By Elijah Walker
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a struggle for many in the education systems across the world.
Many teachers have faced many challenges at work and at home.
Santoria Black is an instructor at Grambling State University in the department of mass communication.
He said he is confident that we will overcome the COVID pandemic if everyone safely governs themselves according to all CDC rules that are in place.
Black said that when the COVID pandemic began last spring, his wife asked him to retire early. She was afraid of losing him to the virus and spreading it to family members in their home.
He is the father of two girls. His wife is a retired Army Sergeant.
Black told his wife that when the good Lord is ready for him, COVID or nothing else can stop him.
Then the school reverted to online-only schooling, which Black said was safe and he loved it.
“I am not good with Zoom, but I had no choice if I wanted to stay connected with my students,” he said.
He said he enjoyed putting on clothes and being alone working from the comfort of his home. It was convenient and he saved more money not having to commute every day.
When in person learning came back, Black brought a pool noodle to work with him every day.
“I wanted to make sure everyone kept their distance and stayed six feet away from me. If you walked past my pool noodle you were too close,” Black said.
Black shared that every day he struggled with the option to retire or continue to pursue his passion of molding students into great journalists.
“My students are just like my children and I always want to be a part of their greatness,” he said.
Black was against getting vaccinated, but everyday as he watched CNN and read articles from Web MD, the death rate was steadily climbing day to day.
“I pray everyday and my faith in God opens my mind and heart to words of wisdom daily,” he said.
While watching CNN and drinking his coffee one morning he was moved by some strong words from Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgeon. Gupta said that being vaccinated was a way to protect oneself with a lower chance of dying from the virus.
Black said after praying and listening he decided to take a chance on getting vaccinated.
It was a hard decision as well as a scary one, he said, but with the death rate climbing he felt it was a duty. He was also able to get his wife and children to get vaccinated. He felt that he would feel at ease knowing he was sending his children around others with a lower risk of contracting the virus.
Black said he will never pressure students with his personal opinion about vaccination. He just hopes everyone will do as much as possible to stay safe.
This story originally appeared in The Gramblinite.