Covid-19 shows how resilient and adaptable children can be

In this day and age, running a school is challenging.

I know this first-hand, as I faced many challenges running Global Oak Tree Scholars (GOTS) International School because of the pandemic.

The good news is that we weathered the storm and have come out stronger, thanks to the teamwork of the staff and teachers, and the excellent cooperation from the students and their parents.

I am confident our school can grow further after overcoming these challenges.

Being an educator for over 30 years has given me some insights into how resilient toddlers, all the way to teenagers, can be.

And the pandemic has shown me how much stronger they have become.

With the erratic school days – we were closed for long periods in 2020 and 2021 and had online lessons – the children missed out on some of the best moments of their young lives.

One of the best parts of school life is the graduation ceremony.

It was tough for those who graduated from secondary school or their universities as they could not celebrate the end of one journey, and the start of a new one.

They cannot get that moment back, but I am sure many will have more victories as they embark on their new lives.

Young people need to understand that at this time, anxiety is normal. Adults need to accept that fact, too. These anxious feelings keep you safe.

It reminds you to wash your hands, have your mask at all times, not to touch your face, and follow all the other standard operating procedures (SOPs).

As I mentioned in an earlier column, it is about accepting the new norm.

Creating distractions for ourselves is a helpful coping skill. It is a way to seek relief and find balance.

The creativity of teenagers is extraordinary. They find ways to communicate online in the most intriguing ways.

Now is also the time to focus on you. Find ways to look after yourself.

Learn an instrument, start a book, learn a craft. I now can make my own pieces of jewellery.

The pandemic has resulted in many anxious and painful feelings, and the only way out is through processing those feelings.

It is different for everyone. Some need to talk about it. Some need to connect with friends and share their anxiety and sadness.

Some go out and help with food banks and reach out to the needy. What is important is to do what feels right for you.

And remember, now more than ever, we need to be thoughtful and care for those around us.

As we end the second month of 2022, and with Covid-19 cases again on the high side due to the Omicron variant, rest assured, schools will do everything possible to keep children safe.

The good news is that the nation’s vaccination programme is successful.

Based on the statistics, 98.7 per cent of the adult population has received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, while 97.5 per cent are fully vaccinated. On top of that, 61.1 per cent have received their booster shots.

Everyone at my school is fully vaccinated, and many have already received their booster shots. It is the same in other schools.

The older children, too, have received their vaccines – 92.9 per cent of adolescents (12-17) have had their first dose of the vaccine and 90 per cent have received both doses.

The process is ongoing for the younger ones, as close to 20 per cent of children aged 5-11 have received the first dose of their vaccine.

In this way, we can confidently start living a ‘normal’ life.

Of course, strict standard operating procedures are still in place, but it is time we face the fact that Covid-19 is not going away any time soon.

Life has to go on. Let us celebrate living.

This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.

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