Letter to the Editor: ‘I have never been so scared to return to work and to leave my child’

Safe Schools Coalition BC continues to receive letters from across British Columbia written by parents and educators who are concerned with the shortcomings of the government's public health response to COVID-19. This is another one of those letters.

I am a teacher on the island. I have a child under 5 at home that cannot be vaccinated and has to go to daycare.

Teachers, many educational assistants, and I will be expected to support students next week, many who are unable to wear masks. I will interact with staff that have traveled off the island and out of the country all while I have stayed home for the holidays to keep my child safe.

It’s scary and disheartening to be expected to go to work and put my child at risk to care for other people's children. It makes me feel like working and their children are more important than keeping my family safe.

I keep hearing it’s not that bad if you are vaccinated and we are forgetting there are people who still are not eligible to be vaccinated and we are not keeping them safe.

I have never been so scared to return to work and to leave my child and there is nothing I can do about it. I have bills to pay. The reality is the government does not care about educators enough to protect us. Government workers are kept home, many jobs have better and safer precautions than we do, all while we have to sit face to face with multiple children that are unvaccinated, unmasked, and have been socializing.

I don’t understand how we have limited our lives to keep people safe but now we must put ourselves and families at risk to provide childcare.

Victoria, BC

This letter has been reproduced with slight edits for clarity. If you are a concerned parent, teacher, or community member and would like to make your voice heard, we are happy to pass the microphone. For consideration, please email your approximately 500-word opinion to info@safeschoolscoalitionbc.com. Please include the words Letter to the Editor in the subject line and specify whether you want to share your name and any further identifying details, such as area of residence.