South Africa: Education - Collateral Damage in the COVID-19 War?

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'People around the world are anxiously tracking the numbers of new cases and deaths due to Covid-19. But in doing so, we are distracted from the catastrophic effects of the pandemic on children.'

The term "collateral damage", according to, was first recorded in 1985-90. It became popularised in the mid-20th century by the US military's use of the term to justify civilian deaths and destruction of property from their military strikes or acts of war - a practice which is still carried on today.

However, the term "collateral damage" has more recently been generalised to mean any unintended consequence. The notion of doing something for the greater good somehow reminds me of the phrase "no good deed goes unpunished", since some well-intended actions may have unintended negative consequences, but in the case of collateral damage, always for the "beneficiary".

The Covid-19 management strategies recommended to contain the spread of the coronavirus worldwide by the World Health Organisation (WHO) reflect such good intention. I merely contend that this focus on quelling the pandemic has left us vulnerable to collateral damage. This narrow focus is also at the heart of the world leaders' $8-billion pledge to collect funds to be used...

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