OPINION: There is hope post Covid-19 so let’s remain patient and positive
By Stacy Fru
Schools are open, but Covid-19 is still with us. Looking at the decreasing number of people testing for the virus and the deaths reported doesn’t guarantee people’s safety.
This explains why my siblings and I had mixed feelings about going back to school after almost six months.
We had sleepless nights, anxiety and fear during the days leading to our return. But after a week of going to school, we all seem fine.
On my first day back, September 1, I noticed that many changes had been made. It felt like a different place.
The last time I set foot in the school was on March 18, shortly before lockdown.
The premises were quieter and cleaner. When I entered our classroom, my classmates were seated according to the physical distancing rule of 1.5m apart from one another.
The teachers strictly enforced physical distancing and made it clear to everyone that there was no need to get close to one another.
Being children, it was, of course, hard to follow the rule – so many children frequently disobeyed the rule and realised that only much later.
The classroom atmosphere was different, having done both online and school learning, the pressure many of us felt in having to settle down could be sensed in the air as we prepared for a new term of unexpected events.
There were fewer questions, fewer movements and fewer voices.
I have had a hard time fitting in with the crowd, seeing that I’ve been isolated for six months.
However, I’m glad that all of my peers have been safe.
I’m grateful to be going to a school that can provide good Covid-19 restriction methods. This privilege makes me think of the less fortunate. I feel terrible for schools that have different systems of learners’ timetables because, due to lack of capacity, they cannot have all learners in schools every day.
Most learners, whether attending public or private schools, are back. I am sad for the learners whose parents lost their income or jobs and cannot afford to send their children to school because they cannot pay school fees.
Due to the fear of Covid-19, some parents have decided to homeschool their children and some have decided not to send their children to school for the rest of the year.
I write this article to encourage every single learner to stay positive. Parents and many adults also have to remain hopeful.
Yes, there is hope post-Covid-19. For instance, I am glad that learners at public schools are getting free meals and this will reduce hunger.
The high levels of substance abuse, depression, fear, loneliness, domestic violence and child abuse will also reduce now that most children are back at school.
I look forward to a good term. Let us remain patient and hopeful.
Fru, 13, is the writer of five books, including Smelly Cats, Where is and Tim’s Answer.