With the easing of lockdown regulations, it’s natural that we all want to go out for a drink with friends, but it is still important to take the necessary precautions while doing so.
By Emma Sacco
This article is exclusive to the Online Edition 10 of VARSITY News.
Since the 17th of August, South Africans have been experiencing the new lockdown regulations under Level 2 of the Coronavirus Lockdown. Life under level 2 has meant the opening of malls, stores, sit-in restaurants and gyms, as well as the lift on the notorious cigarette ban. With things seemingly going back to “normal”, one wonders if this means that Covid-19 is no longer a big risk in South Africa.
The decision to move into level 2 of lockdown is based on two reasons: South Africa has seen a significant decline in Covid-19 cases over the past few months and so it can be assumed that it is “safe” to begin getting back to regular life, and South Africa is also facing economic difficulties due to the closing of many businesses during the pandemic.
While the country is recording significantly fewer positive cases of Covid-19, this does not mean that the virus is no longer a threat. Those with compromised immune systems are still at risk of contracting the virus and possibly becoming very ill. With a current 656 000 cases still active in South Africa it is important to stay vigilant while exploring your new-found freedom.
Now that bars and restaurants are open again it is only natural to want to enjoy an afternoon or night out having a drink with your friends and you should! We all deserve some social interaction and joy after being cooped up at home for five months. However, gathering in public environments does still put you at risk of contracting or passing on Covid-19 and so it is important to enjoy these activities responsibly.
When going to a bar or restaurant, be sure to wear your mask until you are seated and have your hand sanitizer easily accessible so that you can clean your hands after touching new surfaces. The laws put in place entailing how many people are allowed in a closed space do ensure that you will not come into contact with too many people while enjoying your evening at your favourite bar. However, it is still vital to remember to take the necessary precautions to guarantee your own safety.
The odds of contracting Covid-19 may be less now that we have gotten past the “curve” of the virus, but it is definitely still possible. Going out and enjoying yourself during this time is important for your mental health and happiness, but don’t forget that there is still the risk of becoming sick with the Coronavirus as well as infecting others. Enjoy your life outside of lockdown – but be smart and safe while doing it!