COVID Teaching with T1D

Looking for advice from other teachers going back in person to the classroom during COVID.

What accommodations did you ask for?
How are you planning on being safe?

Any other information to help a freaked out fellow diabetic teacher…

We have other teachers on here who have asked the Doc for written statements excusing them from teaching in person. ADA is supporting that. ADA is advising that if at all possible. It very much depends on your employer. Your employer is God.

I dunno. Wear a respirator and a full body biohazard suit like the local Docs do? That would keep you pretty safe, but its not really ‘right’ that you should absorb that equipment from people who need it. I think that you just accept the risk of breathing air.

I would make a concrete plan for hospitalization. Make sure that you have a low deductible and that you have 3 months of income set aside because that’s how long it takes people to get back to normal in a large fraction of the population. I would buy a mother load of disability insurance.

I don’t think its a good idea for you to return to work in a classroom setting for 6 more months. I’m sure that you are already aware that Diabetics have represented 40% of the deaths associated with Covid. If ever there were a time to take leave or go back to grad school, now is it.

There’s not much time before school starts. Some places who started up only made it a week or two before they had to shut down. So, you might only have to ‘make it’ for two weeks.

My friend just got a job at University of NC Chapel Hill. We all saw how that went.
I’m curious to see how many times that is going to repeat.

https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article245386845.html

As long as you are aware of the risk to yourself and everyone around you, you are an adult and have the right to do whatever you want. I feel bad for the kids.

I think that your fear is a normal, healthy emotional response to doing something that you recognize is dangerous. A better question might be, “How long can you make it?”

I have another friend who just got covid. He was only working onsite 2 days a week, 3 days work from home. He made it 6 months. You might make it 3 months. IDK. I would put away every $ to pay for impending medical crisis so you are prepared for that and can relax a bit.

You need a Dexcom. I have a pulse oximeter and BP cuff set aside. You need an emergency kit that you can take to the hospital set aside. But, you will have already infected a LOT of people before you show symptoms. IDK. When it comes, it will come like wildfire. By the time you see it, its already too late. It will have taken hold. That’s how exponential growth works.

I guess that if I were an adult, with the ability to advocate for myself and those weaker than I, then I would teach outside. If I were a mindless cog in a wheel that only cared about my paycheck, then I would teach inside. But, Its really your risk analysis regarding your personal safety, so only you can do that. It depends on your worldview, not mine. Its really very personal and complicated.

Maybe a different way to think about this is “What is your line in the sand?” At what point do you stop going into work? Lets say that you keep all the windows open to decrease risk, but cases in the school pop up in the first week and (assuming) that you know that those cases exist, do you continue to show up?

Where is your line? Do you have a line? Some people don’t.

Like, some guys I know still ride the bus, and go to work everyday, and go out drinking at the bar. They are totally reliant on state rules to mitigate their risk. Like, once the state shut down their favorite bar due to spread, then they dont go anymore. Still dont have covid. But, I think that once the schools open up, their risk changes dramatically.

@atom4, Welcome to TuDiabetes. @mohe0001 has just about covered all of the front end stuff.

I have another friend who is exploring the options via the teacher’s union in their neighborhood. It looks like a legal battle brewing. Be safe.

I have an orange tool box from Home Depot. They are less than $10 usually, bright orange and it has everything I need except my insulin. Tandem (an insulin pump maker) suggests this for an evacuation kit.
https://www.tandemdiabetes.com/blog/post/general/2017/09/07/emergency-evacuation–insulin-pump-supplies-packing-list

Keep sharing. It is how we all learn.

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Some Endos here don’t feel qualified (or, maybe don’t want to be the guy excusing ALL their diabetic patients in town from work) to make the call on if you should work or not, so they send you to Occupational Medicine to make the judgement.

Now, just because you have a medical evaluation stating that is unwise to work, does not mean that the employer just lets you out of work. They might move you to another position. They might just tell you that you can’t work here. In that case, you might be eligible for Pandemic Relief. That might be $100 a week, or it might be $400 a week, or it might be full unemployment benefit. It depends.

Some employers have stated that Americans with Disabilities Act is not valid during Covid. That’s not true, but it shows that some employers really want to have this fight. It has resulted in American Diabetes Association getting lots of help requests. They are overwhelmed, so I recommend starting early if this situation presents itself. You will have a strong union, so I don’t think there’s much risk here, compared to others. When covid hit, our State unions used the crisis as an opportunity to force pay increases and then went remote. Those unions have extraordinary power. You might talk to your union rep and ADA before making any move.

https://www.diabetes.org/resources/know-your-rights/discrimination/employment-discrimination