It’s official, South Africa’s second wave of the Corona Virus is here, and cases are rising rapidly. President Ramaphosa confirmed our suspicions during his speech on 14 December 2020, that regulations would become more strict, and that the festive season will look quite different to last year.
While you most likely watched the speech, here’s a recap on the national updates to the lockdown regulations:
- Funerals: Post-funeral gatherings are no longer allowed
- Beaches: In the Eastern Cape and Garden Route, beaches and public parks will be closed from 16 December 2020 to 3 January 2021. KwaZulu-Natal’s beaches will be closed on historically busy days including 16 December, 26 December, 31 December, 1 January, 2 January, and 3 January
- Evening curfew: The national curfew will be extended from 11pm until 4am
- Alcohol – The sale of alcohol will only be allowed from 10am until 6pm from Monday to Thursday. Wine farms may still offer tastings and sell alcohol for off-site consumption
With so much misinformation that floats around, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the panic of this all. Luckily, with time, medical experts have observed the trends of transmission, and we now have a clear understanding of how to protect ourselves and our family and friends. Armed with this information, we can continue to work, see our loved ones and even have our homes cleaned with minimal risk of infection.
According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, transmission occurs through:
- Droplets: Visible particles exhaled by someone talking, coughing or sneezing, that fall to the ground in seconds
- Aerosols: Invisible particles exhaled by someone talking, coughing or sneezing that linger in the air for an extended period of time
While fomite transition, where infected droplets are left on surfaces, handles or handrails is listed as a form of transmission, the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) has observed that not a single case of fomite-caused Covid-19 has been documented.
On top of this, experts have proven that successful transmission through aerosols and droplets is determined by proximity and length of exposure to an infected person. Basically, this means that the closer you stand next to an infected person, and the more time you spend with them, the greater your chances of being infected. This does mean that our usual fun and festive Christmas and New Year’s eve parties aren’t on the cards this year. A small family or friends lunch or dinner it’ll have to be!
Now that we have a better understanding of how transmission occurs, we can ensure that the contact we have with other people is done so with minimal risk. At SweepSouth, customer and SweepStar safety is incredibly important to us. So aside from training our SweepStars on Covid sanitation methods, and ensuring that they wear a mask at all times, it is advisable that if you are at home during your booking, that you wear a mask too. Additionally, keep talking to a minimum, open windows to keep fresh air circulating, and keep your distance to at least 1.5 metres. By sticking to these simple guidelines, the risk of transmission is small.
So while our end of year festivities will be smaller, our catch ups shorter, and our gatherings free of hugs, it’s nice to know we can still see our loved ones, celebrate the end of a unique year and even have a clean and happy home with a few small changes.