It has been done countless times and it will continue to be done, for the spirit of Filipino bayanihan prevails against all calamities. Filipinos are rallying together despite imposed limitations, to give as much help as they can amid the enhanced community quarantine prompted by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Health workers march in the frontlines carrying out the lion’s share of work in containing the outbreak, at the risk of contracting the disease themselves.
Such was the case of pediatric emergency physician, Dr. Virgi Lea Esquivel-Aguas who was exposed to a patient who tested positive for COVID-19.
“I am a frontliner. And I am currently a PUI (person under investigation because of a secondary exposure to a confirmed case in Las Piñas). I was classified as such at a time when I have already committed one to two 24 hours of my week for ER duties in hospitals nearby,” she posted on her Facebook page.
Although pained by the fear of possibly exposing her loved ones to the same threat, she is undeterred by it.
“I am a frontliner. For a couple of days, I am forced to retreat—to protect myself, my family, my colleagues, my patients and the community at large. I will dry my tears, I will regain my strength, I will reignite my passion. Then one day, I will be one again with all the healthcare frontliners—to be there for anyone who needs to be seen and taken care of—COVID-19 inflicted or not,” vowed Dr. Aguas.
Another frontliner, Dr. Joseph Valencia, posted a reminder on his Facebook.
“I stayed at work for YOU! Please stay at Home for US!”
The spirit of bayanihan even extends to beloved pets of individuals under quarantine. June Taguiwalo is offering her veterinary services online and is calling out to pet owners who have questions and concerns about their pets.
As for the team of Industrial Designers, Chemists, and Engineers of the University of the Philippines (UP), they are planning to build a sanitation tent design which aims to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
According to the team, once the design is final local government units (LGUs) and other institutions will be able to use it, free of charge.
Meanwhile, netizens who are staying at home also send their support via social media. Some send prayers, others send words of encouragement to alleviate the heaviness of the situation. — AILEEN CERRUDO