POCAHONTAS, Ark. (KAIT) - When it comes to the number of COVID-19 cases, the Pocahontas School District fared fairly well, but that doesn’t mean the virus isn’t impacting those who work there.
According to the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement’s latest report, the district is in the orange zone with 30-49 cases per 10,000 people.
Among those cases is Tiffany Gugle who recently returned to her job as school nurse at Alma Spikes Elementary after spending more than three weeks in quarantine.
“I don’t think I have ever wanted to be at work so much before in my life,” Gugle said. “The 24-day quarantine at home with my whole family was an experience.”
It was a long 24 days for both Gugle and her son, Gage, who is a second-grader at the school.
She says it was more than just the physical side of COVID-19 that was difficult.
“The mental health part of the quarantine, for me that was bigger than the symptoms I experienced,” Gugle said.
While isolated at home she still had to make sure her son was logging on and doing his school work virtually.
She credits her mindset with getting through the virus.
“I prefer to live life to the fullest and not to live in fear," Gugle said. “Instead of worrying and stressing about COVID and what could be, I try not to and I try to look at what we do have.”
Gugle says that while COVID is worrisome, especially seeing the stress of a shortage in staffing and with the school running through PPE supplies, she wants to be an encouragement for her students.
“We definitely have had issues with staffing,” Gugle said. “[We’re] having to make different arrangements to make sure that all the kids are being taken care of [as] they should be.”
In talking to Gugle and school officials Wednesday, it appears that while the consensus is that a majority of people are tired of COVID-19, district officials want to do what is necessary to make sure cases go down to protect students.