Interview with a Cape Town doctor on the frontlines
“We are kept behind the bakkie when we deliver flowers. We are not allowed to enter people’s properties because we don’t have permits and masks. Our boss has promised to provide us with the necessary things, but he hasn’t to date.
“Our lives are at risk. We have heard on radio how the coronavirus kills people in the country and are worried that we could be next,” said Makamo.
A female employee complained to News24 about a lack of clients.
The woman, who works at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre in Johannesburg, said, since Monday, they haven’t seen a client.
Before lockdown, the rehabilitation centre was abuzz with people seeking help, according to the woman.
“We returned to work on Monday, hoping to have clients and it never happened. Our centre is usually busy with clients seeking help. However, this time there was not a single person who arrived at our offices.
“Before lockdown, we would find people outside, waiting for us to open and others coming in numbers. I think that the lack of movement during lockdown has had an impact on people visiting us,” she said.
The woman hoped that, maybe after lockdown, things will return to normality.
READ: Lockdown | Safety measures must be in place before principals return to work – unions
Another woman, who identified herself as Tshegofatso, said they were adhering to the regulations at her workplace.
“We have been provided with the necessary items to assist us, such as gloves, masks and sanitisers. Our challenge is social distancing because we are closely communicating with each after being away for three weeks.
“Things are not as they were before lockdown because we remind each other to behave and keep a distance. We don’t have a canteen anymore and are required to use the stairs, not the lifts,” said Tshegofatso.
Samuel Nhlapo said that, at his work, they are compelled to bring their own food daily.
Nhlapo said he would rather work under strict conditions to save lives, than to languish at home unemployed.
“Our canteen is closed for health fears. We are no longer interacting with each other like before. We continuously wash our hands with soap and apply sanitisers throughout the day.
“The situation is unusual, and it is going to take us some time to get used to it. Our clients are refrained from closely communicating with us. Things are strange and we hope that the lockdown can end quickly,” said Nhlapo.