Talita Xoko – Olisiwinga

Lots to be done to mitigate Covid-19 impacts

The virus has paused everything. Our plans for 2020 are ruined, writes 12-year-old Grade 8 learner, Talitha Xoko, from Olisiwinga College

Coronavirus is an infectious disease known to cause acute respiratory syndrome. It is first and foremost a health crisis. Everything stopped because the virus was spreading rapidly. Even sport had to be stopped to prevent people from gathering.

Many countries decided to close schools, colleges and universities. The crisis crystalised the dilemma policymakers are facing between closing schools and opening them, and the lockdown is going to cause major and unequal learning disruptions.

What can be done to mitigate these negative impacts?

Many business had to close during the lockdown to prevent (the spread of) Coronavirus.  The number of customers decreased and many bread winners lost their jobs – more than 300,000 –  leading to more poverty. Numbers of unemployed will increase to millions leaving the country in an economic crisis. So now government has to provide more social grants and food parcels. The government grant was R350 per person. Debt relief of tens of millions of dollars will now be spent on small businesses and hundreds of millions on farms.

People can’t communicate directly with each other because of lockdown rules. Now we communicate through technology.

People who have died from Covid-19 can be buried or cremated, following dictates about the handling and disposition of the body after it has been prepared in accordance with customs. People should not touch or kiss the body and should wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after viewing.

Alcohol is a bad substance for our body, and people abuse it. The president decided to ban alcohol to keep people safe and not be drunk. The cases of accidents and crime became low. When the ban was lifted the number of cases increased.

Our future plans for 2020 are ruined. The virus has paused everything.


  • This is an edited version of Talitha Xoko’s entry to Roving Reporters journalism themed writing competition, Life After Lockdown – The Future We Want. Click here to read more shortlisted entries submitted by various schools in KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape. 

For adjudicators’ reference: Entrant 17_Talitha Xoko




After the Covid-19 pandemic, will everything return to how it was before – or will we change how we live in the future? Will we realise the need to make this world a better place, both for people and for nature?

These are the key questions in Roving Reporters’ journalism-themed writing competition, Life After Covid-19 – The Future We Want, catering the school learners from Grade 7 upwards across the country.

The competition forms part of a broader reporting project supported by Super Save and Media Development and Diversity Agency.

“We are encouraging high school children to document their experiences of the pandemic and reflect on how they would like to see the world change for the better,” said Roving Reporters director Fred Kockott. “Reflection is a first step to change, and this project gives learners a voice and an opportunity to have some agency in how their future unfolds.”

We plan to run the competition through to the end of the school year, with a top entry published every fortnight.

Schools that wish to submit entries should click here to access the entry forms and writing guide to share with learners who wish to take part.

For further information contact Fred Kockott on 083 277 8907 or email fredk@rovingreporters.co.za

Now read: Poet’s take on life after Covid-19: “We fell asleep in one world and woke in another”