Zainab was excited about resuming school, she had certainly missed her friends especially Deola who lived on the other side of town, and with the pandemic raging, mum never let them make house calls. She had lots of stories to tell, about her cousins who came back for the festivities, the meals that her mum made for the occasion and the games they played, she had so much fun during the holidays and lots of stories to share with her friends.
‘ Zainab make sure you use the Sanitizer I put in your bag immediately you get to school and regularly reapply when you come in contact with someone or touch surfaces. Keep this nose mask on always and ask the teacher to check your temperature when you get the school’.
Why was mum being all strict about these guidelines, was it not fully safe to resume. If that was the case she didn’t want to go back to school, she could keep learning online, and also video call her friends from time to time.
She remembered how the first Corona wave hit with a blast, and how uncle Tolu was lost to the virus, and his wife and two little boys were left to fend for themselves, the whole family was still in deep distress and even till now no one had fully recovered.
She noted how mum was been meticulous with packing her bags and her brothers bags, making sure the sanitizers was always within reach, putting in 2 facemasks as backup in case either of them lost theirs.
They were supposed to have resumed last week but mum kept postponing saying she had to be sure the school was equipped to handle the safety of her kids and could swiftly give a response to any case of breakout.
At least now she could resume and catch up with her friends.
When they got to school, there were made to wash their hands at the school gate and at the assembly stand, even when they got to class there was a wash station by the teachers desk, with sanitizers and nose mask on the desk. New sitting arrangements had been made, and the number of students in the class was slashed to half, to accommodate the new seating positions, limiting talk time between her and Deola and making it imposible for them to exchange snacks. At least they were still in the same class and had not been displaced like Sharon and Tina.
It seemed this would be the new normal, life as it will be till this virus is conquered or the vaccine Dad keeps talking about gets produced. As long as it keeps every one she loves safe, she would gladly follow all the guidelines.