#ChildrensVoices | Tumi Sefotlhelo, age 14, shares his experience of the coronavirus pandemic

Boitumelo Sefotlhelo (Supplied)
Boitumelo Sefotlhelo (Supplied)

#ChildrensVoices is a ReaderLympics initiative, where children are invited to share their experiences of the 2020 coronvirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown. 

To submit your own letter, or to find out more visit www.readerlympics.co.za

By Tumi Sefotlhelo, age 14. 

When I found out about the Corona virus, I just could not believe this was happening to the world.

I was scared for my life and worried about my family, because I really did not want the virus to come to South Africa.

When the virus did come to South Africa I cried, prayed and asked God to protect us. I asked God why the virus was in the country because people are dying?

People around the world are losing their loved ones, it is dreadful! Since I heard about the virus, I’ve been having nightmares, about the world, that it will all end, and everyone will die. These dreams scare me and make me unhappy because, I don’t want the world to end. 

Then President Cyril Ramaphosa made the announcement for schools to close and the country to be on lockdown. I was glad that this happened because, we were going on holiday early, but sad that I would not be seeing my friends, can’t go swim at the beach, go shopping, go to the waterpark, basically all the things I look forward to when on holiday.

I was excited to be going home from boarding school to be with family, but I must admit sometimes it’s overwhelming living with family without being able to go out.

I’m happy the President decided to keep everyone at home to stop the virus from spreading and killing more people. 

Being with family is not all bad it’s actually fun, with exciting activities like playing boardgames, online gaming with my friends, TikTok with my sister and baking with mom.

I even celebrated my birthday during this lockdown even though I couldn’t get a gift, it was still a special celebration.

My family and I have not been this close since I went to boarding school so this time together at home makes me happy and has also made the nightmares less traumatic.

The saddest thing though is there people that can’t afford to buy food, have no place to live during the lockdown and can’t get the right treatment to help them if they get the virus.

I heard in the news of a pregnant mother being sick from this virus, I can only imagine how stressful this is for her.

There’s not much I can do to help, but for now, I advise people to please stay at home, to wash hands regularly, pray and stay safe.

If you are the parent of a teen struggling through the lockdown, the following resources are available to provide immediate support:

Suicide Crisis Line 0800 567 567 or SMS line 31393

South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) Mental Health Line 011 234 4837

Akeso Psychiatric Response Unit (24 hours a day) 0861 435 787

Find a therapist near you on TherapyRoute.com

Chat back:

Share your story with us and we could publish it. Anonymous contributions are welcome.

WhatsApp: Send messages and voicenotes to 066 010 0325

Email: Share your story with us via email at chatback @ parent24.com

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