English teacher undergoes COVID testing

English teacher Catherine Bettag opened her computer from her couch on Wednesday morning, Sept. 2, after a long night with a sore throat, ready to teach her class from home. She was confident that she was not infected with COVID, but as a precaution, she had contacted her boss and got ready for class during her absence. After a restless night’s sleep, she decided she was healthy enough to teach her classes via Zoom. 

After getting tested for COVID, Bettag waited calmly for the test results to come back. “I was really confident that I was gonna be negative, so it was fine. The results came in, in 24 hours about, so I was able to get them really quickly,” she said. 

She made it very clear that she knew she was not sick with the virus and not concerned about her health, but more about proving that she was healthy, Bettag said, “The more frustrating part was waiting to get tested ’cause I had to wait like three days to get tested.” 

On the Tuesday when she first felt the symptoms coming on from her cold, Bettag ended her day at 2:13 p.m. and left her room how it usually is after a long school day. “It was nice that I didn’t have to write sub plans in the morning when I decided that I needed to stay home,” Bettag said. Prior to these days of COVID, Bettag said that she would have continued to come to school and teach, but things have changed.

Everything stayed the same while the English teacher was home. She continued to teach her students through Zoom while a sub came to the classroom every day that Bettag was home waiting for her test result. Regarding Bettag’s absence, sophomore Trevor Burbridge said, “I was just like confused. I was tryna go to my classroom and all the other students were going to a different classroom.” Burbridge also said that he wasn’t worried about his health when his teacher came back to school. 

Since her three day “vacation” at home, Bettag said that most people were kind to her and asked how she was feeling. However, this took a slight turn when the rumors of COVID’s spread around the English department were born. “Most of the teachers had found out that I was home sick for a few days. I had some questions about how I was feeling, which was nice. it’s always nice to check on your coworkers,” she said with a smile. “But um, there definitely seemed to be some nerves,” Bettag said. 

Bettag said everyone should stay home if they feel like they’re getting sick, even if the symptoms are minor like hers. She is constantly correcting students in the hallways about how they’re wearing their masks. Bettag also said she hopes that everyone that fears that they have COVID will get tested, because, she noted that, in the end, it could save more people than one would think, including oneself.


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