On July 30, 2020, Governor Walz announced the going back to school plan for Minnesota. Minnesota has elected to adopt an empirically based stratified plan. This means that districts, using empirical scientific data, will choose whether to open completely, stay totally remote, or use a hybrid remote/open system. Many Minnesota school districts are adopting a hybrid plan, with students on site two or three days out of the week and remote for the rest of the time.
First of all, on behalf of Minnesotans everywhere, we thank the teachers who will be returning to the classroom to teach. It is a vital and underappreciated service that is of the utmost importance to our children.
Coronavirus Risk to Teachers is High
Unfortunately, as necessary as the service is, opening schools puts teachers at risk. No matter how complete mask use is, no matter how many gallons of hand sanitizer are used, and no matter how well social distancing is adhered to, teachers will be interacting with a large number of children every day they work. In fact, given class sizes, many teachers are finding it impossible to even maintain proper social distancing with desk arrangements.
Covid-19 is a dangerous, deadly disease. On the one hand, according to the World Health Organization, 80 percent recover from the disease without the need for specialized care. On the other hand, 20 percent (1 in 5) develop difficulty breathing and require hospital care. People aged over 60 years or who have underlying medical conditions (e.g., diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease, hypertension, or smokers) are at the greatest risk. To add to the danger, complications can mean incapacitation. And studies show that U.S. teachers run a 1 in 4 risk severe illness from coronavirus, greater than the general population.
Health Care Directives are Vital
When a person becomes incapacitated, they are unable to make medical decisions for themselves. When this happens, hopefully, a person has a current health care directive identifying their wishes, an agent to make decisions on their behalf, and a HIPPA waiver to allow the agent access to your medical information. Health care directives available on the internet do not cover all the bases, and almost universally omit vital provisions.
As a show of appreciation for the risks they are taking to teach our children, Signature Law is offering a 10% discount on estate planning services to teachers and other education professionals through the end of 2020. This includes not only health care directives, but also trusts, wills, and powers of attorney. Please contact us to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about this offer.
And to the teachers and education professionals, thank you for your service and all that you bring to our families.