topic_interest is exactly Idaho
2021-10-08Idaho hospitals are so overrun with Covid patients and so understaffed that they are drowning. Idaho has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the nation and many people are getting sick. Many hospitals on the border Idaho shares with Washington are choosing to send their sick patients to Washington. This in turn is adding to the burden carried in Eastern Washington. Many healthcare workers in Idaho are burnt out and they are helpless because of the divisiveness caused by politics and Covid.
2021-01-15My name is Morgan Keena, I live in Nampa, Idaho, I am a 7th-grade social studies teacher, and I got my first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine today! Teachers weren't scheduled to start receiving the vaccine in Idaho until late February or early March. However, on January 11, 2021, our state superintendent of education delivered a speech to the Idaho legislature urging them to pass a law that would require all school districts to stay open unless mandated by the governor. Additionally, she urged that all students return to in-person learning full time as quickly as possible. On Tuesday, January 12, 2021, the governor of Idaho, Brad Little, announced via a press conference that K-12 teachers and staff were moved to the top tier and could start receiving the vaccine on January 13, 2021. This came as a huge shock to educators everywhere, but we know it is tied to the demand to have schools 100% in person. My school district, Nampa School District, then took on the momentous task of figuring out how to obtain vaccines for their nearly 1,000 staff members. Less than 36 hours later, they had secured vaccines for us at three major health systems and two smaller urgent care locations. The district also had one health system offering the vaccine on Saturdays and Sundays to better work with the teacher schedules. We managed to crash the portals of two health systems by overwhelming them with many vaccine sign-ups. I (by a miracle) was able to secure an appointment for January 15, 2021. Let me tell you; I have never been so excited to get a shot in my life. I received my vaccine from St. Luke's Health System in Nampa, Idaho. The check-in process was a breeze and done entirely on my own. I was very relaxed while waiting for my appointment but also exceptionally eager to get back to my room and get this first dose done. Once my name was called, I met with the pharmacist who would be administering my vaccine. She was a lovely woman, and I consider myself fortunate to have met her. She was such a calming presence as she explained the emergency use authorization for the vaccine, potential side effects, and what I could expect in the days after receiving this dose. She continued to use the line, "when I got my first dose...." which made me feel at ease. We talked about my job, her children, and how this school year has been wild. Suddenly, it was over! I had my vaccine and was ready to take on the world! Almost. After a couple of cases of allergic reactions to the vaccine around the country, they now require you to wait in the waiting room for 15 minutes after receiving each dose. I received the Pfizer vaccine and have scheduled my second dose for three weeks from today. As I was doing my time in the waiting room after my injection, I signed up for a program called V-Safe. V-Safe is run by the CDC and is used to track vaccines' side effects. Since this vaccine has emergency authorization, they are still collecting side effect data. since I signed up, they will message me once a day for the next week to do a quick wellness check. After the initial week, they will message me once per week to continue keeping up with any side effects I may encounter. I figure it's the least I can do to help science. I am super excited about receiving the first dose of this vaccine. My husband also received it today, and we are overjoyed by that. He is a third-year medical student rotating through various hospitals, so getting him a vaccine was a priority of ours, but it proved to be more difficult to obtain than we had thought. He received the Moderna vaccine, so we get to see how both vaccines work. I received the vaccine because I expect our school board to bring back middle school students 100% in-person and full time soon. Social distancing will not exist in the classroom, and I will be exposed to 150 students in my classroom and the other 150 students in my wing of the school. This is a good day for science. I feel excited and hopeful. I feel like I have hit the 'covid wall' lately, and I am just ready to be done with this.
2020-07-06I went back to teaching in person today. I have about 7-14 kids per class, their exits into the hallway were staggered by classroom, they were all spaced safely apart, and meals weren’t offered in the school but were bagged up and sent home. We can do this with 50 kids but trying to imagine what this would mean in the fall when we hope to welcome back nearly 850 students into our building is frightening. I hated teaching with a mask on because the kids couldn’t read my face and it changed the tone of the room. I truly teared up as I pulled into the parking lot this morning and saw kids walking to school - I’ve missed them SO MUCH!!! I don’t know what the answers are in terms of reopening schools. What I do know is that teachers don’t want to be teaching from their living rooms but if it means keeping the students we love so much and the colleagues we adore safe....then we’ll do it. We’ll move mountains to keep up with our kiddos. We didn’t get into this profession for the fame and fortune, we got into this because we truly love what we do. I wasn't placed in my normal classroom today. Instead I was put in the art room which had chairs for 15 students but no desks. There were many hand sanitizer stations around the schools and are halls are all 'one way only.' The students wear masks while riding the bus but immediately take them off upon arrival and they are washed and given back at the end of the school day. I've used more hand sanitizer in the last 24 hours than I have in a long time. It also has me rethinking class copies of work.
2020-06-29As of June 22, 2020, the Boise, Idaho metro was rolled back to stage 3 of reopening. After new cases of COVID-19 soared, the governor decided to close bars, night clubs, and various restaurants. While some school districts have already decided to go online for the summer, my school district decided to return to in-person classes for summer school in June. While we have been rolled back to stage 3, our summer school session is still a go. Today, June 29, 2020, teachers received an email from our principal outlining the procedures for returning to school. As of now, students will not be served meals while at school and will instead take lunch and breakfast for the next morning home with them at the end of each school day. Additionally, teachers are required to wear facemasks while interacting with students. I think this session of summer school is acting as a trial run for the district to understand better what the upcoming school year may bring.