The number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in South Africa, and we’re all encouraged to stay home, safe and wear a mask if we have to leave. In addition, school children of certain ages are starting to return to school in an effort to help the management of education.
This return to school is largely being implemented under very strict conditions in order to maximize safety. This includes the requirement for children to wear masks. There is a varied sentiment to this decision, made by the government, as well as the plan to return to school.
As suppliers of high quality, handmade barrier masks in teen and kiddies sizes, we turned to our loyal customers to find out how they feel about returning to school. As well as how they are preparing.
Here’s what Liliana Donaggi, who recently shared her COVID-19 journey with us, has to say.
How have you prepared for the return to school?
My son, Christian Meder, is in Gene Louw Primary school and his first day back was Tuesday 7 July 2020. I would say the only preparation I felt was needed was to slowly mentally prepare my 12-year-old son.
He’s been at home from before lockdown even started and has been off our premises literally twice. Once for his birthday when I took him for a drive around our area, stopped outside his school and had a little chat with him and the second time was visiting the barbers for his hair cut before school. I felt a strong sense of protectiveness toward him.
Obviously they know what is happening and understand it, but I think their ability to understand is only to a certain degree. As a parent, my children’s mental wellbeing is of utmost importance.
His school sent videos showing them how they will be expected to enter the school grounds and what procedures will take place. They made it really fun and easy for us as parents to relay to our children.
What Mzansi Mask do your children have?
My son and daughter both have plain black and maroon Mzansi Masks in adult sizes. They also have green (which goes beautifully with the colour of my 13-year-old daughter’s Stellenberg High School uniform) and black Mzansi Masks in teenage size.
Both fit beautifully, but I must say they prefer the teenage size and I will most definitely be ordering more of them.
What do your children think of the masks?
Both the kids agree that they are soft and comfortable to wear, they feel that they can breathe and not feel too restricted.
How did you find the transition of homeschooling during lockdown to going back to school?
Our daughter, Gabriella, will only be going back to school (grade 8) at the end of August. They are doing really well with their online classes and submissions. So at this stage, we have only experienced the transition with our son.
I will be honest and say that I have not schooled the kids once. They received allocated work per week or online and they have been doing their school schedules as per normal school hours daily. Dad and I only help when and where needed. We check-in daily to see that all is fine and in order obviously, but I must admit that the kids made it easy for us.
I also feel that, as I mentioned earlier, their wellbeing is more important to me at this stage and knowing they are doing their work and working hard and doing their best. I don’t feel that me, as a mother, hovering over them will do them any good. I take my hat off to teachers and these children. They work hard.
Then there is the fact that mom had to go back to work at a certain point, but I felt good about the fact that the kids had it in the bag and dad has been working from home luckily. As a parent sending my child to school after such a long time has been difficult and scary but also good, as they need to see that the world is still turning and life must go on, see their friends and socialize (from a distance), see their beloved teachers.
For my son it was good to see his friends, he said it feels like a prison but it’s nice to see mam and some of his friends. So there are mixed emotions for sure, which is understandable, right?! But the new normal will soon settle in and he agrees that it will start feeling more comfortable after a while…
What is the sentiment of going back to school within your communities?
There are so many different views on this topic and I cannot speak for all. Mine, personally, is that the two schools that our kids attend have really done everything in their power to ensure the safety of our children, and to communicate that with the parents in writing and video form. And they have the privilege to be able to meet some of the best safety measures.
If you think about it, your children are your world, they are the reason parents get up every morning, so it is a daunting thought to send your child out there after trying to keep them safe at home for months. But we have to trust the system, trust that you have done a proper job of ensuring that your child follows rules etc.
They need to also know and feel safe, understanding that their academic futures are not at stake, and that our government and schools are doing everything in their power to get them through this academic year not only safely but also mentally balanced and educated. I am sure that for parents of children with underlying health issues this will be a completely different subject and point of view.
Thank you Mzansi Masks for your amazing service and product and not only that but keeping the public and your followers in touch with other people and businesses and their personal experiences during these very sensitive and unprecedented times!
Get Your Mask
Whether you are pro-sending your child back to the public classroom, or you choose to continue homeschooling, it’s important that your children stay protected.
We stock a variety of kiddies masks and teenage masks that are handmade with love and attention. These masks are designed specifically to fit smaller faces comfortably, without compromising on breathing ability.
We have also recently launched a range of awesome kiddies-themed hand sanitizers that encourage your little one to stay clean in a fun way.
This too shall pass, and we’re stronger together.