Characterised as collective Covid-19 exhaustion, ‘pandemic fatigue’ is setting in across the globe, with people increasingly letting their guard down in an attempt to return to some semblance of normalcy. However, the inherent danger is that this lowering of our defences has been seen to result in a second wave of the virus.
Japie Mostert, Head of Channel at Metropolitan, highlights that despite the easing of lockdown restrictions, the need for masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) will not diminish for some years to come. Remaining true to its commitment of helping communities mitigate the spread of the virus, Metropolitan has donated a further R100 000 worth of masks to regional communities, following its initial contribution of R100 000 worth of of PPE.
Metropolitan’s aim is to increase access to PPE across the country, specifically among essential and public service providers who are in close contact with others in fulfilling their day-to-day duties. Beneficiaries include schools, hospitals, unions and regional municipalities within the North West, Limpopo, Free State, Gauteng, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape provinces.
“It was important for us to be able to assist those who may be at higher risk given the nature of their work, or who may not have the resources to invest in the PPE they require.”
Amongst other measures like social distancing and regular washing of hands, masks are found to be effective tools in mitigating the spread of the virus, provided they are correctly fastened, securely cover both the mouth and nose, and are worn at all times when in contact with others.
“Wearing a mask now needs to be a way of life for all of us, at least for the foreseeable future. The threat is still very much with us,” says Mostert.
He urges South Africans to not become lackadaisical, as the country settles into Level 1. “We need to be more vigilant than ever to avoid the situation many countries in Europe are now experiencing. Our President has called on South Africans to recognise their personal responsibility in safeguarding themselves and their fellow citizens against contracting the virus.
“In line with Metropolitan’s ethos ‘Together We Can’, we have joined forces with key partner networks anchored in the communities that we serve. Our belief remains clear that collectively we can assist all South Africans in accessing equipment needed to protect themselves, at this critical juncture that will determine the advent of the pandemic.”