Nicola Aylward

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It’s been a year …

It has been a year since South Africa and the world went into lockdown.

A year ago I wrote the blog The Power of Stepping Away. I feel the same today, and these are the practices that our family use to stay sane and well at this time. This time last year was a very scary time. We were uncertain of what was to come. The forecast by SACEMA was that approximately 375 000 people would die in a few months in South Africa. At the moment we stand at 51 421 in over a year. Continue reading

Letter to Schools and School Heads

To whom it may concern

Thank you for your time in meeting with us today. As stated, our main concerns are:

  • There are harsher measures for mask wearing in schools than most other work environments, with children having to wear masks for 8 – 15 hours a day especially in boarding house environments, despite children being shown to be low transmitters and only mildly affected and despite the strict measures put in place at schools with health declarations, sanitisation, social distanced seating etc.
  • Mental health concerns have been shown to be a far greater risk for children at this time with extended long term negative consequences for them. The prolonged wearing of masks has been shown in multiple studies (linked below) to exacerbate these mental health issues. There are also multiple other health concerns linked to prolonged mask usage that are also of great concern to us.
  • There are no scientific or research studies on which the mask mandate is based. At best there is no evidence that prolonged mask usage is helpful in curbing the spread of a virus (see below). At worst there are multiple studies and experiments to reflect that it is in fact Who is taking responsibility and liability for these decisions to mask children for hours on end? When does this end? When can we take off our masks? We cannot just keep them on because we are fearful – this is magical thinking, doing something because we “want to believe” it helps and yet there is so science to back it.
  • We realise that government has to change the mask mandate, but schools have a lot more leeway for interpretation as we explore below. Our request is for children to be allowed to take down their masks when seated at their desks as we are allowed to when we sit at restaurants and coffee shops. The medical advisors to the MAC have seen it fit for us to do this – why can children not do this is the classroom?
  • We thank you for taking this seriously. Our children’s lives and health sit in your hands. This is an enormous responsibility – we cannot follow blindly. We have to question. We have to research. We have to do what we can.

Continue reading

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