LOCKED DOWN AWAY FROM HOME,FINDING STRENGTH AND RESILIENCE

At the beginning of the year we saw the world attacked by a deadly Corona virus whom most of us thought it will pass in few weeks. we saw people´s lives change drastically and economy around the world falling which led to organisations and companies loosing income and living many people unemployed. Many can not travel to visit their friends,families and to go to work as a result of restrictions put in place for our safety. Sadly, most has also lost their lives and loved ones due to this virus.

One way or the other we are all affected by Corona virus irrespective of which side of the world you are on and we, as PULSE South Participants went through difficulties and anxiety because of uncertainty of the future and mostly being locked down in a foreign country. Luckily for us we have a great management team, which is checking on us every day and making sure that we are in a perfect state of physicality ,emotion and mental.

Nomkhosi Mnisi. photo by
Monica Johansen

Nomkhosi Mnisi went through a stressful time when this situation of Corona virus started and dealing with it was difficult for her.This is what she said.

“At times I found myself thinking about what is going to happen to me, and being away from home was difficult for me to stay strong. A lot of times I thought I am alone in this situation and no one will understand what I am going through. It took some time for me to talk about this as I did not know how people will respond to my situation. One day I just took the phone and started calling my friends and family back home and that was the best thing I did for myself. On the day I called, I told them how I was really feeling and I could not believe the amount of support I got from them. This showed me how much support from the loved ones means to me. From that day I pulled myself together and became positive about life”.

“I believe we all go through difficult situations at times and we do not know what to do about them, and that can lead us to a breaking point and a build up to anxiety, because we don`t know what the future holds for us during these times of Corona virus. I have learnt that it is okay not knowing everything about what the future holds and also learned the importance of having people that you can always go to when you feel like everything is not going well. We all need a support structure that we can always rely on when we need help and that kept me going until this day.” Says Nomkhosi Mnisi.

Khayalethu Benela. Photo by Monica Johansen

Khaya Benela a trumpet player living in Oslo mentioned that.

“It has been months since the pandemic started and as individuals, we have different approaches in facing the challenges and the new lifestyle that we have to adjust to in the working environment and social life in general.Ever since we started working from home due to the pandemic what kept me going was that, in our workplace we had developed the digital teaching methods and we filmed digital tutorial videos so we could share with the band members and conductors around Norway. I was motivated and happy to learn and challenge myself as I have never done this before, and I had to learned how to do a digital video tutorial using myself and creating the script and performing my own script which was a challenge, but I finally knew how to do it with the help of my colleagues.”

He continued by saying “Another thing that kept me away from thinking too much about this pandemic is a project I was selected to take part in which is called alle spiller. It is based on arranging and composing music for bands around Norway where we take children’s songs from around the world and make arrangements and compositions for the NMF bands in Norway. Basically my work kept me motivated and going through these difficult time.”

Tebogo Franqo Ntshole.photo by
Monica Johansen

Tebogo Ntshole who is also known as Franqo, lives in Bergen. He as well had gone through a fair share of worries and found a way to deal with his worries in a positive manner. this is what he had to say.

“I remember When the pandemic first exploded all over the news, I was at the office reading about the symptoms and how to stay safe. I then found out that people who where suffering from certain illnesses where at a higher risk of getting infected. I completely went into panic mode because those where illnesses my mother is suffering from. This was the beginning of my emotional roller coaster ride! As if things weren’t already out of proportion and then the travel ban hit happened. Oh my goodness, how do I get home should something happen to my mother who has a dangerous cancer and respiratory problem, whose going to take care of my baby sisters if she gets hospitalized for Covid19?” I’m asking myself these questions while trying to remain calm. I felt trapped and claustrophobic.

Franqo found a friend to keep him going through these difficult times and he is in a better state of mind even though things are tough. this is what he had to say.

“Resilience is my best friend right now because it’s what helps me to get through this, with the support from work, family , friends and keeping contact. Keeping my mind busy and active with creativity was what I had to do to make it through the bad days. I am more resilient right now than before. I have learnt so much from this journey and I’m a happier person now”.

Jacob Mhlapeng. Photo by
Monica Johansen

Jacob Mhlapeng also living in Bergen never thought this out break will last this long and turn to be a pandemic.

“At first when I heard about the out break of Corona virus, I thought it was one of those viruses which can be easily cured as I trusted in modern medicine and science. When Corona virus was announced to be a pandemic and many countries are going through a lock down I then realized that we are all in trouble. At that moment anxiety and panic started to kick in,lots of questions with little or no answered started roaming in my head. Whats going to happen with us here in Norway?, Are we going to be sent back home?, Are we going to lose our jobs as people predict?, how is my family surviving this ordeal at home?. These were some of the questions that I had”.

“Through constant communication with my colleagues, friends and family I grew stronger emotionally and I had less anxiety every day. Knowing that there are people who cares about my holistic well being made me resilient from breaking down.And the new tasks that we received at work also helped a lot in keeping my mind sane as it is some times tiring working from home. Currently I am in a better state of mind and health despite the fact that that life is not as we usually know it to be. I hope in the next coming months things will be better than this and every body will get back to their usual daily lives”. says Jacob

With this article,PULSE team would like to convey a massage of support to every one who is infected and affected by this pandemic. Remember to wash hands with soap or sanitizer all the time. when you go out remember to cover your face with a face musk and put on gloves lastly stay home and stay safe. This too shall pass.

Written by: Nomkhosi Mnisi, Khaya Benela, Tebogo Franqo Ntshole and Jacob Mhlapeng.

Compiled by: Jacob Mhlapeng

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