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Message from the Principal
The coronavirus pandemic, an unprecedented situation in modern times, in Singapore and around the world followed us and stayed with us throughout 2021. It will stay with us going into 2022. As I write this, the new Omicron variant continues unabated; with some countries currently suffering their highest rates of infection and hospitalization. I hope that an endemic COVID-19 can be upon us sooner rather than later and bringing some normality back to student life in schools.
I encourage our parents to get their children vaccinated because going endemic means managing the disease and what is needed is a shift to viewing COVID-19 as a part of everyday life that we must learn to live with. And living with COVID-19 means building our body defenses against the disease to protect self and community from the disease. It will require action across all segments of society, children and adults to keep people from suffering the worst effects of the virus and not creating a cause for concern due to the protection from severe disease and death that vaccines offer. When the cause for concern for COVID-19 is no longer, particularly disruptions to our health systems and other critical services, normality will return.
In primary schools, we have been managing hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) each and every year. There is no treatment for HFMD and we keep the children away from school for a week once children are found to be infected. Hand foot and mouth virus is very contagious, spreading rapidly. It can also be fatal. Over at the kindergarten, we check the children for fever, blisters and rash every day before they are allowed to set foot in class. Schools functions normally with or without cases of HFMD in schools.
But in 2021, we had no report of HFMD in both the primary school and the kindergarten. There was a “plunge in HFMD cases with better hygiene amid COVID-19” (Straits Times dated 15 June 2021). Doctors interviewed attributed the drop mainly to better hygiene practices. Diseases can be managed with the right strategies.
We recognize that Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs) and other interpersonal activities are important for student development and their overall well-being. Staff and particularly students look forward to planned resumption of school activities. Think about it! Our primary 1 (2021) students had not a single day of normal school yet. They might have already developed a completely different impression of what primary school life is all about. I hope they do not develop the impression that school is boring. Let’s change this. But as I have said, until and unless COVID-19 ceases to be a cause of major concern, normality cannot return. So I encourage all to consider vaccination as part of the overall strategies to manage the disease so it ceases to be a cause of major concern. This is the end game.
I take this opportunity to wish all Wellingtonians, friends and stakeholders of Wellington Primary School, a happy and successful 2022.