SANDY, Utah — Students will not be required to wear masks when school starts Monday, but many teachers across Utah say they will when they step into the classroom.
A teacher with the Canyons School District who wished to remain anonymous said she wants to keep her students safe by wearing a mask. However, her reason is far more personal.
“My husband cannot get the vaccine. So, even though I myself am vaccinated, I’m going to choose to wear my mask so that I don’t take it home to him,” the 4th-grade teacher said.
The educator said her spouse developed an extremely rare condition after contracting COVID-19 in January 2020, called chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP). The family’s doctor is hesitant to give him the vaccine because it is so rare and they know so little about it.
“They’ve actually compared it to if you had AIDS in the ’60s,” explained the woman. “That’s how much they know about his disease right now…they know so little right now about CIDP.”
Furthermore, she says wearing a mask is the only way to protect her students under 12 years old who are ineligible for the vaccine.
More than 1 million masks headed out the door and on their way to Utah schools to help protect students, teachers, and staff from #COVID19 this school year. @SpencerJCox @UtahCoronavirus pic.twitter.com/hNsTMA8zGF
— Utah Dept. of Health (@UtahDepOfHealth) August 13, 2021
Are other teachers going to wear masks?
This teacher said her school told faculty the choice to wear a mask in their classrooms was theirs to make, but she estimated that most of her colleagues are deciding to mask up. The short-term plan is to wear masks until kids under 12 become eligible for the vaccine, which could happen later this year.
“With the school districts, you know most of the teachers got the vaccine first. So, you know most of them are vaccinated if they chose to, but they’re still choosing to mask up,” she said.
While she understands parents wanting to make health-related choices for their kids, this teacher said the anger and disagreement over masks are overblown.
“This little piece of cloth really could be the difference between life and death for somebody, we just don’t know who,” she said.
This teacher said she hates wearing a mask just as much as the next person, but going home to her husband every night is her reason to do it anyway.
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