Our Children Are in the Best of Hands

I know this blog is threatening to become mainly an anti-teacher (or teachers union) thing, but I keep seeing stories that instantly make my blood boil.

The latest bit of public dissatisfaction comes from Massachusetts, where teachers are quite upset that the governor has prioritized people ages 65-75 to receive the vaccine over teachers.

MTA President Merrie Najimy said, “The Baker administration must do a better job of balancing the needs of people at risk because of age and other factors with recognizing that people working with students need to be vaccinated. We had not opposed the original prioritization list because it had a rational basis and promised to deliver vaccines to educators in February. Now, those hopes may be dashed.”

Here’s why the governor made the right decision: it’s a little thing called data. As you can see, 81% of COVID deaths are attributed to people aged 65 and older. Expand that range to 55 and up, and it’s 93%. If you look at deaths for all causes, COVID is responsible for at least 10% of all deaths for all people in this age range, and that percentage just nosedives as the cohort gets younger.

Teachers, like the rest of society, would like that extra layer of protection. Here’s the thing: teachers who are most at risk are going to get the COVID vaccine just like everybody else in their age range. If you are a teacher under the age of 65 or even 55, your risk is fairly minimal to begin with, so pretending like you have been given a death sentence if you are expected to, you know, do your job, is a little absurd. Add to that the preponderance of evidence that schools who take appropriate safety measures are not vectors of transmission, and it’s beginning to look just a bit as though teachers are looking for any excuse they can find to avoid returning to the classroom.