Tuesday September 29 2020

School’s Back – What Are MCC Kids Saying?

It’s been nearly six months since schools closed on the 24th of March and the government announced a nation-wide lockdown that had everyone from their to mum to their neighbour Taku quarantined at home and trying their best not to spread the virus, all in an effort to flatten the curve (that is, “to slow down the spread”1 of the virus by reducing infection rates or spreading out the number of active cases over a period of time so that the health care system won’t be overwhelmed and we can beat back the virus).

School’s Back

Now with schools reopening (but just for exam classes), with the green light for private schools given nearly two-weeks ago, on the 14th of September, and government-run schools following suit just a few days from now on the 28th, life seems to be ebbing back to a semblance of normality (albeit a strange, new kind of normal) and so I decided to ask a few College students what they thought about this whole ‘COVID-Situation’:

My first interview was with form four student, David Matayaunga, who’s writing his O Levels this year:

KM: Umm, So Mr Matayaunga, a lot of things have…changed. You can’t hug your friends willy-nilly or high-five your entire dorm anymore right?

DM: [Yeah]

KM: …And things are different…there’s [social] distancing, there’s, umm, washing your hands and all that. What are your thoughts on that?

DM: I think, it’s not a good thing that’s happening but, it’s for the right reasons. So, as long as it’s protecting us then I think it’s a good thing that’s happening. But of course, you want to have that – it’s just good to be in contact with your friends. Handshakes, hugs and stuff like that, it really shows more love –

KM: And rugby as well and sports.

DM: And sports, yeah, the sports aspect isn’t being covered. So, yeah, I think it will obviously end at some point, but right now I think it’s a good thing that we’re actually doing that because that stops the virus from spreading.

I also interviewed another student, Nyasha Chikanda, on her views of the situation:

KM: You spent nearly six months at home, that’s almost like [half of the] year, right? How does it feel being back at MCC?

NC: It feels great. I missed my friends; I missed my teachers too.

KM: Yeah.

NC: Yeah.

KM: So, like, what’s the most noticeable change you’ve seen?

NC: Umm…not being able to talk to my friends, like in their rooms.

KM: [Yeah]

NC: Having to sleep alone; not being able to hug your friends, or even high five them, and not being able to see people’s smiles cause of the masks.

KM: Oh, yeah. So, do you think…like I’ve said before, we’ve been at home for nearly six months right?

NC: Yeah.

KM: Do you think life’s gonna get back to normal, especially now with the possibility of [a] second wave coming, do you think life is going to ever [get] back to normal – or at least in your time in high school?

NC: Mmmm, maybe not while I’m still in high school, but then it will [get] back to normal, ’cause, remember like the Spanish Flu?

KM: Oh, yeah.

NC: Yeah, and now –

KM: And like things [are] used to repeating themselves. So things can get better.

NC: Yeah.

New Normal

Things aren’t as they should be: The coronavirus pandemic is far from over, vaccine trials are still in progress with scientists “racing” to get something “safe and effective” out by 2021 and local cases are now around 7 7002.

So it seems as we wait and try to live in this ‘new normal’, washing our hands, sanitising, wearing our masks and social distancing, let’s remember to set our eyes on the God of “all grace”:

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. (1 Peter 5:10)

Some extra reading:

  1. Wikipedia, Flattening_the_curve 
  2. Coronavirus Case Numbers in Zimbabwe (as of 24 September) (epidemicstats.com, worldometers