Concern for Our Community
We take the health of our entire community very seriously and would like to make a clear statement on our current approach to the Covid-19 threat. We wish to take care of those who attend retreats, our staff and residents, and the local community of Rietvaly. North West Province has poor health services, and many residents have impaired immune systems. For these reasons, we wish to work with a policy that takes everyone’s well-being into account.
TRC is well-known as a healing centre in South Africa, with unpolluted air, pristine water and a clean natural environment. In many ways, it is an ideal place to reside in order to improve your health and boost your immune system at this time.
Our next retreat is scheduled for 27-29 March. We will contact all visitors by email to ensure they are aware of the situation.
Current Covid-19 Status
We know that the Covid-19 virus is in SA, but we do not want to fall victim to a pandemic of fear. As of 15th March, all 51 South African cases are mild cases (in fact 80% of all global cases are mild), and there are no critical cases in the country to date. These South African cases are ‘imported cases’ and were contracted abroad before the travellers entered South Africa. There have been no local community transmission cases yet. We will amend this policy if this happens.
We currently feel that the retreat centre can stay open, as long as we take the necessary precautions.
- If you have recently been overseas, particularly in one of the affected countries, please do not visit the Centre in the two weeks after your arrival home.
- Please postpone your visit if you are, or live with someone, in one of the vulnerable categories (see below).
- If you feel unwell, please stay at home. TRC will reimburse your retreat fees, or allow you to use your deposit at a later date.
- We will allocate all guests to a single room, if the retreat is small enough to allow this.
- The elderly
- Those with pre-existing medical conditions, particularly respiratory infections.
- Those without access to reliable health care.
- Those in poverty or living in areas without good service delivery.
- Those with compromised immune systems.
Many of these categories apply to the local community of Rietvaly, where several TRC staff live. This is why we do not want to import cases from the cities to TRC. Our nearest government hospital is in Zeerust (45km away) and the nearest private hospital is in Rustenburg.
Protecting Ourselves and Our Community
We must act together to slow the spread of the virus and look after each other. The most sensible thing to do now is to ‘flatten the curve’ by:
- Taking care of your personal hygiene – wash your hands often and thoroughly, and do not touch your face, as the virus enters the nose and mouth most easily.
- Keeping a safe social distance (about 1.5 metres) from a person who is coughing or sneezing.
- Doing your very best to protect others from your germs, so cover your mouth and nose if you are coughing or sneezing. Do not cough into your hand, rather use your elbow.
- If you feel that you are at risk or if your healthcare professional believes that you may have COVID-19, contact the NICD directly on this number: 0800 029 999. There are no over the counter testing kits – the tests have to be analysed in a laboratory.
We support the Avaaz Pledge
“We pledge to help bring humanity together in a common purpose to slow the spread of this virus enough to allow hospitals to cope and a vaccine to be developed, and to strive to ensure that this crisis brings out the best in us. To each do our part, we pledge to:
STOP THE VIRUS at our doorstep — by washing our hands regularly, avoiding unnecessary close contact with others, staying home when we feel unwell and seeking medical advice early.
PROTECT THE VULNERABLE – by offering love and assistance to those who need it most, and supporting humane policies to keep them safe.
SPREAD WISDOM – by sharing reliable, factual information with friends and family, and countering voices of fear and demonization with love and connection.“
National Institute for Communicable Diseases – www.nicd.ac.za/diseases-a-z-index/covid-19/
World Health Organization – www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
Listen to this masterclass led by Prof. Cheryl Cohen from the NICD: www.702.co.za/articles/374077/listen-a-masterclass-on-pandemics
or read this article by Wits Professor of Vaccinology, Shabir Madhi on COVID-19 in order to find out how bad it currently is: http://www.wits.ac.za/news/latest-news/opinion/2020/2020-03/coronavirus-how-big-how-bad-and-what-to-look-out-for.html
Statement on 15th March. Please note that this will be updated as the situation changes.