‘Super-spreader’ events the next big threat

As Covid-fatigue sets in, super-spreader events are becoming a great concern.
As Covid-fatigue sets in, super-spreader events are becoming a great concern.
Image: iStock / Izusek

The word “lockdown” was on Friday announced as SA’s Word of the Year.

In just six months, it had been used 486,224 times in print, broadcast and other mentions on social media. And the number grows by the day.

Lockdown has become part of our daily conversations, with media organisations even keeping a daily count. Today we enter day 207.

Like lockdown, words that have become very much a part of vocabulary include: Covid, sanitise, social distance and masks, to name a few. Over the last 207 days, and the two weeks preceding the national shutdown, authorities have been preaching the same message in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus: keep a safe distance from others, wash your hands, sanitise and wear a mask.

When Covid-19 reached our shores, it was evident that the fight was not only that of the health department; everyone had to play their part if the country was to get through this pandemic.

But with each day, as “Covid fatigue” sets in, more and more people are becoming reckless in their behaviour and ignoring the safety precautions that have now become part of our daily routines.

“Super-spreader events” have become a real concern. In Cape Town recently, 89 people tested positive after visiting the Tin Roof club. A total of 38 of those infected were said to be matric pupils who are meant to be preparing for their final exams in November.

In the Eastern Cape, 30 University of Fort Hare students have also tested positive for Covid-19. They are now in quarantine at the Alice campus. More tests are still outstanding, which means the number of infections could still increase.

Two parties — one on October 3 and the other the following weekend — are reportedly the source of the outbreak at the institution. Ironically, many of those infected are nursing students who one would expect are more knowledgeable when it comes infection control. It is understood that some students returned home, not only putting their families at risk but also members of the community.

“Covid fatigue” is understandable. It has been a painful year and all people want is for life to return to normal. However, the coronavirus remains a very real threat. All of us have to remain vigilant to avoid a second wave, particularly as we had into the festive season.

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