Schools Resuming Into A World Infected With COVID-19, Here Are Health Guidelines To Follow

Dr Bolanle Aderehinwo

While some students are happy and joyous over the possible resumption that will happen soon, some are anxious about going back to school especially to the reality of a possible test or exam.

Many are not ready to face the rigor of school resumption amidst covid-19 pandemic. Many parents are concerned about the health of their children when school resumes. The truth is that we just have to survive this time. 

I was on a show at Rave Television sometimes last month where I was able to discuss this topic and also answer some questions.

Some of the questions asked made me understand that many students are likely to engage in some unhealthy behavior towards this resumption in order to meet up with the expected demands at resumption.

One of the questions was whether it is good to take kolanut and coffee while crash reading for resumption. Another person asked whether there’s a medication for dullness.

After giving honest answers to these questions, I discussed at length how to read without affecting your health while preparing for resumption and how to prevent Covid 19 infection while in school. 

When school resumes, as you are suspecting, it is possible you are faced with demanding exams or procedures.

I remember the University staff industrial strike 7 years ago, it took 6 good months, at the announcement of resumption, some of us were depressed and many of us resorted to night reading and crash reading.

Some of us started to present with symptoms of an existing silent disease. We resumed school only to start with  a post strike test. It wasn’t palatable but only people who have been reading were able to pass the test.

Looking back today though, everyone of us are doctors and failing or passing the test got nothing on us. 

Health comes first in anything, it is of paramount to living and success, without health, strength can not fight, art cannot be manifest, intelligence can not be applied and wisdom is useless. 

Be calm, take a step at a time. You might not have been reading but you can still catch up. Write down important topics and read those first. Do not be anxious or overwork yourself. Read those areas you feel your lecturers might be interested in. Ask for help if you need one, from a senior or a colleague. Limiting the use of stimulants for reading, coffee, kolanut or recreational drugs may have effects on your health. Read at your best active time of the day, Sleep for at least 6hours everyday. 

Very importantly, while you go back to school, you must know that the pandemic is not yet over. This should be at the back of your mind when you study and interact with others.

Adhere strictly to WHO guidelines for Covid 19 prevention. The disease is real and still causing death out there. Let’s remind ourselves of the preventive measures and how you can avoid contracting the virus in school. 

  1. Wear a face mask always, even in class. One face mask per day is OK, do not repeat face mask without washing it first. 
  2. Maintain social distancing, of at least 1 meter between you and another person in class, at the cafeteria or in any other student gathering. Learn the various types of greeting that won’t involve direct contact. 
  3. Move away from someone coughing or sneezing. 
  4. Avoid crowds when going or returning from school, avoid crowds in school too as much as possible. 
  5. Don’t joke with universal basic precautions if you are a medical or nursing student. Assume all body fluids are infected. Wear a glove before touching any patient at all. Having a warm bath after visiting the clinic area before resting will be a good suggestion. Try not to mix up your clinical wears with your regular wears. Be at alert, you will likely be at the front line.
  6. Cough or sneeze into the flection of your elbow. 
  7. Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with the slightest headache, cough or nasal discharge. 
  8. Avoid touching surfaces regularly touched by people, for example, railings of the staircase or pedestrian bridges, door knobs, some parts of public bases etc
  9. Regular hand washing following the steps required. 
  10. Carry a hand sanitizer in your bag and use it as often as possible. The school or the parents can make provision for this. 
Wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID19, elementary school students walk to classes to begin their school day in Godley, Texas, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020. Three rural school districts in Johnson County were among the first in Texas to head back to school for in person classes for students. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

On the part of the school, the school authority should be able to provide some basic things to accommodate these students in school. 

  1. Appropriate spacing in the classroom. 
  2. Hand washing stations. 
  3. Hand sanitizers stations. 
  4. Standby school clinic with possible isolation room and a medical personnel who can suspect Covid 19 early enough and give guidance. 

In conclusion, students and teachers must know that health is very important and since the pandemic is not over, the students and the school authority must be alert and guided. 

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