And in Chesapeake, Va., on Tuesday, the first day her school district stopped requiring masks in accordance with Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s mask-optional executive order, ninth-grade English teacher Amanda Lambert awoke unsure if she would go to work. Lambert was thinking about what her doctor told her: that, because of her blood-clotting disorder, she was unlikely to live through “the next round” of coronavirus variants if she contracted the illness and had to go on a ventilator. “Being intubated,” she thought to herself, “is signing your own death certificate.”

Above all were thoughts of her son in sixth grade, and how badly she wants to see him graduate, get a job, get married.