Senior survivor has birthday in quarantine

Peter de Kock, 92, a resident of Oakhaven Place in Heideveld, is the oldest Covid-19 survivor at the old-age home.

Peter de Kock, who celebrated his 92nd birthday while in quarantine, is the oldest resident at Oakhaven Place in Heideveld to have beaten Covid-19.

Staff at Oakhaven welcomed Mr De Kock with a cupcake and tea – to celebrate his return from quarantine and his 92nd birthday, on Wednesday July 8. His birthday was on Friday June 26.

Sarie Cloete, the facility manager, said all residents were screened every morning.

“We had a few positive cases, and although Mr De Kock did not have any severe symptoms, we sent him for a test on Monday June 22. We noticed during our screening that he had a runny nose. We did not want to wait, so sent him immediately for a test,” Ms Cloete said.

Mr De Kock cannot recall anything. Ms Cloete said he was generally healthy, but his memory was not good.

He sounded jovial when he spoke to the Athlone News on the telephone.

“I feel fine and take things one day at a time. I have no complaints. I don’t remember anything, but I like it here. Everywhere I go, I just make it positive,” Mr De Kock said.

Ms Cloete explained that they made it special for everybody who returned to Oakhaven after their two-week quarantine.

“We give them cupcakes or biscuits with tea, and also welcome them with a small toiletry pack. Our resources are limited, and we do what we can to make them feel at home again. It’s all we can really do during this time. It’s a privilege to care for the seniors,” she said.

Ms Cloete even wrote a song, which speaks about the preventative measures to take to avoid catching the virus.

“Oakhaven residents like to sing, so I wrote this little song about Corona, reminding them to wear their masks, wash hands regularly and to keep social distancing. They all had a good laugh when I first sang it for them for the first time,” Ms Cloete said.

She said the residents would be taught the lyrics as the song was a good way to remind them how to stay safe.