The next few weeks are critical for South African matric students, as they gear up to write their final exams.
As hard as they have worked this year to stay on top of the work load, facing the challenges of remote learning and Covid-19 protocols at school, it would be a disaster to have it all derailed now with a Covid scare.
Currently if anyone has a confirmed or even a suspected case of Covid-19 they are required to quarantine or self-isolate for ten days, and as Dr Carol Bosch points out "exams will be missed in those scenarios".
Any missed exams will have to be made up only next year, derailing carefully laid plans for study or work in 2021.
"As we've moved to Level 1 it's become quite clear that there is a lot more socialising going on. All of us, teenagers included, have felt the need to see people and as a result it's been easy for people to forget that there is still a lot of Covid-19 still around," the Cape Town based GP told Parent24.
As a result, she shares, we are seeing little outbreaks here and there. This can be quite a problem coming up to what is quite an important time in children's academic career.
Ensure a clean run
Dr Bosch asks that parents get themselves and their children through the next few weeks safely. She stresses that even exposure to a confirmed case of Covid-19 would warrant them being quarantined.
Only see people if you really must, she says, and if you are pressed to socialise for any reason she suggests the following tips to avoid exposure and ensure a clean run at matric exams:
1. Limit all socialising outside of school
2. Limit any necessary socialising to a maximum of four people
3. Meet outdoors, at the park or on a beach.
4. Limit visits to under two hours.
5. If you have to be inside, to study for example, stay 1.5m apart and be sure to wear a mask.
6. When driving in a car with other people, keep your mask on and the windows open.
7. If there is a confirmed or suspected case, let everyone know immediately.
These principles apply not just to our matriculants, she adds, but in fact to the whole family.
Dr Bosch says that it is difficult to do all of these things, so she encourages families to rather keep everyone at home as much as possible, until the exams are over.
She asks that after this trying academic year everyone digs deep to get through the next few weeks.
Dr Bosch adds that if anyone is feeling even remotely unwell they must isolate, as the vast majority of teens get very mild symptoms and these patients often unwittingly spread the virus.
Share your stories and questions with us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anonymous contributions are welcome.
Don't miss a story!
For a weekly wrap of our latest parenting news and advice sign up to our free Friday Parent24 newsletter.