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Avatar universal

Is it too risky for me to get back to in-person teaching? See details below.

As I described, I have had a liver clot once and also have mild asthma. It was worse when I was a child. I am overweight (6 feet, 215) as well. My school is going back to in-person learning on August 24th. Sports are starting up on the 17th. How risky is it for me to go back? It seems from all my research that only moderate to severe asthma puts you at a higher risk of serious complications. Thank you!
5 Responses
134578 tn?1578157483
I don't know the answer to your question, but one factor that would likely make a difference is your age.

Also, there was a study done on people with asthma, who the medical world fully expected to have a lot of problems with Covid-19. To their surprise, the rates of infection were low. Speculation was that the steroids in the inhalers (which of course many asthma patients use) kept the lungs from getting the cytokine storms that are so deadly.  

If you use an inhaler, you might want to look up references to the study and see if the link has continued to be noticed (between inhaler use and seeming lack of problems with Covid). If you don't use an inhaler regularly but could, if it seems like the literature is still agreeing that this apparent safety provided by the inhalers occurs, you might talk to your doc and see if he or she would be willing to prescribe an inhaler. My son was prescribed a mild preventative inhaler that he was supposed to use daily, and then one for an emergency when short of breath. I'd see if your doc can find out which inhaler seems to be the most protective, and go for it.
134578 tn?1578157483
Here's an update on those early study findings. Like all else in the world, it's not that simple. :)

https://www.statnews.com/2020/07/02/asthma-covid19-connection-research/
Avatar universal
Thanks for the link! I will take a read. I had not seen that research before. My asthma is mostly controlled, and I hardly ever have to use an inhaler, so I feel good about that.
134578 tn?1578157483
As you can see from the later article that I sent the link to, the answers aren't as complete or as simple as they thought from the first research. Mostly (according to it), they are saying that you aren't at more risk if you have asthma. But they also talk about whether the asthma is exercise-induced or allergy-induced. I'd definitely read up.

Presumably your school district will have you teaching in a mask, is that right?
3 Comments
Yep. Fortunately, I live an an area with mask mandates and people who believe in science. Teachers and students will have masks, plus we will be distancing.
Along with thinking about whether you have any risk of an increased chance of Covid, I suggest considering one of those little microphones that you wear around your neck and goes to a small speaker in the room -- a mini-PA system, basically. Talking through a mask all day might irritate your throat, because it's harder to make yourself heard and so you talk louder than usual. You don't want to come home every night with an exasperated throat, especially if asthma is on your plate of worries.
I get regular covid updates from an email list I'm on from my county gov't, and they often have links to places like the CDC about the latest risks and such.  As Annie says, it doesn't appear asthma is a risk factor after all, but copd is.  I have no idea why that is, but it is.  Above suggests it's inhalers, but I'm not sure how anyone would know that because I'm guessing inhaler use among asthma sufferers is pretty individual.  Inhalers also don't all use the same technology.  Being overweight isn't necessarily a risk factor but obesity appears to be one of the worst risk factors and you don't sound obese.  Of course, we don't know how much of you is fat and how much is muscle and the like, but while your ideal weight would be lower than that unless you were incredibly muscular like a pro football player, again, you're not obese.  Interestingly, the latest report I saw said that type 2 diabetes is a very high risk factor but type 1 is a low risk factor, though it does increase the risk some.  Perhaps this has to do with diet, as type 2 is a dietary disease while type 1 is a genetic disease, but it doesn't explain anything, it just lists the risk factors in order of risk.  At bottom, there are safer ways to do this and less safe ways, and your state and your school and your country will determine how bad the risk is.  If you live in the US or Brazil or any other stupid country that is overrun with out of control covid, obviously the risk is higher than if you live in a country where the virus rate was pushed way down.  I've also seen video on the news from South Korea, I think it was, where extraordinary precautions were taken -- everyone wore masks and visors, and student desks were walled off making them into cubicles.  Social distancing was strictly enforced, mask wearing and visor wearing were mandatory, and students ate separated in their classrooms, not in a cafeteria or on the schoolyard.  We won't do that in the US, in many states there won't really be mask requirements or social distancing, so I would think the thing for teachers to do is refuse to show up for work unless something relatively safe is mandated.  Don't know if that would work or they'd just find different teachers, but watching that video of South Korea really impressed me.  I've also thought about turning all our schools into boarding schools for the time being so students don't take the virus home to their elders. until we get a vaccine or a different approach.  There do seem to be ways to do this, but it won't happen in the US generally so every teacher is going to have to work on their particular school to pressure that school into doing it in the safest way possible.  So while I don't think what you've mentioned are necessarily extra risk factors, it can be done in a much better way.  Peace.
207091 tn?1337709493
It sounds like you might live in Florida, at least with the dates of the school stuff you mentioned. I do, too. Even if you don't, and you certainly don't have to tell us, one thing that's helped me is to find numbers for your county and town (if you can break it down that far - if you live in a place like Miami, that might not be possible), and see how things are for you in your town. Also find the number of peds cases.

Something else to consider is the age of the kids you teach. As far as we know right now, kids under 10 don't seem to transmit it as easily as those over 10. Is your school going to be able to socially distance?

We do know that even healthy people can have serious complications and we don't know why.

It's a tough call.
2 Comments
jessi, above, the o.p. said "Fortunately, I live an an area with mask mandates and people who believe in science." From what various people who live in Florida have said on the site, one wouldn't necessarily recognize that as a description of Florida at this time.
Hahaha fair point, but the school dates match with some of the school dates here. We do have some local mask mandates here, but definitely not a state one.

But very true about the "believing in science" part.
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