US teachers writing own obituaries for new school year

Photo: Unsplash/Jeffrey Hamilton

Amid the coronavirus disease or COVID-19 pandemic, teachers in the United States have been reported to be writing their own obituaries in preparation for the upcoming school year.

43-year-old teacher Sarah Backstrom from Iowa, for instance, sent her obituary to governor Kim Reynolds in the event that something should happen to her. Backstrom admitted being frightened to eventually return to school to hold face-to-face classes.

On August 4, Tuesday, Reynolds issued guidelines that at least half of schools must deliver education in person and that schools may not request for full online education unless their state confirms at least 15 percent of positive COVID-19 cases or higher. Reynolds also said schools resorting to virtual instruction would be going against the state’s law and that these days will not be considered valid school days. Iowa has noted a total of 46,656 cases and a COVID-19 positivity rate of 9.4 percent.

“I’m hoping that she (Reynolds) will start to realize that these are real people, and these are real lives,” said Backstrom in an interview with CNN. Backstrom was recently informed she would be holding virtual classes for her gifted students in order to minimize the risks of conducting physical classes.

US President Donald Trump has urged schools to reopen in the fall.