CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Coronavirus cases are spiking as Chesapeake Public Schools move back to in-person learning. As we reported last week, the school division is starting to offer vaccines to some teachers.
As a preschool and special education teacher, Jean Standridge has spent more time in the classroom than out of it during this pandemic.
“The mitigation has been hard, it’s difficult for the students mostly because they’re young and they have a difficult time comprehending it,” said Standridge during a Zoom call on Wednesday morning.
However, her students have adapted, thanks in part to some creativity on her end.
“Finding ways to make it fun and not scary,” said Standridge. “Like I said, I have a mask song I sing for my babies so they think it’s fun and it’s just like another day and it’s an exciting, fun thing do.”
What was exciting for Standridge was an email from the school system last week offering vaccines for teachers.
Standridge said, “Just very excited. I was really happy to have an opportunity that maybe we could go back to some sense of normalcy. I’ve been following it closely so I felt confident that when it was my turn, I was going to participate.”
Standridge says it was an easy process: there was a link in the email, she signed up for a time, and a few days later, got the shot.
“They made it really easy,” said Standridge. “I mean, it was the easiest thing I’ve done throughout all of COVID.”
After getting inoculated, Standridge says she felt great.
“Emotionally I felt relieved and hopeful and then physically, fine,” said Standridge. “I did not — I was very lucky — I had no side effects whatsoever. In fact, I got the shot in the morning and that evening I went for a three-mile run.”
She hopes sharing her experience will encourage others to roll up their sleeves whenever it’s their turn.
“The sooner we all get vaccinated, the sooner we can try to get back to a sense of normalcy,” said Standridge.
School officials say nearly 700 people signed up to receive the vaccine on the first distribution date.
You can find more information about distribution dates and employee groups by clicking here.