Community Service Medical Officer at Sebokeng Hospital, Dr. Karabo Molokwane , who is currently working at one of the COVID wards in the Internal Medicine Department, gives us a quick run-down on the current COVID pre-cautions dance venues/individuals should adhere to. Did we mention that he is a dancer during his spare time?
Could you please give us brief background about yourself and dance?
Karabo ke Motswana from Bokone Bophirima (North West) province. I was raised by two wonderful women – my mother and grandmother. I grew up in Maboloka township near Brits, but also spent many years in Pretoria and Johannesburg.
Dance fell in love with me at a very young age. My earliest inspiration originated both from local and international pop artists. I had a favourite leather jacket that I used to imitate Michael Jackson, then came Usher, Omarion, Chris Brown, you know how the story goes.
As much as I would have loved to dance for a living, I was pushing a parallel hustle of getting into medical school and becoming a doctor. The busier I got, the more I struggled to squeeze in a dance session, an event or go to training. I’m still on the outside looking in, and I appreciate everything that my role models have done and are still doing for the culture: Craig, Mandy, Darim, Paul, Labba, Tazz, Anuq, Pacou, Michelle and many others.
As some dance studios begin to open their doors and gradually ease in dance activities, in your opinion, what would you say is the best way to move forward for dance professional facilities?
COVID-19 will be with us for a long time, but not forever. Dancing as we know it is not over, but we do have to diversify into spaces and platforms of learning, teaching and sharing that would survive even the next pandemic. Measures have to be put in place at studios, but these must only be seen as temporary measures while we figure out sustainable systems.
Parents will not necessarily send their children to dance school or even regular school just because there’s hand sanitizer for them to use when they get there. Nobody knows who is positive or negative and we cannot test everyone. There is no need to panic, but rather a need to be informed and responsible.
When someone is of an older age with co-morbid illnesses like high blood pressure or diabetes, we worry that if they get Covid, they might get very ill and need hospitalization.
Those who are young and healthy are less likely to fall ill in the same way. They are less likely to fall ill at all, but they can still spread it to someone who will get ill.
Here are some of my suggested precautions to take at dance studios:
1. Temperature checks for everyone coming in. (Normal = 36.5 – 37.2)
– Temperature can be checked on forehead and if it seams low, 32 or 34 degrees. Just take temperature from the neck. 37 degrees is an indication something is wrong. Not all COVID-19 positive patience have a temperature (fever).
2. Masks for everyone at all times, no exceptions.
3. Health questionnaire if you have the funds to print for every lesson. Basic questions of cough, fever sore throat or Covid contact. People must tick if they have any of those. If they do, they must go test. (Example)
4. Social distancing of 2 meters, which means that the number of dancers you can have in a studio will be limited by space. Rather have classes outside wherever possible.
5. Ventilation – open all the windows at all times.
6. Clean the studio, especially wiping surfaces that are frequently touched. Clean the floor after every lesson.
7. Stay in touch and informed with national regulations for sport and cultural activities.
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Written By: Karabo Molokwane
Editor: Leila Meyer
Headline Image: Paul Luthando
COVID-19 QUESTIONAIRE EXAMPLE
- What dance studio are you at?
- Which studio will you be using?
- Are you; Dropping off student, taking class or teaching?
- Is anyone in your household a healthcare worker?
- Do you or anyone in your household work in a healthcare facility where patients are being treated for COVID-19?
- In the past 14 days have you been in contact with a confirmed or probable COVID-19 positive person?
- Do you have a mask that you will wear in this dance studio at all times?
- In the past 7 days, have you travelled inter-provincially?
- Have you or any member of your household been seen by a doctor or healthcare practitioner or been admitted to hospital for any reason in the past 7 days?
- Have you or anyone in your household been tested for COVID-19 in the past 7 days?
- Do you have or have you had any illness in the past 14 days?
- Do you have any of the following symptoms in the last 14 days (cough / sore throat / fever / chills / headache / shortness of breath / muscle or joint pain / sinusitis / vomiting / nausea / diarrhoea) ?
- Have you lost your sense of smell and or appetite?
- Have you visited, or do you reside in an old age or retirement home?
- Have you visited or recieved treatment at a Dialysis center or Oncology center in the last 7 days?
- Have you attended a funeral, religious service or other gathering in the past 7 days?