WATCH | Front-line doctors compile 'Hey Jude' video to inspire South Africa

A group of 27 doctors came together to release a music video to let the public know that they are there for them during the global Covid-19 pandemic.
A group of 27 doctors came together to release a music video to let the public know that they are there for them during the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Image: supplied

It started with a simple WhatsApp message calling for doctors to participate in a motivational music video to reassure South Africans in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A few days later, the video featuring 27 doctors from around the country lip-syncing lyrics to the familiar melody has gone viral, with more than 20,000 views.

A week ago, Durban doctor Naseeba Kathrada sent out a WhatsApp message to colleagues around the country.

“I’ve been working on a few volunteer initiatives and after seven weeks of lockdown - so much uncertainty still and the price gouging of personal protective gear (PPE), constantly changing protocols and social media bombardment of doom and gloom - I wanted to do something uplifting ... something that would give hope to the doctors feeling the same as me and the public,” she told SowetanLIVE's sister publication TimesLIVE on Monday.

Kathrada decided to use the tune of the Beatles' hit Hey Jude for their reworked song.

“It’s well known and easily recognisable and is known to bring people together with the na na na na part - also I could easily adapt the lyrics to give a positive, pertinent and current message,” she said.

A local artist recorded the song with the new lyrics for the doctors to lip-sync.

One of the doctors, who wanted to be known as Dr M, edited the video.

“I helped with suggestions and ideas and she just came through with flying colours. The team who joined the group exceeded my expectations with their enthusiasm and support. We all had an absolute blast putting the video together - via a WhatsApp group only," Kathrada said.

Durban-based doctor Mags Moodley, who participated in the video, said the Covid-19 doctors on call initiative was rolled out early in the country’s epidemic.

“We felt that we needed to be there for the public early on in the epidemic. We are all volunteers and our role is to complement the work the department of health was doing. The fact that we are on the ground and coal face as such gave us a much-needed advantage.

“We realised that early in the pandemic, fear, confusion and anxiety would show up. Thus, as medical doctors, we knew that the step from routine consultation and advice to a countrywide system was not going to be hard for us.”

He said health-care workers worldwide were on the front line and many of their colleagues had fallen in the line of duty.

“The very nature of being a doctor or health-care practitioner means that we have to be in the front line to help humanity to confront and defeat this viral pandemic. The global camaraderie and spirit of resilience felt by all of us worldwide is heartening. Besides helping the public get help on all aspects of testing, safety, quarantine, and signs and symptoms, we have a network of information which we share.

"Knowledge and public understanding of all aspects of Covid-19, passed on in a scientific and truthful way is paramount in preventing spread or the infection, thus we felt we are in the ideal position to do so.”

Moodley said the words of the song were changed to - “hey you, don’t be afraid" - to reassure the public that help was available in their time of need.

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