Friday, March 20, 2020

Journal of a Lockdown No. 8

"...You're one of the people who will thrive in quarantine," a friend based in the States writes to me, just as I'm about to finish Mia Alvar's final story in her collection, "In the Country."

To be honest, I don't know when my stamina for self-isolation can last.

I attend the sarcoma multi-disciplinary teleconference through Zoom. A patient with a shoulder mass also has an occipital tumor, which can be meningioma or a solitary fibrous tumor. The discussion is lively. Surgery then radiotherapy, proceed with a whole-body PET CT, or wait for the final histopath?  A consultant coughs in the background. Laughter erupts. Nobody at the conference will be infected anyway. The wonders of technology! I have several questions at the back of my mind: (1) how will the patient afford the diagnostics and treatment?, (2) how will his treatment proceed, now that hospitals have been directed to stop elective procedures, in the hopes of redirecting all efforts toward the pandemic?

I scribble on my notebook words of encouragement from Psalm 145:10 as I have my daily meditation.

He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them.

I brew my second cup of coffee at 4 PM. It feels like a Saturday afternoon, except that it's supposed to be a regular workday. I want to get out of the house but decide against it. There are no friends to meet. The cafés are closed. I look at this photo I took in January and feel like it happened many years ago. This seclusion has warped my concept of time.


In a few days, I'll be reporting for duty. I wonder how I'll get to work. I'm thinking of walking for two hours if I don't get a ride.

Another friend suffers from cough and diarrhea. He has been pulled out of the rotation and has been advised to self-quarantine. "At least, there's no DOB,*" I text him.

Then I read this.

The University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) has been designated by the Department of Health (DOH) as one of its COVID-19 referral hospitals for the National Capital Region in line with UP’s mandate as a public service university.

UP-PGH is tasked with admitting COVID-19 patients within its cluster. This is according to a letter sent by DOH Secretary Francisco Duque to UP officials on March 19, 2020.

UP-PGH, a unit under UP Manila, is considered the biggest modern government tertiary hospital in the Philippines with the expertise and equipment to treat COVID-19 patients.

Servicing more than 600,000 patients annually, UP-PGH remains the only national referral center for tertiary care, providing direct and quality patient services to thousands of indigent Filipinos all over the country.

Kuya John writes me a message from Sydney. He tells me he has been enjoying Mavis Gallant's writing. He calls her Tita Mavis, which cracks me up.

*DOB: medical slang for difficulty of breathing



Blogger Unknown said...

Praying your friend recovers very soon.
Maybe the buses for health workers pass by near where you live.

Sat Mar 21, 08:15:00 AM GMT+8  
Blogger Lance said...

The buses don't pass by where I live. The closest stop is Taft MRT, which takes 1 h, 45 min by walking to reach. I'm praying for a new scheme to be implemented by Grab for healthcare workers.

Sun Mar 22, 06:37:00 AM GMT+8  

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