Dear Auntie Betty, I am in Primary Six. As the President announced, schools will re-open sometime this year for full academic work.
However, I am worried because the number of people infected with the coronavirus has not decreased. Other countries are also recording very high cases.
How can we be sure we are not at risk when we return to school?
Dear Vanessa, I understand why you are worried. The coronavirus is still with us despite the development of vaccines which have been approved for use.
However, you will have to understand that the government will put in place the necessary protective measures to ensure that students are safe when they return to school.
I am positive that schools in the country will also do their part by planning and communicating effectively with parents and students on how they are adjusting to the pandemic.
You cannot stay at home forever and so you would have to adapt to the new normal. We are all at risk and so it is important that we play our parts individually and collectively in order to reduce the risk of infection.
I am sure you are abreast of all the safety protocols – wash your hands frequently with soap under running water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser; practise social distancing and wear a face mask.
Avoid close contact with someone who is sick. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
You should also practise respiratory etiquette – for instance, cough into a flexed elbow; cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, throw away used tissue and wash your hands.
I must also add that you should avoid sharing items such as pens, pencils, face masks, etc. with your friends in school.
It is important to adhere to these protocols and advise your friends and family to do same.
After many months of staying at home, it is possible you may struggle with getting back to school and the new routine.
There are a lot of changes that will play out when you are back to school but do not despair. School and social interactions will definitely look different than what you are used to. What is important is for you to follow the health protocols and remain positive that everything will be alright.
I wish you the very best.