How is the Covid situation evolving? Any changes regarding lockdown levels, cases, etc.?
Just until a month ago the levels were still very low but according to the news updates there was already a slight increase in the numbers. Things can change very quickly within a few days as we know.
Now that the new variant is here we had our very first “family meeting” with the president addressing the nation (after many weeks of silence and level 1). However, we aren’t really affected by the new variant that much because things are basically still the same, besides some countries closing their borders to SA. We just got advised to remain safe and try and have all gatherings etc. outdoors and try and get vaccinated ASAP. I am already fully vaccinated an received my last dose in October on Campus.UWC has released a new policy that will take place from next year. All students and staff must be vaccinated to get onto campus if not, you will only be allowed to attend online classes. The numbers in SA are rising again, but not as bad as the previous times which means that the country is keeping a watchful eye. I am also trying to not read too much newspapers and news because of the paranoia that comes with it, so I’m rather focusing on the good and trying to keep sane through all of this.
You had Covid yourself last year. How did you experience that? Did you get checked by a doctor? Were your symptoms bad? How did it affect your daily life and work at university?
It was very scary because one’s situation can be fine one minute and the next you are struggling with something as simple like breathing. And what made it worse was the fact that my mother had it too and she showed all the symptoms because she was older and she had comorbidities. Things like walking to the door from her bed was an effort, so I had to mentally heal faster because I had to be there for her. The aftereffects were the worst, because I couldn’t taste or smell for a few months after having COVID. I didn’t go to the doctor. I was to scared because South Africa was in wave 3 and you had to be really, really sick before they would admit you and mentally I was not prepared for it, so we healed at home with medicine and home remedies.
My work and university life were not affected because we were already on holiday that time, it however affected my training.
How are the preparations at the schools going where you want to collect your data? When are you starting the data collection?
I have to wait until next year to start my data collection, because schools are currently busy with exams. According to the approval letter that I received from the WCED, I am also not allowed to do data collection after October. The plan is to start in early January, but I am planning to get in to contact with the principals now already so they can slot me into their planning for 2022.
Can you tell us a little bit more about how Covid has affected the work situation and crime rates in South Africa?
COVID has affected work situations very much and with loadshedding it really makes it difficult for small business and businesses in general. South Africa had a high crime rate already before COVID happened but somehow the numbers increased even more because more and more people had to make ends meet.
What kind of businesses have you seen opening?
A lot of online stores opened, and more and more people made use of their talents to make money. Online classes and tutoring became a big thing and people started to make money by teaching children and students who struggled. People started opening food delivery, clothing and even started massaging business just to name a few.
How is your job going? Any news there?
We are more “chilled” now because the students are busy with their exams, but we will pick up as soon as their results are released.
Anything else you would like to share with us?
Yes: Good news, we received some of our term marks back and so far so good, all continuous assessments is above 60%. In other news I have just passed my First Aid level 1 course and next week Monday is my birthday! 🙂
So there is some good through all of the COVID and its variants!