South Africa
Averting the panic
Posted by Donnybrook Primary, South Africa on 6 July 2020

Donnybrook, like many of the schools in Ixopo are ‘ back to school’ but certainly not back to normal. Many of the teachers and unions have fiercely resisted the reopening of school in a fear that they will be exposed/ suspectable to contracting or spreading the virus. In the past 3 months there has been much panic, misinformation and myths around this pandemic and the purpose of our Covid workshop was the help teacher gain a better understanding of virus and how they can play a role in slowing down the infection rate and better protecting ourselves from becoming infected. For all the teachers out there, the good news in that children who do contract the virus mostly experience a milder form than adults. To date, out of all global hospitalised cases, only 2% where children under 20, 98% were adults, many of whom already had a pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or emphysema. Not to make light of this very infectious and virulent form of flu, but in addition to milder cases seen in children, children apparently carry a low viral load rendering them weaker transmitters. As further evidence, Sweden for example was the only country that did not close their schools, they reported no above average infection levels amongst teachers. Furthermore, there are strong nutritional and education arguments for sending children back to school. Children receive a square nutritional meal and education support. This is often not the case at home. Sometimes it’s a about looking at a bad situation with a new set of glasses, lets all try and think more clearly and weigh up both the harms and the benefits in our decisions. There is no cure, there is no magic bullet but let’s hope reason rather than hysteria will prevail.

Local Partner African Conservation Trust

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