to be unmasked in the presence of my parents,” says Catherine Zidow, Eighth Grade Girls’ Grade Chair and English Teacher. “I went to visit them five times since last March and I wore a mask the entire time I was in their presence or in their house, and that was just really tiring. So it’s just been really nice.” 

Having the vaccinations available to more and more people everyday gives us a light at the end of the tunnel. Francisco Simbaña, Middle School English Teacher, says, “One of my favorite things [about being vaccinated] is not just the fact that we can go more places and have a little bit more freedom, but it’s also the joy of knowing that there is sort of a road to getting back to normal.” 

At Westminster, we are very privileged and lucky to have access to the vaccines. “I communicate with different parts of the world because of my position [as] Global [Education Programs Coordinator], and I feel privileged,” says Zeke Hoyos, Global Education Programs Coordinator and Middle School Spanish Teacher. “Our friends, our partner school in India, has not had that same privilege, they’re having a really hard time getting the vaccines to everyone.” These other countries have different systems of getting vaccines to people. In Spain, for example, where Hoyos has family, people have to wait for the hospital to call them when it’s their turn and they can either accept or reject the offer.

All in all, Westminster has done an incredible job organizing the vaccinations and we should be extremely grateful to be so privileged.