Gratitude concert music to the ears of weary Groote Schuur health-workers
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Cape Town - Dubbed the Gratitude Concert and the first of its kind in the world, the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra (CTPO) honoured the front-line health-care workers through music performed outside Groote Schuur Hospital on Wednesday.
The concert, which is the brainchild of Hospital Heroes to show recognition and appreciation for the work the health workers were doing, also saw thousands of them streaming it live during their lunch hour.
CTPO chief executive Louis Heyneman said it was also the orchestra’s first performance in front of a live audience since the lockdown.
“We wanted to tell them that they are heard and seen, and we honour, admire and thank them for the selfless work they have been doing. The trauma of going through day after day of keeping us safe while we had no idea what kind of dedication that required is laudable.
“This was also a perfect opportunity for us as well as the orchestra as it’s the first time performances have been opened up for a small audience, and what better place to perform than in front of Groote Schuur, one of the famous hospitals, where we can show in front of the world how thankful we are for the brave work they continue doing,” he said.
Heyneman said the musicians were also happy to be able to play again and see happy faces enjoying the concert.
Hospital Heroes co-founder Khilona Radhia said health-care workers had been working incredibly hard, sacrificing themselves to make sure that not only were their jobs done but that everyone was taken care of.
Groote Schuur chief executive Bhavna Patel said the orchestra’s gesture was heartfelt and appreciated, and showed health-care workers were valued.
“The staff has been working nonstop since the second wave, whereafter we had the vaccination drive.
“A third wave hit us and people are now tired.
“They have to deal with sick patients, young patients who are dying, and at the same time they also have to grieve for their own family members, friends and colleagues they may have lost. This helped to lighten up their hearts a little, even if it was for an hour,” she said.
Patel said the hospital, during the third wave, had recognised that vaccination prevented severe disease and hospitalisation.
“Most of the people we have seen in the hospital are those who have not been vaccinated because they weren’t in the right group to get vaccinated or they opted to not get vaccinated.
“If we want to have a better and slow fourth wave we really have to encourage everyone to get vaccinated,” she said.
Claudine Jardine, a nurse said watching the concert live was relaxing as most health workers struggled with emotional and psychological trauma due to workload.