Volume 21 No 2 (2023)
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Exploring the Connotative and Denotative Meanings of “Social Distancing” and its Post-COVID-19 Impact on the Social Dynamics in Schools: A Conceptual Perspective
Wendy Shihlamariso Chauke , Barber Mbangwa Mafuwane , Shonaphi Fanecky Mashele , Hlaviso Motlhaka
The emergence of COVID-19, a health scourge caused by the Novel coronavirus which was first identified and declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) in China in 2019, put the whole world on panic mode. Law makers the world over were faced with a duty to put plans in place to save lives and livelihoods of their countries and communities. This implies that they were expected to show leadership by putting together plans and policies that would ensure that lives were not lost and livelihoods i.e. jobs and other means of production were not affected by this outbreak. This paper acknowledges the different approaches which were adopted by the law makers and imposed on the citizens in a quest to flatten the curve of infections by this deadly virus. The approaches include handwashing with soap and water, hand sanitizing, avoiding shaking hands and hugging, and maintaining social distancing or physical distancing of at least 1, 5 metres. The focus of this paper is on the latter aspect and throughout this paper; “social distancing” will be used rather than its synonym (physical distancing) due to the fact that it has become a household word throughout the different phases that the world went through in the fight against the spread of the pandemic. This paper looks at the connotative and denotative meanings of social distancing and its long-term impact on the social dynamics of South African schools post COVID-19.
Covid-19, Novel Coronavirus, connotative meaning, denotative meaning, Law makers, social distancing, social dynamics, livelihoods, post COVID-19.
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