Dedicated teachers continue teaching despite being infected with COVID-19

March, 03/2022 - 08:30

Being infected with the novel coronavirus often means a disruption in people’s everyday lives, but dedicated teachers are still doing their job as usual – even from their hospital beds.

Trịnh Thị Lê Dung teaches a class from her hospital bed. — Photo courtesy of Trịnh Thị Lê Dung

HÀ NỘI — Being infected with the novel coronavirus often means a disruption in people’s everyday lives, but dedicated teachers are still doing their job as usual – even from their hospital beds.

Trịnh Thị Lê Dung, a teacher of Thăng Long Elementary School (Hoàn Kiếm District, Hà Nội) was one of these committed educators. 

When she and her husband caught the virus in February last year, they both had to be admitted to hospital for treatment.

Dung told Nhân Dân (People) newspaper: “I knew well that my treatment would be long, so I prepared two big suitcases to bring with me [to the hospital].”

Her luggage not only included personal belongings and medicine, but also textbooks and a laptop.

When she arrived at the National Hospital for Tropical Disease (Đông Anh District, Hà Nội), the doctors found out her blood oxygen saturation had dropped and her lungs were damaged. 

They had to administer her an anticoagulant on her first night at the facility.

However, the 54-year-old teacher was determined to continue her class for her young pupils.

“Right then I called the school board to inform them of the situation, and requested to continue teaching online, as Thăng Long Elementary school was very short staffed at that time,” said Dung.

“Moreover, first-grade children will often get confused in the face of a new teacher.”

With more than 30 years of experience in education, teaching has always brought her joy.

Standing alongside her and giving her support was her husband, who would make sure the laptop and the internet connection worked well for his wife’s class.

During lessons, there were times that Dung was so tired she struggled to breathe. 

A medical worker attends to Dung during her treatment. — Photo courtesy of Trịnh Thị Lê Dung

Yet she persevered, and would often wait until break time to turn off her camera and lie down to get some rest, as she was afraid the students might get worried if they saw how she was doing.

Nghĩa, her husband added that this special class went on for nine days. Although it took a lot of effort, the couple were always looking forward to meeting the children.

“It was our joy, our motivation to overcome the disease”, said Nghĩa. 

Phùng Thị Thu Hòa, another teacher from the same school, was also infected when her son caught the virus. 

Just like Dung, she never missed a class during her seven-day treatment.

While she experienced COVID-19 symptoms, Hòa did not feel too tired and asked the school board if she could continue teaching.

“I have been teaching them for a long time, so I understand the needs of each of my students. With a substitute teacher, they would be at a disadvantage,” said Hòa.

Nguyễn Thị Bình Minh, principal of Thăng Long Elementary School said: “These young innocent children could not understand their teachers’ hardship during online lessons.

“They could only see that their teachers were smiling, asking them to take care of their own health, checking up on those who were infected with the virus, and motivating them.

“But we colleagues truly understand how much effort it takes, that each person is doing a workload of two, or even more.”

While offered to support and arrange substitutes for those who are infected, most of the teachers always choose to continue teaching, and strive to finish the tasks assigned, Minh said. — VNS