Tunatazama - Community Monitors

Lockdown Diary, Funerals – Physical distancing difficult at funerals

20th April 2020
Motlhabe,NW Province
By Goitse Gab

My experience at the funeral

As our president reduced the number of people attending funeral from 100 to 50 people to attend the funeral but the past weekend I attended a funeral and we were closed to 100 people or possibly even more. I have observed that the risk to contact COVID-19 still high even if we were 50 because of our cultural behaviour.

Practicing social distance remain key to prevent the spread of the virus but I observed that people still hug and hold each other at funeral as a part of comforting others when they cry. At the time of closing off the grave people would pass the spade to each other to pour the sand and not keeping the distance. The pastors joined together to bless the grave and still they don’t keep the distance. After the mass must gather at gate to let the family to pass first as the sign of respect still we can’t keep the distance.

Family tried to adhere the rules to prevent COVID-19 spread by sanitising people’s hands but there still people preferring to wash their hands in one basin especially (diphiri) and doing that in one basin and have a buffet meal where they used the same spoon to dish up and worse they sit closely in group while busy eating.

It seems like people are still ignoring how dangerous COVID-19 is and if there was one person at that funeral who is Covid-19 positive many people might be easily be infected.