Wed. Jan 19th, 2022

Indeed, there is no shortage of goodness, kindness, and heroism as the world battles the novel corona virus.

Multi-national corporations, mega-industries and big companies and nations like China have extended help to other countries similarly impacted by the unseen killer virus.

From where I sit, although nationwide a more relaxed GCQ is to be implemented starting Monday (01 June 2020), the situation still looks uncertain for Pinoy as the GCQ transition doesn’t mean the virus is conquered.

But yes, countless acts of goodness, kindness, and heroism are taking place all over as the world and PH battles COVID-19.

Some of these are taking place behind closed doors of hospitals and homes, anonymous and unsung health workers while some prefer to extend help or care to these new heroes, our healthcare workers themselves.

One good example to this is no other than Presidential Assistant for Legislative Affairs Undersecretary Jacinto “Jing” Paras.

From his own salary as government official, Usec Paras donated personal protective equipment (PPEs), face masks and food items to frontline healthcare workers of the Philippine General Hospital recently.

The former lawmaker from Negros Oriental was accompanied by University of the Philippines Executive Vice-President, Dr. Teddy Herbosa in distributing the donated items specially purchased from his one-month salary from the government.

No other than PGH Director Dr. Gap Legaspi and Spokesman Dr. Jonas del Rosario received the donated goods.

Director Legaspi lauded the Undersecretary for the very timely donation and he also thanked the continued support of public servants like Paras in their continued support to the medical front liners not only at PGH but in other hospitals as well.

For his part, Paras humbly answered by saying the country needs the support of everyone and to give hope and inspiration to hospital workers who are in the front lines risking lives to save others in the fight against the killer disease.

However, his call to his co- workers in the government service like department secretaries, undersecretaries, assistant secretaries and directors for them to also donate at least a month’s salary to support the front-liners is yet to manifest.

But methinks it’s not too late for them to show they also care enough for our “carers.”

“People in the government and private sector should give priority in terms of proper care and assistance to healthcare front liners for they are the most vulnerable people in the fight versus Covid-19,” Paras said.

“As a matter of fact, so many of them have died in the midst of helping patients suffering from Covid-19.”  

We’ve lost track on the number of those who died but the latest stat says at least 21 are doctors who succumbed to the disease while six are nurses.

 On the other hand, the number of health workers infected with Covid-19 are as follows: nurses, 842; doctors/physicians, 671; nursing assistants, 144; medical technologists, 84; radiologic technologists, 42; and 284 non-medical staff.


Compassion amid the pandemic

This breakout column of iTALK also wishes to give way to a heart-tugging post on social media forwarded by Assec Ameenah Fajardo of DTI regarding the plight of Grab drivers and other riders trying to eke out a living right there in the middle of the pandemic. 

Here’s what she’d like to share:

“When you order something, please patiently wait and do not cancel as they will end up paying for it. They are out there waiting in line to pick up your orders, then go out in sweltering heat, expose themselves to high risk to bring food and essentials to our home, just so we may be protected. 

Show them compassion, respect and gratitude by giving them a cold bottle of water and a decent tip.

And please don’t make them wait for a long time, ensure to monitor their time of arrival. We are the one asking for favors from them.

They are the uncelebrated heroes of this pandemic.

One time when I placed a delivery service, the driver called me and said that my mode of payment is in credit card. 

He pleaded if he can please request for an extra cash as it takes how many days for them to get their commission.

I just have an issue when people ask for money and replied in a calm voice, “Hindi naman po kailangang hingin at nagbibigay po ako talaga” (No need to ask as I automatically give).

But then my sense of defensiveness was hit by compassion, maybe he took the courage to call me as he desperately need it. When he arrived at 2pm to turn over my order, I gave him a cold bottle of water, a pack of Fita biscuit and a good tip as I said “Thank you.”

He removed his helmet and revealed his sweaty face and hair to express his gratitude. 

He said that he has not eaten his lunch.  The one I gave him is enough to keep him going to the next delivery to maximize every order that he gets. 

It brought me to silent tears.  We do not know the situations of these riders since they had no income in the beginning of the quarantine.

Any form of compassion, respect and help goes a long way.

After this post, I will write a formal letter to Grab to be considerate in making sure that the commission of these riders are given the soonest time possible, remove the cancellation option once order is placed, and do not charge it to the rider.


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