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UD-Express
‘We can’t afford to become slack’
Roland Gaspar, who tested positive for COVID-19, said if you know someone who tests positive, be supportive. Check in on them and if you can, give them practical help like dropping off some food, isotonic drinks or immune boosters. Photo:SUPPLIED

“STAY consistent in your prevention behaviour. Over time we can become tired of always sanitizing or always wearing a mask and other preventative measures. That’s human. However we can’t afford to drop our guard and become slack.”

These words are from comedian and popular radio presenter at Algoa FM, Roland Gaspar, who tested positive for COVID-19.

“Maintain mask wearing, social distancing, good hygiene and other preventative measures.”

In a press release issued by Siyathetha on behalf of Algoa FM, it was stated that Gaspar started feeling ill two weekends ago and informed management of his decision to self-isolate and seek medical attention. Gaspar’s telephonic consultation with his GP on Monday, July 20, led to his COVID-19 test the following day. The result came through late last Thursday night (the 23rd).

“As a precautionary measure, we took immediate action to deep-clean our studio complex,” says Algoa FM managing director Alfie Jay.

“In accordance with the station’s contact tracing procedure, and despite the fact that Gaspar and co-presenter Roch-Lè Bloem broadcast from separate studios, a decision was taken that Roch-Lè would self-isolate for eight days with immediate effect.

Gaspar told the UD Express that he interviewed a psychologist on air a while before and her advice stays with him.

“She said that our brains are ‘hardwired’ to be drawn to the bad news as a way of collecting information about how to avoid danger. The problem with this is that it puts us in a ‘fight or flight’ survival mode, where our ‘basic brain’ makes our bodies react with stress hormones.

“She advised filling your mind with trustworthy information from reliable sources once a day. So you go from remembering hearing on the news ‘people have died from COVID-19’ to reading that 98,5% of people are not dying from the disease.

“In SA alone, more than half of all cases have already made a full recovery and many of the others have only mild symptoms.

“So, fill the majority of your time watching, listening to or reading uplifting things. Don’t let yourself get drawn down into fearful or dark thoughts. Lighten your mood - on purpose!

“One more thing: if you know someone who tests positive, be supportive. They could be feeling very lonely as a result of the medical isolation. Check in on them and if you can, give them practical help like dropping off some food, isotonic drinks or immune boosters.

“They can’t go out and shop for themselves, and they probably don’t feel like cooking. Even the smallest support goes a long way,” said Gaspar.

Jay said that 62 of the 70 people engaged by Algoa FM have been working remotely since the start of lockdown on the 26th of March.

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