Ms. Rosie Salisbury was Featured on the Front Page of The Chronicle

Ms. Rosie Salisbury was Featured on the Front Page of The Chronicle
Posted on 03/22/2021
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Ms. Rosie Salisbury at Constellation Schools: Lorain Community Elementary was featured on the front page of The Chronicle on Friday, March 19, 2021. Please join us in celebrating the work that Rosie has done, and will continue to do, in support of each of us and our students!

Ms. Rosie Salisbury at Constellation Schools: Lorain Community Elementary was featured on the front page of The Chronicle on Friday, March 19, 2021.


One year in pandemic, essential workers long for normalcy
By: Laina Yost, The Chronicle
Posted: March 19, 2021

LORAIN — Every week of the pandemic, Rosie Salisbury showed up to work and cleaned, trying to ward off a mostly unknown virus.

She works at Constellation Schools: Lorain Community Elementary as a cleaner. She's used to disinfecting, but never to the extent that she's experienced during the pandemic.

"There were times that I thought 'What if this is the new normal?' I’m the one cleaning the bathrooms after everybody's in there. I'm the one cleaning everything that everybody touched," Salisbury said. "Do they really know enough about this virus to guarantee me that I'm not going to get sick? Because no matter how protected you are, there's a part of you that worries about that."

For Salisbury, the shutdown happened suddenly. One day the teachers and students were there and the next day they weren't.

"It just seemed like overnight, this happened and I never saw them again," she said. "There was no warning."

What was once a building full of kids was empty. Initially, Salisbury said she and everyone else busied themselves with making sure students were prepared for home learning. They handed out supplies, laptops and food.

In the beginning, it was overwhelming, Salisbury said.

But when that was over, and when even the administrators had gone home, Salisbury was still cleaning a mostly empty building.

"I don't know how to explain it other than there was a loneliness in the building," Salisbury said. "You're used to having a full building and all of the sudden there's nothing."

She said Constellation responded quickly, limiting how many people would be in the building at once and making sure everyone had the appropriate PPE.

No one really came near each other. She said the school treated her like she was just as important as the students and the teachers.

Salisbury is 61. By her age alone, she's at a higher risk during the pandemic. During the past year, she had days where she wondered if she could keep going.

She asked herself at the time what she was still doing working even though so many others were being laid off.

"The isolation of it all, even being in that building when no one was there or just a few people there. … When you're in a school building, there's students running around, there's kindergartners running around. There's noise. Without that, it does something to you. To be honest, there were times when I wondered why I stayed. It was just odd."

Salisbury was one of millions of essential workers across the country. They showed up to work while a relatively unknown virus sent many to their homes.

...

In Lorain, Salisbury received her vaccine with all the other county school employees on Feb. 28, although her age group also qualified her. She gets her second shot in under two weeks — on March 28.

When vaccine talks first started, Salisbury said she had her doubts. She was scared. So, she researched everything and started to feel more comfortable.

Even before a date was set for school staff to get vaccinated, Salisbury said she signed up with every Drug Mart she could.

If she has a chance to protect herself and her family, even just a 50 percent chance, Salisbury said she would take it.

Life slowly is coming back to normal. She still cleans more than she used to. She still wears a mask. There's still fewer children in the building than normal, but the teachers have returned.

"There's a comfort now," Salisbury said. "I walk by their classes and we can talk. We're more protected. We're halfway there."

Contact Laina Yost at (440) 329-7121 or [email protected].

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Full article: One year in pandemic, essential workers long for normalcy