Opinion | Covid Anxiety: Back in Classrooms, Many Professors Are Nervous

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To the Editor:

Re “Frayed Nerves for the Teachers of the Maskless” (front page, Sept. 7):

I am a former colleague of Dr. Matthew Boedy at the University of North Georgia. Former because on Aug. 20, I resigned from a teaching job I had held and loved for two decades rather than teach unmasked, unvaccinated students in small classrooms with the surging Delta variant of Covid-19.

I anticipated that many of the university’s students would shun voluntary mask-wearing in the classrooms. Accordingly, I was stunned by the magical thinking of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and U.N.G. administrators who refused to mandate mask-wearing for class attendance and who insisted on face-to-face teaching despite an advisory from the C.D.C. about the need for mask-wearing in indoor spaces.

I could not imagine doing my job comfortably and well with the constant anxiety of potentially contracting a breakthrough Covid infection for myself and spreading it to my family. Dr. Boedy is correct in calling the classroom situation a “hellscape.”

The Board of Regents bears particular responsibility in view of its ignoring pleas from some faculty and some students to continue the online instruction we successfully accomplished during the 2020-21 academic year.

Lorraine DeRienzo-Buchbinder
Suwanee, Ga.

To the Editor:

My view is decidedly different from what the article represents as the norm. I am a vaccinated professor. I do not fear my students, vaccinated or unvaccinated. I do not want to teach while wearing a mask. I do not want to face a room full of masked students.

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