By: Natasha Archary
Confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country have hit nightmarish highs. A bad dream, that should end already. But, with the virus hitting people close to home – a colleague at Kaya – it’s forced a re-evaluation in our approach entirely.
Perhaps you’re going through the same emotions too. Fear. Anxiety. Panic. Now’s not the time to be throwing caution to the wind. And yet, it’s exactly what people are doing.
Carelessness is going to cost us
Keeping up with the stats on the virus in the country, over 150K positive tests, and climbing. Puts things in perspective, doesn’t it? Monitoring social behaviors since the President opened the economy and allowed most industries to operate again, begs the question, was it the best move?
Not only are most sectors operating but we’re hitting the malls and shopping. We’re spending time with friends and family because the max 50 people rule has given us this illusion of “safety”.
Because as long as we’re under 50, we’re fine right? And this is the kind of logic that is pushing the country into the disaster zone we’re currently in. The virus is continually spreading, 50 people or not.
The point is that regardless of how well you think you know someone, you don’t know who they’ve come into contact with or whether they have involuntarily risked exposure. People are going about their lives as though COVID-19 is non-existent. With restaurants allowing sit-ins, social lives that were stifled since the lockdown is now given some respite.
Whilst it seems everyone is eager for some normalcy, carelessness for the sake of an active social life is going to cost us.
Despite the increase in the number of cases in schools since the phased reopening of both public and private schools (link previous article), word is that phase 2 will see more grades returning from next week. From the 6th of July, Grade 6, 11, and Grade R learners are set to return to schools across all provinces. With other grades set to be phased in during July.
Unions have blamed the spike in COVID-19 cases on the rush to reopen schools, calling the move of more grades returning reckless. More than 200 schools across the country have been forced to close, after pupils and staff tested positive, since Grades 7 and 12 resumed their academic year, last month.
With adults unable to curb the spread of the virus, here we are, expecting children to socially distance, sanitize and you know, not to expose themselves to this invisible enemy. Have we learned nothing from countries with the highest mortality rates?
Drive around your city and make mental notes of those stores or businesses that are closed with notices that closure comes as a result of positive cases at the premises. Take note of those who are not wearing masks. Those who don masks but have their noses uncovered.
Hand sanitizers are seemingly replacing basic handwashing. There are drive-throughs in the city, and walk-in takeout joints where kitchen staff are not wearing gloves or masks. How can we risk the complacency right now?
It’s horrible to make the comparison but isn’t this exactly how we handled being told to practice safer sex, because, HIV?
Gauteng has taken over from the Western Cape as the COVID-19 epicenter. There are now more than 30 000 cases in the province. At this rate, and with more children set to return to school, we’ll be hitting record numbers before the end of the year.
If an adult can complete a degree through distance learning, surely our children can manage to complete this academic year remotely? With more companies reporting positive cases, would working from home if possible, not be the more sensible option?