Here's how to not be a mampara this festive season & avoid Covid-19 risks

18 December 2020 - 10:31
By TimesLIVE
From the start of the pandemic, some people have ignored or minimised the threat of Covid-19, while others have adopted imposed safety measures. File photo.
Image: 123RF/Giulio Fornasar From the start of the pandemic, some people have ignored or minimised the threat of Covid-19, while others have adopted imposed safety measures. File photo.

Do you know which activities are best to duck this festive season?

In the midst of the country's second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, and to steady ourselves for the back to school and work environment that is just weeks away, the Solidarity Fund is rolling out a national media campaign.

“The best gift we can receive and give during this festive season, under the cloud of coronavirus, is the gift of caring for the safety of each other. Stop the spread,” said the fund.

“Although the economy, out of necessity, has opened up, the pandemic is still a part of our lives, and one that will be so for some time.”

December is the 10th month of SA’s fight against the coronavirus, another milestone since the country first went into one of the world's strictest lockdowns on March 27.

As the lockdown levels have eased, so has our vigilance. Coupled with complacency, this has given the virus fertile ground to spread, said the fund.

“Infections are rising exponentially. People are suffering, their lungs scarred, their bodies fatigued and, sadly, many more are dying each day.

“But as 'Dezemba' arrives and festivities, celebrations and the groove picks up, it is more crucial than ever to not let down our guard.”

The Solidarity Fund said second wave infections have devastated other nations, so it is asking South Africans to remember that the most effective weapon against the virus lies with them taking responsibility for their own behaviour.

“It is human nature that we are going to let down our guard as the holidays begin,” said the fund's Wendy Tlou. “But we are appealing to and reminding everyone to keep up with the basics to stop the spread of coronavirus.

“Let’s learn to co-exist with this virus safely, whether we are on an airplane or in a taxi, shopping in an exclusive boutique or back home with our grandparents.”

The campaign, conceptualised by Joe Public United, urges citizens to not behave like a mampara, an ibhari, a mabena or chop. It distinguishes between low-risk, medium-risk and high-risk activities that need to be avoided:

Know your risk and play safe this festive season.
Image: Solidarity Fund Know your risk and play safe this festive season.

With the hashtag #UnityInAction, the campaign advises:

  • For maximum protection, wear your mask correctly. First, wash your hands, then put the mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin. Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face but make sure you can still breathe easily. Don’t be a chop and wear it under your nose or chin.
  • Keep avoiding large indoor gatherings (and superspreader events) where there is little ventilation and social distancing will be difficult. It is best to avoid large indoor gatherings where it may be difficult to social distance. If you’re in a crowded space, try to keep 1.5m between yourself and others and wear a mask. Pay attention to tape markings on floors or signs on walls. Allow other people 1.5m of space when you pass them.
  • Social distancing means keeping a safe space between yourself and other people who are not from your household. To practice social distancing, stay at least 1.5m (about two arms’ length) from other people who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces. That means no hand shakes, hugs, kisses from auntie or high fives.
  • Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, taking care to rub between your fingers and the back of your hands, the most neglected areas. Do this after touching any surface you think someone else has touched.
  • Stay home when you are sick. Your immune system needs extra care during this time. No matter whether you have a common cold or the coronavirus, isolate, contain and prevent the spread.