Monday, March 16, 2020

Journal of a Lockdown No. 4


I Grab to work. It takes me 20 minutes to reach the hospital. Traffic is good, as if it were Holy Week. I pay Php 400-something.

There's a sense of fear and paranoia. Nobody wants to linger. There are masks everywhere. Pedestrians even wear N95s; I wonder where they got them while my colleagues--pulmonologists, critical care specialists--couldn't.

Ma'am Jo, our clinic's nursing assistant, hands me her own extra mask because there are no stocks in the hospital this morning. The delivery hasn't arrived yet, or so I am told. It's a quiet Monday, a far cry from the usual pandemonium. Follow ups are discouraged unless the patients are scheduled for chemo. There's humor, too, and teamwork. We take turns in seeing patients of our colleagues who are on quarantine. We pray that their tests come out negative.

I want to tell you that, contrary to what the Presidential Spokesperson said in his briefing, there is no evidence linking bananas and gargling to COVID-19 infection prevention or cure.  It's a shame that the source of medical misinformation is someone from a position of power. But I will not comment on politics: I tend to get fired up and might write offensive things.

Reading Dr. Edsel Salvana's Twitter feed helps me make sense of things.

I suggest you also follow the UP-Philippine General Hospital's Department of Medicine Facebook page. It's a source of useful, verified, and scientifically sound information, which you can disseminate.

DOH also has a useful website.

*  *  *

Developing story: Work suspended, establishments closed in Luzon as gov't places island under 'enhanced community quarantine' via CNN Philippines.

Work and public transportation are suspended, and establishments will be closed in the whole of Luzon as the government placed Monday the entire island under "enhanced community quarantine" to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo told CNN Philippines that the enhanced measures against the viral disease are effective immediately, but the government will "give allowance to people who will have to go home from work."

Panelo said exempted are frontline health workers, authorized medical officials and those traveling to get basic necessities as well as for medical or humanitarian reasons. Government offices have to maintain a skeletal work force, he added.

All establishments will also be closed, he said, but supermarkets will remain open and ATMs at banks will remain operational.

* * *

Scenes from my neighborhood.

The dog looks tired.

Journal of a Lockdown No. 4

Trains are empty. People wear masks.

Journal of a Lockdown No. 4

On my way to grab something to eat (an essential task), the streets are quiet. The mall is closed.

Journal of a Lockdown No. 4

I go back home and resume the quarantine.

Journal of a Lockdown No. 4

Now to catch up on my reading.

Journal of a Lockdown No. 4

More updates tomorrow.



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