The lockdown and all its alert levels have been tough on everyone, even the tech-savvy who can connect online.
Many of us have parents who are physically distancing on their own, or who we haven’t seen in months, and the temptation is there to check in on them in person to make sure everything is okay.
While it’s tough to stay away, as President Cyril Ramaphosa pointed out in his newsletter to the nation this morning, it’s the only way to keep them safe.
Here’s City Press:
“For those fortunate enough to have an elderly parent or grandparent still alive, not being able to spend time with them has been one of the most difficult parts of the lockdown,” he said, acknowledging that, for millions of senior citizens, social activities like meeting friends and family and attending religious services and stokvel and burial society meetings are the mainstay of their lives.
“Because of social distancing regulations, most of these activities have been curtailed, potentially leaving them feeling socially isolated and lonely. And leaving their loved ones anxious for their wellbeing.
Older people are among those most likely to get severely ill if they contract the disease.
In addition, data released by the health department indicates that people with underlying medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, renal disease, asthma and chronic respiratory disease are more vulnerable to developing severe complications and dying from Covid-19.
A recent report published by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases showed that a third of patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 had at least one co-morbidity.
“This is a significant concern in a country such as ours that also has high prevalence of HIV and tuberculosis, the leading cause of natural deaths in South Africa last year,” he said.
Additionally, more than 4.5 million South Africans have diabetes, a figure that has doubled since 2017. In the Western Cape alone, diabetes is a co-morbidity in over half of all Covid-19 deaths.
With this in mind, Ramaphosa suggests that we play it safe, especially with regard to the elderly.
“Difficult though it may be, we should not expose our elderly mothers and fathers to the virus through social visits. Let us keep in touch with them by phone or video messaging,” said Ramaphosa.
Yeah, I know, trying to introduce an older relative to video messaging is often akin to pulling teeth.
I encourage you to try the Zoom route if you’re the type to face a challenge head-on.
Otherwise, I’ve found that WhatsApp video calls do the trick. You just have to guide them to the video button.
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