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An Appalachian Teacher's Journey During Covid

Pamela Hanlan | West Virginia, United States

This young lady is a dedicated teacher at the local high school in rural West Virginia. She lost her mother to breast cancer 2 years ago. Tara carries the same gene mutation that killed her mother. That and a small stroke puts her at risk for serious complications if she should become infected with Covid 19. So she worries. And these worries coupled with the pandemic have changed her over the past few months.

The young lady featured in this series is a teacher and a friend.  I have been by her side during this past year and have documented the changes that I have seen in her demeanor and general outlook.  She lost her mother to beast cancer a couple of years ago and Tara shares the same gene mutation that killed her.  Having this underlying condtion puts her at risk for the virus. Also she is the main caretaker for her father.  When the pandemic began she worked with students diligently online.  Her tiny home sits just above the family home.  She began the pandemic busy and hopeful and as time went on I could see the changes.  When the schools opened she was terrified and sleepless.  She considered every day she went into the school to be a day when she could possibly get the virus which could threaten her life and her dad's.  In Appalachia so many of the people she was around didn't believe in the vifus and didn't share her fear and diligence.  

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