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Is anyone else just terrified?

Discussion in 'Staff, pupil & parent's wellbeing' started by andrea2008, Aug 19, 2020.

  1. andrea2008

    andrea2008 New commenter

    Is there anyone else who is just terrified and perhaps contemplating not returning in September?

    Knowing that the virus is airborne (and viable for up to 3 hours, I read) the idea of standing in front of around 150 teenagers, packed into small rooms each day, without any masks seems insane to me.

    I've been on anxiety meds since Boris announced the June opening of schools in May... and I did manage to teach a bubble of 12 kids in the Summer term.... but September is in a different league and I honestly don't think I'm going to cope with it..... I have panic attacks just thinking about it.

    Additionally, in July I asked for some measures for September to help me feel safe and ease my anxiety (like only working in rooms with the best ventilation) and the request hit a brick wall... the Head won't even discuss the measures and has referred me to occupational health at the end of August instead.... So I've had to spend all summer assuming these measures won't happen, which has just made my stress and anxiety levels even higher... and getting worse by the day as September approaches... :(
  2. Newidentity

    Newidentity Occasional commenter

    I will return in September, but I'll be honest, I don't know how long for. I'm getting a bit fed up with people telling me that it will all be fine - how do they know? I'm clinically vulnerable, and I've been suffering from depression for most of my adult life. The only thing that has made it a bit easier for me to accept the situation is to have decided that no job is ultimately worth my life or my health.
  3. andrea2008

    andrea2008 New commenter

    Thanks for your reply.

    You "have decided that no job is ultimately worth my life or my health" ... and that's where I'm at too now... it's taken a month or two for me to get there but I'm now feeling fairly sure I can't just pretend everything's fine.... I'm not 'planning' it as such, but I have a feeling that come 3rd September, I'll be signed off with stress because I just can't fathom how anyone thinks this is going to be fine.

    Actually, when I tell my non-teaching friends about the guidelines for September - the fact that there's going to be no social distancing to speak of and definitely no masks, they are actually quite shocked.... and yet the government are now starting an advertising campaign to convince everyone how 'safe' it's going to be??? It's bonkers!

    I've been at my job for 13 years and now I'm actively looking at what else I could do... I even looked into dog walking this afternoon - how ridiculous is that for a qualified teacher!?

    You say you don't know how long for.... Do you have a plan?
    agcb256, gill11 and Catgirl1964 like this.
  4. Corvuscorax20

    Corvuscorax20 Senior commenter

    Its not ridiculous, if it works for you. What is ridiculous about it?
    gill11, andrea2008 and sunshineneeded like this.

    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    Yep, "pretty concerned"the usual English litotes there !
    I'm doing what I can for me personally insofar as getting plenty of exercise, building up my immune system and trying to shed some excess weight. I think it's important to start placing trust in yourself since we're not likely to be in the driving seat in September..let's see what can be done.
    Your HT will have to put measures in place regardless of whether s/he considers them worthwhile or not -it's part of the return to school. If you're not happy with the measures, you can be sure there'll be others who feel the same way.
    I understand about the panic attacks and I've had them before -in front of a class -so, i know it's not nice.
    Reasonably, provided you're physically fit and don't smoke, you've an excellent chance of being fine.
    The ' rules' are changing all the time, so who knows where we'll all be in October ?
    If you feel that it's not going to work for you -then get signed off now. Do it and start to get control again -at the moment, it's " what ifs" etc that are worrying you. Get something concrete sorted.
    We're all in the same position and and it would be a robot who wasn't very concerned about returning. You are not alone.
  6. Corvuscorax20

    Corvuscorax20 Senior commenter

    I am nervous. I have taken the following precautions.

    bought a bike and am learning to cycle to avoid the bus.

    Losing weight to get myself out of the dangerous "obese" category

    Bought myself some visors, and stocked up on disinfectant wipes and hand gel

    Been saving up for months to give myself a financial cushion if I decide to leave.

    Written my will
  7. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    I think we're all nervous, but I do understand that the worry and fear affects some people more than others, for a variety of reasons. I'm doing exactly the same as folk above - trying to build up my stamina and fitness and lose weight to get back into a healthy BMI category. I want to believe that this will strengthen my immune system and give me a better chance if I do catch the virus. Although I'm worried, I do want to go back to work and 'real life' - it's what I need to do for my own mental health.

    @andrea2008 , contact your GP if you really feel you can't go back - depression and anxiety are very real (OH suffers from both) - and you should be signed off and may need a medication review/CBT therapy - which OH found very useful and supportive. Please don't struggle like this without help.
  8. Catgirl1964

    Catgirl1964 Senior commenter

    With Scottish schools having just returned, there have already been 16 outbreaks and social media have shown photos of overcrowding both inside schools and outside school gates with parents and students far too close together. Sturgeon has expressed concern but not yet suggested the obvious sensible (partial) solution of half classes to allow social distancing and mask wearing. It seems our govts both sides of the border are hell bent on a normal return for schools regardless of the dangers and this is just plain wrong. Sturgeon has said that school outbreaks are inevitable but will not implement sensible precautions. How many other workplaces would accept being told outbreaks at work are inevitable when steps can be taken to reduce risks? Would workers just turn up knowing this? I think not.

    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    I think we certainly need to ban parents from gathering at gates. Once again, the sheer shuddering stupidity of people has amazed me. Parents need to stay in their cars/allow Tristan to walk home or find alternative arrangements. If we're going through the hassle of bubbles, all of these will be bust when Catriona and Jeremy turn up to collect Jocasta from the gates. Stop it.
    andrea2008 likes this.
  10. Catgirl1964

    Catgirl1964 Senior commenter

    As well as highlighting the stupidity, my point is that there are further precautions that can be taken to reduce risk and these are not being insisted upon.
    tall tales, strawbs, gill11 and 2 others like this.
  11. ACOYEAR8

    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    Agree. School (hopefully mine) will need to be robust about this and not shilly-shally about students who do not follow the safety rules. There is, I agree, a reluctance everywhere about insisting. Mask wearing is ' mandatory ' in shops. But not really because nobody has the cojones to enforce it. Hopefully school will insist more rigorously.
    Catgirl1964 and andrea2008 like this.
  12. andrea2008

    andrea2008 New commenter

    Thanks guys. It's nice to know I'm not alone.

    Unfortunately, I already suffer chronic fatigue and get knocked for six if I get even a normal cold - the idea that covid could bring back my fatigue (which I have battled for years to get under control) is terrifying to me... I was off sick, unable to leave the house, for a year when the fatigue first hit after a virus in 2012..... From what I hear, covid can have this effect on normal, healthy people, so I feel I'd stand no chance against it.

    If masks were going to be worn in school, I could get my head around this, but the government's blind "safe to return" approach is just crazy to me.
    gill11, Catgirl1964 and ACOYEAR8 like this.
  13. andrea2008

    andrea2008 New commenter

    Oh, and in the summer term I was pulled into the Head's office for enforcing social distancing on the kids in my pod... it was apparently to be gently encouraged, and not enforced...!!! :oops:
    PamDemic and Catgirl1964 like this.
  14. ACOYEAR8

    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    Wear a mask if it makes you feel safer and goes some way to alleviating panic/anxiety. I've found that people tend to keep their distance more if they see you wearing one !
  15. andrea2008

    andrea2008 New commenter

    Thanks. I would need to get permission to do that though because they're saying no at the moment... Plus, unless it was a proper medical grade mask, what with all the teenagers not wearing them, I don't see it's going to do much...
  16. andrea2008

    andrea2008 New commenter

    This is just shocking that any of us should have to consider doing this because of our job...
    A lot of people chose teaching as a career because it offered more job security than some others... and now this. :(
    tall tales and gill11 like this.

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    I can see the appeal.

    No job is worth dying for. No job is worth ruining your peace of mind over.
    gill11 and andrea2008 like this.

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    Well, to be fair - I have a lot of friends who've really struggled during lockdown because furlough hasn't worked, whereas I quite enjoyed working remotely, had less hassle from my school over things live revision, and am now enjoying my usual paid holiday. I feel 'secure' in as much as I know where my next meal is coming from, and not everyone can say that.

    But I agree - its troubling that professional, experienced people such as ourselves are thinking of quitting work for unskilled jobs because of what's gone on in the last few months.

    Personally, I'm looking forward to being back with students in September, but that's just a personal belief that the balance between risk and reward is OK at the moment. But I tress thats just a personal view.
    ChrisH77, agathamorse and andrea2008 like this.
  19. ukpaul

    ukpaul Occasional commenter

    You need to see the doctor, having panic attacks whilst you are in charge of a class is a danger to both you and, potentially, students. That’s the bottom line, anything else about COVID is ancillary to that.
    PamDemic likes this.
  20. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    I agree.
    But I do think it's ridiculous that people should feel forced into these kinds of situations. If, as a dog walker, she doesn't clean up after her dogs-or if she stops at a shop and doesn't wear a face mask for the five minutes she's in there-she could get fined.
    Yet she's supposed to be fine in a school which has the conditions she describes above!

    I don't understand why a vulnerable person wasn't allowed to visit the shops a few weeks ago, yet can teach in a high school in a fortnight (given that, round here at least, the rate of infection is far higher).

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