Sick and Tired

Marie McCumberBlog, Self Care Better, Teach Happier


  • Last year, fewer people were sick because of people following COVID safety plans.
  • This year, our bodies were fighting hard, but now in summer, some have become sick.
  • Right now, we need to listen to our bodies. Rest and recover.

In all honesty, I had a different blog post planned. Two, actually, talking about more issues with disability. But I couldn’t finish either of them. I am just so sick and tired.

I don’t mean that as a turn-of-phrase, either. I’m literally sick and tired. And now that summer break has finally come, many educators who had close-to healthy years are also ill.

This school year has been so stressful that it is essential to rest and regroup so that we can come back to the school ready to take on whatever is thrown at us next. Click To Tweet

Last Year

I’m sure all of us had a fairly similar experience. We came through the pandemic with minimum sicknesses. Social distancing, constant hand-washing, and face masks helped really decrease the normal illnesses that occur in schools. In fact, the CDC estimated that approximately 38 million people were sick with the flu in the 2019-2020 season. While the agency hasn’t released estimated values for the 2020-2021 season yet, the data of the percentage of visits for flu-like illnesses for this season was significantly lower than the national baseline. (The article and chart for this information can be found following this link).

This Year

I am immune-compromised and work in an environment that serves students who are medically fragile, so I pay very close attention to flu and COVID information. Since the pandemic, the only time I was significantly ill was when I received my second COVID vaccination. Past that, I felt the best that I have in over a decade of working in schools. Every other year, I have been sick at least once which required me to miss several days of school.

However, now that summer is here, most of my fellow educators and I are sick with a cold. Our school kept all the restrictions that were in place for our summer programming. Face masks and social distancing are still happening despite the softening of mandates in our state. So it is not because we are not being as cautious as before. Now that the stress and hecticness of the last school year have come to an end, our bodies have relaxed and our immune systems are showing us that it wasn’t on vacation. It was fighting hard and now it also needs a rest.

[scroll down to keep reading]

Right Now

So, we need to listen to our bodies. I am guilty of constantly pushing through. I’m a single mom who works full-time. I know first-hand the attitude of not having time to be sick. However, if I don’t take the time to rest and recover, I am not only setting myself up to become even sicker, but also showing my own children a terrible example of listening to your body. Even if you are not currently sick, this school year has been so stressful that it is essential to rest and regroup so that we can come back to school ready to take on whatever is thrown at us next.

About Marie McCumber

Marie McCumber is an Elementary School Teacher at the Ohio State School for the Blind. She believes in the capability of all individuals and tries to advocate for this. She loves to be outdoors teaching and with her own family, creating in the kitchen, reading, writing, or relaxing in her hammock.