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Masks for school kids need to be reconsidered

By Mumtaz Moosa-Saley
23:03:2022

As a parent, I understand the fears of COVID-19 still looms in many of our children’s minds, but it is always the kids who ritually sanitise and wear masks even on their way home from school.

As a parent, I laugh as I say this, but my kids literally use their masks as a tissue some days, the things you find in a mask will shock even the president himself! Classrooms are filled to capacity and with the heat they have to endure, our kids miss the normalcy of the lives they once knew and lived. Recently, my son told me that, he sharpens his pencil many times just to have a moment to be free from the mask. 

Being a mum of a small kid who started grade One last year, it broke my heart to see the strict rules implemented on them as they are not allowed to play during breaks nor are they allowed to sit with each other. Breaks are seemingly becoming a dreaded time as most of the kids have to sit far apart, eat and put their masks back on.

While I do understand being in the midst of the pandemic as an adult I wonder how do these kids manage all day with a mask on and still try to concentrate, but at the same time I understand that my child may have this fear of getting sick that makes her even more prone to wanting to wear a mask all day. This is the catch 22 we all face. But, when will life return to normal, will my six-year-old ever know what normal is? 

I wish that masks become an option in schools because let’s face it after school the kids all nag to stay a little longer, the mask is off, and they play outside the school together and this small action has made me realise that beyond the pandemic kids miss socialising with each other, they miss the company of each other and now more than ever need this.  

The quicker masks are optional or even play is introduced to school, the faster we will help the six-year-olds understand that we all need human interaction to understand the basics of humanity.

 

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