Don't let your guard down: Covid-19 is still real, says mom who tested positive on her birthday

06 October 2020 - 12:34 By Siphokazi Fokazi
A Cape Town mother who recently tested positive for Covid-19 has urged South Africans not to become complacent. She says quarantine is one of the ways to beat the spread of the coronavirus.
A Cape Town mother who recently tested positive for Covid-19 has urged South Africans not to become complacent. She says quarantine is one of the ways to beat the spread of the coronavirus.
Image: 123RF/ADZIC NATASA

With SA officially on level 1 of the lockdown and many people starting to revert to their “normal” lifestyles, a Cape Town mother who recently tested positive for Covid-19 is not letting her guard down yet.

Olivia Daniels’ selfless attitude was displayed when she gave up her freedom and the comfort of her home to quarantine in a government facility for the sake of her children.

“I’d rather miss my children than infect them,” said the 31-year-old mother from Uitsig, who tested positive on her birthday last month.

Olivia Daniels tested positive for Covid-19 on her birthday.
Olivia Daniels tested positive for Covid-19 on her birthday.
Image: Supplied

When she was admitted to the Pinelands quarantine and isolation facility, it was her way of fighting the pandemic which has killed more than 17,000 South Africans. Of that number, 4,208 deaths have been recorded in her home province, the Western Cape. At least 682,215 Covid-19 cases had been recorded in the country, and on Monday an additional 40 deaths were reported, bringing the total to 17,016.

After spending just over a week in the quarantine site, Daniels recovered fully and was discharged last Friday.

She admitted that being separated from her children was tough.

“At first I was sad because I wanted to share my birthday with my family, but I knew it was the best decision to isolate away from them to protect them.”

Her positive test proved the virus “is still out there” and that South Africans “should not slack off”.

“I encourage everyone who tests positive for Covid-19 to make use of the isolation facilities if they share a home with others. You will feel better knowing your loved ones are safe and protected. I felt safe and cared for. I had time to rest comfortably, which you cannot do at home,” she said.

Pinelands facility manager Anci Francis said: “What brings me joy is that the Covid-19 patients enter the facility with a positive status but leave with a negative status, which changed their mindset.

“There is joy in treating all patients without fear or prejudice.”

Francis urged South Africans to follow Covid-19 regulations and safety measures.

“Be cautious and aware of the pandemic. Wear your mask and sanitise your hands properly to stop spread of the virus,” she said.

'Courage and commitment': Premier praises teachers and pupils 

Meanwhile, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has started a campaign to help grade 12 pupils finish their matric year. The #CommitToFinish campaign is aimed at encouraging, motivating and supporting the class of 2020 to push until the final exams.

Winde said the class of 2020 had faced many challenges and disruptions throughout the school year, but despite this “we have seen pupils and teachers alike show real courage and commitment to learning, from self-study to home schooling and learning through social media platforms”.

“I have no doubt the class of 2020 is tough, driven, innovative and resilient, and we want to see them use these attributes to shine in their final exams,” said Winde.

“My message to matric pupils is this: You have come so far and the finish line is within your reach. Pushing through now will all be worth it in the end. As the campaign message states, you will thank yourself later.”

In celebration of World Teacher’s Day on Monday, Winde thanked all teachers for continuing to change lives of those around them.

“Throughout the pandemic, we have heard remarkable stories of teachers doing amazing things to help their pupils continue learning,” he said.

“Since the beginning of the lockdown, we have seen teachers present lessons via social media and radio. Many have worked hard to ensure pupils receive learning materials at home, while others have become active in helping feed their communities.”

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LISTEN | ‘Every day gets a bit better’: Lockdown grievers and givers come into the open

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