COVID-19 has presented numerous challenges for the PULSE programs and with those challenges we have grown resilient by the day and stronger from every stride we make. We have recently resumed work tasks in South Africa, working from the Field Band office and things are no longer the way they used to be, because the office restriction which are made to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to keep the employees safe at all times.
At the office we are required to sanitize our hand upon arrival and we are also required to put on a must when ever we are around people. We also have to register in, check temperature and symptoms of COVID-19.
Sanitizing stations are allocated in different parts of the office and we are required to sanitize every time after 20 minutes including during rehearsals.
After working hours before we go home as a requirement we take temperature and record it in the registration book.
First week was somehow challenging working at the office because we had to adhere to the COVID-19 regulations. Coming from Norway we were not used the South African COVID-19 regulations and it was somehow challenging to get used to them. After a week, we adjusted well to the regulations of the country and the office. Social distancing and wearing a face mask is a new normal. Washing and sanitizing hands regularly comes automatically without thinking about it.
If one gets sick or shows signs and symptoms of COVID-19 during office hours, they will be isolated in a special and comfortable room while waiting for paramedics or doctors.
Even though life has changed since the pandemic of COVID-19, we have managed to adapt with the situation and we are thriving as a group.
In Norway, our PULSE team has been reduced from six participants to two. Madeleine and Sol are working from their home offices, still communicating regularly with both Field Band Foundation and NMF. The job tasks have changed from a lot of practical, hands-on work, to using digital media as a teaching tool. This has been a big change, however they are also adjusting to the new normal.
Pictures by: Nomkhosi Mnisi and Khaya Benela.
Writer: Jacob J Mhlapeng