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Importance of social distancing

March 22nd, 2020 11:40 PM

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WITH all schools closed until March 29th – and very likely beyond that, taking in the Easter holiday period too – it is important that, while they are shut, parents or guardians of the students ensure that social distancing is observed for the sake of our general well-being. This break from school is not a holiday period per se, but provides a valuable window of opportunity to try to curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus, but this will only work if people observe the advice of the National Public Health Emergency Team.

While it is regrettable, keeping young children at a distance from their grandparents – who are more susceptible to picking up the virus – is sensible advice, even if it is difficult for some people to comply with. Many older people have underlying medical conditions which makes catching the virus a lot more serious for them. However, a concerted effort by families now for a few weeks will undoubtedly save lives.

The National Public Health Emergency Team has been critical of the behaviour of many young adults who do not seem to have curbed their social lives and are not maintaining social distancing from others. Most of them feel invincible and, even if they fell ill with the coronavirus, would have the resilience to get over it quickly.

However, the danger is they could be passing it on to other people, relatives or friends, who might not be in the prime of their health.    

Older people who live alone may be too frightened by all the media coverage to venture outside their doors in case they pick up Covid-19. Relatives and neighbours should check on elderly people – while maintaining the recommended social distancing – to see that they are okay, health-wise, and have enough supplies of food, fuel and medicines.

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