On February 24 in North Carolina, anyone working in child care or in pre-K to 12th grade schools became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. On that day, Nurse Lalor supplied BCHHS with a list of Carolina Day personnel who need the vaccine, and already school staff are being contacted for appointments. As of today, 48 CDS employees have either received a dose of the vaccine or have secured an appointment, and that number is growing daily.
Several teachers at Carolina Day shared their excitement and relief at being eligible for the vaccine after a challenging year of on-campus and hybrid learning during the pandemic.
“I was thrilled when I was able to schedule my vaccination for this weekend,” said Barbara Groh, who teaches third grade in the Key School. “There is a feeling of celebration in the air amongst the teachers; we feel like there is finally a ray of hope, after a frightening and exhausting year.”
Upper School Spanish teacher Gail Wallace is getting her first vaccine dose tomorrow. Of getting the call to schedule her appointment, she said, “It surprised me that I felt excited; I felt a wave of optimism, lightness and a feeling of energy about the future...it felt great to feel like I would soon be safer and that others in our community will also be more protected.”
Dan Chase, who teaches math in the Upper School, reflected on the moment of getting his first vaccination dose this week. “I was struck by how mundane the process was to stand in line and then get a quick shot in the arm, but at the same time what an important step it was. After a year of retreat and defense, it felt like I got to take a small swing at this nasty little bug.”
Kindergarten teacher Ann Jennings said that teachers and students at CDS have been grateful to have been in school as much as they have this year. “It's critical that children be in school and that teachers feel safe being there. I think this will help parents get back to work, with peace of mind, knowing their children are safely spending their days back at school.”
Though vaccine doses are in limited supply in Buncombe County as the county continues to vaccinate a long waitlist, 975 doses of COVID-19 vaccine are currently being set aside each week for schools. Jackie Lalor, School Nurse at CDS, has been volunteering at the Buncombe County COVID vaccine clinic—she has done so twice and is signed up for next Saturday to assist in vaccinating school personnel.
Pictured: School Nurse Jackie Lalor receives the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer.