Reminder: Health Workers Are Human, Too
Have you said "thank you" to a frontliner today?
(SPOT.ph) They say a crisis brings out the best—and the worst—in people. While our health workers at the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic have worked tirelessly, it seems not all understand the situation. Reports indicate that health workers have been experiencing violence and acts of discrimination—one member of a Sultan Kudarat hospital was even attacked with bleach on the way to work—but, at the very least, one hashtag is here to prove that humanity will always let the good outshine the bad.
At 4am today, I entered the second floor comfort room in one of the laboratory buildings at RITM. As I was washing my face to wake myself after being on duty for almost 32 hours, I heard silent whimpers in one of the cubicles.— Geli Blanco (@gelibeans1) March 29, 2020
The hashtag #helloRITMfrontliners, a way to voice out gratitude for our frontliners, is trending on the local Twitter network as of writing. What started as a painfully sweet story of one employee at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Alabang, Muntinlupa City, supporting another worker as she had a good cry has started a huge wave of thank yous and messages of support for our frontliners.
All of these faces you don’t see on TV are here to serve you and the country. Fueled by nothing more than caffeine, donated food packs, and sheer determination to fight the disease in their own way.— Geli Blanco (@gelibeans1) March 29, 2020
The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) is the country's leading testing center for COVID-19. They are able to conduct around 1,000 tests a day—on top of that, the facility was allegedly pressured to conduct priority processing by "VIPs". There are currently nine COVID-19 positive patients confined at the facility, according to the DOH tracker.
But if you like what they do here, send them a message through the hashtag #helloRITMfrontliners. I promise, your encouragement and recognition of their invisible sacrifices will go a long way.— Geli Blanco (@gelibeans1) March 29, 2020
"This is not the time for us to turn our backs on them," said the Department of Health in a statement denouncing the acts of discimination—especially as they work shift after shift, risking lives and losing their own to save as many as they can. Our health workers are reportedly being denied access to public transportation, evicted from their homes, and one was even fined for trying to get home.
Nine doctors have lost their lives fighting COVID-19. As the numbers continue to rise in the Philippines, no one can be certain what the next few weeks—or months—will bring. All we can say for sure now is that all our frontliners deserve a great big thank you:
#helloRITMfrontliners isang pangmalakasan na thank you so much sa inyong lahat. Ang swerte ng Pilipinas na nariyan kayo. ??— #MASSTESTINGNOWPH (@BeerOrWhine) March 29, 2020
PS sana masarap ulam nyo palagi at bahala nang hindi ako magkakaforever basta kayo meron. You deserve all the good karma the universe holds.
You deserve all the good food and more.
Your stories need to be heard.
This is what we do with research.
Thank you, frontliners!
Main image from Claudio Schwarz / Unsplash