Vaccinated teacher feels at ease

Relieves stress, anxiety


Shaydi Falcon

Science teacher Al Wachutka waters plants in the A3 hallway March 16. Wachutka is one of the many teachers that has received the COVID-19 vaccine.

Aisha Hersi

With Park’s decision on a full capacity start date, science teacher Alan Wachutka said he feels safe now that he’s been fully vaccinated. He said receiving the vaccine immediately addressed many of his anxieties about returning to school.  

“Getting that first vaccination took a whole lot of stress away and the anxiety of being exposed to the virus,” Wachutka said. “The second one then made the idea of coming back to school with students really comfortable.” 

Wachutka said as an educator, getting the vaccination was the right thing to do for Park. 

“As a science teacher, I fully believe in this vaccination because we can have this virus go down to a point where we don’t have to worry about pandemics, we just have to worry about smaller outbreaks when they occur,” Wachutka said. 

Senior Tamar Gewirtz believes teachers should get the vaccine before returning to school due to the safety of the students and themselves. 

It’s amazing that teachers are finally getting vaccinated. A lot of them are at high risk, and are taking that risk by going into school.

— Tamar Gewirtz

 “We really can’t be going back into school without them being vaccinated,” Gewirtz said.  

Wachutka said he recognizes the reasoning behind being uncertain about receiving the vaccine.  

“I understand the hesitancy because of the lack of long-term data, and how it affects this vaccination,” Wachutka said. “You put a whole lot of trust in faith in the pharmaceutical companies that are developing these.”

According to Wachutka, his main concern was the health of his father.  

“I live with my 89-year old father and my concern was his health,” Wachutka said. “We may have more problems with COVID(-19) than certainly someone younger.” 

Gewirtz said she is aware of the importance of the student’s safety. 

“It doesn’t really affect me much, aside from knowing I’m not at risk from being around them,” Gewirtz said. “It’s more the other students to worry about, but hopefully, we’ll all get vaccinated within some time.”

According to Wachutka, receiving the vaccine was a personal decision for him to make. However, any skeptical teacher should rely on their health and their students. 

“It all comes down to your own choice since this is a very personal decision,” Wachutka said. “But for the sake of the students and society, getting the vaccine is the right thing to do.”