Natalia Chansler: Texas teacher debating whether to get vaccine dies of covid
MCLENNAN COUNTY, TEXAS: A school teacher has died recently due to coronavirus complications while she was trying to finalize which vaccine to take. Natalia Chansler was a 6th-grade social studies teacher at Connally Junior High in Elm Mott, Texas. She breathed her last on August 28 after testing positive for the Covid-19, an email sent to parents by the Connally Independent School District (Connally ISD) stated.
It has also been said that the 41-year-old had some medical issues and was really worried about returning to school because of the Delta variant. Her older sister, Annice Chansler, told CNN News on Friday, September 3, “She was close to getting vaccinated and then of course this happened. And then she was really more thinking, 'Okay, when I get better I'm going to go ahead and get vaccinated.' But of course she passed before that.”
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Natalia last went to school on August 25 and always used to wear her face mask even though if it's not mandatory everywhere. Annice said the onset of the deadly virus left her sister terrified, but “When the variant came, she was even more nervous. But she had to work. She had no choice.”
After classes on Monday, August 30, every school in the district was closed by Connally ISD due to Natalia’s as well as another teacher’s death. The 59-year-old David A. McCormick also died because of the Covid-19 on August 24. McCormick used to teach social studies at the junior high and last went to school on August 18 – which was also the first day of school.
Connally ISD Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Jill Bottelberghe told CNN in an email Wednesday night, September 1, that it’s not been identified yet how both the teachers contracted the virus. The district also handles the cities of Lacy Lakeview and Waco and the communities of Elm Mott, Chalk Bluff, and Gholson, and getting definitive evidence on how the teachers got infected will help it deep clean and sanitize all of its facilities. It will also give anyone exposed to the virus a chance to quarantine themselves and recover.
Currently, the district has canceled extracurricular activities, including high school football games. Instead, a drive-through testing session was organized on Wednesday for staff, students, and community members. A Facebook post by Connally ISD read, “The football game scheduled for Friday, September 3rd vs. La Vega has been canceled. This decision was made due to the increasing numbers of COVID in our community. The first drive-thru COVID testing session for CISD staff, students and community members conducted this morning yielded a 26% positivity rate. With this data, we felt it necessary to cancel all indoor and outdoor activities at all levels, as we continue to make the health and safety of our community a priority. The cancelation includes the sub-varsity games scheduled for Thursday, September 2nd.”
Meanwhile, Natalia’s sister Annice described her as “fun-loving” and “the best baby sister I could ever have.” “Students, parents, anyone who came across Natalia, they immediately liked her and liked her personality,” she added. Though Natalia’s death left her family and friends devastated, it also encouraged them to get vaccinated. “They've made that move and I'm so proud of them for doing that. I hate that it took Natalia's passing for them to understand how important it is, but I'm just glad they've done it,” Annice said.