Groote Schuur Hospital
WATCH | Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra is best medicine for front-line workers
Groote Schuur Hospital workers enjoy a moment of musical respite after many draining months fighting the pandemic
It was a poignant moment for all, as music soared and exhausted front-line workers took their seats outside Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town.
“We have not heard the sound of clapping at a live performance for almost two years now,” said an emotional member of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra.
She was there with 40 colleagues to perform the Concert of Gratitude for those who have been on the front line, battling the Covid-19 pandemic since March last year.
Outdoor Concert of Gratitude by the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra at Groote Schuur Hospital for frontline healthcare workers nationally to show recognition and appreciation for the work that they are doing @TimesLIVE @COVID_19_ZA @HealthZA @CapeTown pic.twitter.com/0zmFYcuOdS— Esa Alexander (@ezaap) September 15, 2021
Hospital CEO Dr Bhavna Patel told the audience that 143 patients still lay in the hospital sick with the virus, but this was “less than half the number” just a short while ago.
She said the orchestra’s music was not only to celebrate health workers at Groote Schuur, but all such workers nationally and internationally after the deadly pandemic had taken so many lives.
Outdoor Concert of Gratitude by the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra at Groote Schuur Hospital for frontline healthcare workers nationally to show recognition and appreciation for the work that they are doing @TimesLIVE @SowetanLIVE @HealthZA @COVID_19_ZA @SportArtsCultur pic.twitter.com/yWci7q1FFD— Esa Alexander (@ezaap) September 15, 2021
“We are standing against the backdrop of this beautiful hospital below a magnificent mountain. Where else in the world can you do that?” she said.
Western Cape health MEC Dr Nomafrench Mbombo said: “These are the workers who have never gone home since this pandemic began. They are tired. Go and get vaccinated - and if you don’t, I will shame you when you have a gathering.”
Orchestra CEO Louis Heyneman said: “In our 107 years of existence, I don’t think the Cape Philharmonic has ever been more indebted to the health workers of SA.”
The concert, organised by Hospital Heroes, also saw Gift of the Givers handing care packs to the health workers.
Mixed emotions as 1st of our #COVID19 #HCUs closed at #GSH as we descend 3rd wave. Quiet reigns & HFNO machines stand idle waiting for the 4th wave. Many survived but too many mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, husbands, wives, partners & friends died. Please #GetVaccinatedNow pic.twitter.com/ex1oZyvnsB— Marc Mendelson (@SouthAfricanASP) September 14, 2021
The day before the concert, infectious diseases expert Prof Marc Mendelson tweeted that there were “mixed emotions” as the first of the hospital’s Covid-19 high care units closed in the aftermath of Covid-19’s third wave.
“Quiet reigns,” he wrote, adding that “many survived”, but that “too many mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, husbands, wives, partners and friends died”.