My Brooklyn colleague, Marina Kolmanovsky, wrote this about the prospect of requiring Pre-K teachers to get vaccines before returning to work:
While my view on the Covid vaccine might be an unpopular one, it is nevertheless my opinion, and I have no desire to get it.
My site has been reopened since June 4, 2020 and with almost no incidents of staff or children being stricken sick with Covid 19 during that time, I feel at ease going to work daily. I might or might not get Covid 19 again, but I wear my mask as mandated, even though I realize that it offers little to no protection against Covid. On most days however, I enjoy wearing it since it relieves me of the duty of determining which shade of lipstick I should wear. I also have the added advantage of hiding my double chin.
On a serious note, I do take Covid 19 very seriously and have nothing against people who did or plan to be vaccinated. I just am quite fond of my body and immune system and choose not to be vaccinated, because:
- I can still get sick if I get vaccinated
- vaccination and double masking is a new trend now – no thanks, I’ll pass
- I do not need to post on social media that “hey, I am a good citizen, I got vaccinated,” although I do get FB reminders daily to post it.
- Pharmaceutical companies have control over this country and have enough people lining up daily to get it, I do not wish to be their guinea pig. The world survived the Spanish Flu without the vaccine, which resulted in many casualties and I realize that medicine may or may not advance from then until now, I am still not a guinea pig.
- I can really go on forever, so let me stop now. But since I work at a daycare, and we do get exposed to kids and adults on a daily basis, I told all the staff that it is up to them if they want to get vaccinated. They are all adults and can make their own decisions. I have two teachers who received the vaccine, and everyone is respectful of their decisions. I would never mock anyone for getting a vaccine, nor will I ever force the rest of the staff to get it. I am 1000% against it myself and will not impose it on those who are unsure about it or simply do not want to take it.
Marina’s words really resonated with me. It’s actually insulting that this idea has even been “floated.” The mayor/city/Department of Health, and other “geniuses” randomly demanded that we open CBO pre-ks last summer with 3 days’ notice in the middle of last July, when most of the city was still locked down. Where was the danger then? It was there, but as my colleague noted, the “guinea pig” issue is alive and well. Let’s try out opening CBO pre-ks and see how it goes. Nope. Now, we are onto the vaccines. As Marina said, “I’ll pass.”
How have most CBO pre-ks been able to stay open for in-person learning without the “magic” vaccines this school year while most higher-ups at the various agencies “governing” us worked remotely, from the comfort of their homes? How did we survive? I guess we survived as we always have – on our own. Fortunately (knock wood), we have not had to close our school once this year, due to covid. If the “powers that be” were truly concerned about our safety, we would have full-time nurses and security guards/school safety officers as “big” DOE schools do. We would have received more than ONE shipment of PPE from DOE, even after begging for months, and ultimately, purchasing our own. I can go on, but I won’t. You get the idea.
Vaccine hesitancy is present within many groups – healthcare workers, military members, and of course, those of us in Education. Despite being gullible, subservient, little women (mostly), we CAN think for ourselves and do our own research. Personally, after experiencing an adverse reaction to a past vaccine, I do not appreciate even the insinuation (whether legal or not), that I could be forced to take this shot, in order to keep my job. I very much respect Marina’s decision to allow her teachers and staff to make their own decisions about their bodies and personal health.
If I’m not to be told whether or not to have an abortion, or to take Tylenol instead of Advil, or whether I should see this doctor or that one, no one has the right to tell me that I must take an unapproved vaccine. To the agencies “muttering” about this nonsense, get to work on the plethora of serious issues in CBO pre-ks, including salary and benefit parity (many non-union CBO pre-k staff members have NO health benefits – pretty important to staying safe and healthy). Show us how much you care about our well-being by hiring full time nurses and security guards. Respect us as human beings who have the right to make decisions about our own bodies, and not just when it’s convenient or politically advantageous for you to do so.