Struggling with COVID fatigue, even while understanding it’s a matter of life and death

I went to an auto parts store recently. The employee who helped me wore his mask around his neck. I’m not sure if everyone gets this pandemic thing.

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A young woman walks past a new COVID-19 alert sign in London.

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Covid-19 fatigue?

Most of us took the virus seriously in the beginning. But as time went on, people started to get back to a more normal life. Some of us feel that our politicians could have done better; it says something that some politicians who told us not to worry about COVID-19 were quietly selling stocks. We want to believe our government.

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I went to an auto parts store recently. The employee who helped me wore his mask around his neck. I’m not sure if everyone gets this pandemic thing. I pay for my gas at the pump now with a credit card. I no longer go inside because it seems that at least one person won’t be wearing a mask.

Hate to be so critical, but this really is life or death.

Last week, I called People’s Gas in response to a letter I received about an upcoming routine inspection. I didn’t think much of that. So I called People’s Gas to postpone the inspection until we get out of this peak time of the pandemic. The experts say we shouldn’t even allow outside trusted relatives into our houses. But People’s Gas told me it the inspection can’t be pushed back. I mentioned the pandemic, but that didn’t seem important to them.

Are people tired of this virus or just waking up? I’m not sure if canceling Christmas with family was really necessary.

Merry Christmas!

Tom DeDore, Garfield Ridge

Put yourself in a teacher’s shoes

I am a teacher. I love my students and treat them as if they are my own children. My students have, and always will, come first.It is very disconcerting to read articles or letters to the editor in which teachers are deemed ‘lazy’ or told to “get back to work.”

Remote teaching is by far one of the most challenging experiences of my teaching career. There is no such thing as part-time teaching in remote. This is not a vacation or extra free time for teachers. I and other teachers are working twice as many hours to modify curriculum that can be used remotely, keep students engaged, keep track of students and families in need, prepare materials to be delivered or handed out so students can have hands-on experiences just as if in school … the list goes on and on.

If I could be in the classroom, safely, with my students, give them the encouraging smile, hold their hand when they are upset or hurt, and listen to their laughter and learning for the day, I would but I also want my students, families and myself to stay safe and healthy.

So before anyone trash-talks a teacher, try seeing what their job — 16-plus hours a day, seven days a week — looks like right now. It saddens me to hear of so many fellow educators disheartened by the public response despite the amount of work and, yes, love we are putting into not only educating our students but making sure they are doing as best as can be expected socially and emotionally.

I have always said I would put myself in harm’s way for one of my students and now I am being asked to do exactly that by going into a school where social distancing is almost impossible due to the dynamics of the students, after major holidays, during a pandemic with no vaccination available yet for educators. How many in other professions, who can work safely from home, can say they would do this?

Michele Van Pelt, Chicago

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