To choose health or wealth?

For this teacher, returning to her in-school job could put her health at risk. But quitting is a financial risk.

Our elder helps tackle a long list of pros and cons.

Dear EWC:

I work in an elementary school where I have been employed for 8 years in behavior. Due to the COVID pandemic and my compromised immune system I have taken FMLA (12 weeks) off to try and stay safe. My children are attending school remotely as well.

But my time is up, COVID numbers are soaring, and I am scared to go back. My options are: go back, keep income, and insurance and risk exposure or quit, live off small retirement for 6 months and keep searching for a new job, stay healthy.

I literally change my mind daily and I don’t know what to do. Family has given me divided opinions and I am crushed with this uncertainty daily. I would love opinions from individuals who are not closely connected to the situation who can maybe see things in a different light.

BES replies:

I truly feel for you and all the teachers out there who must return to the workplace.
I will not tell you what to do but my advice to you would be to make a list of pros and cons of keeping on working and see which column
has the most items written in it.

It’s such a terribly difficult situation, as I know you want to maintain your income and benefits but with a compromised immune system, that is a hard decision.

What are your prospects of finding another job? Are there any tutoring jobs you could do either online or individually with students?
Are all the schools in your vicinity doing in-person education? I have heard it varies by states and communities. Where I live, ALL schools are doing remote teaching.

You have to find out what steps are being taken by your school to maintain the health of everyone. Are there plastic barriers? Are there masks being provided for every single person? Are there hand-washing and sanitizing facilities easily accessible? Is the school taking the temperatures of every student on a daily basis? What would the school do if a student or staff member tested positive for COVID? Would the entire school close? Do you live in a community where people wear masks and observe social distancing and other safety measures?

By answering the above questions, it may help you to make your decision.
All I can do is wish you the best in your difficult decision-making process.
Please let me know your final decision.


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