"Let’s flatten that curve."
In the past two weeks as the death toll rises, we have witnessed the unbelievable devotion and utter selflessness of the frontliners in the war against novel coronavirus or COVID-19.
Specifically, they are the courageous health workers who live up to their sworn duty of serving their ailing fellowmen.
They include doctors, nurses, laboratory technicians, hospital support staff, paramedics, volunteers, hospital administrative and security personnel who personify the genuine spirit of bayanihan at its best.
It's truly heartbreaking that among those who succumbed to the disease are a number of health workers themselves, including attending doctors.
According to the Department of Health (DOH), at least eight doctors have been literally "killed in action" in the war against COVID-19, among them Dr. Israel Bactol, Dr. Greg Macasaet, Dr. Rose Pulido and Dr. Raul Diaz Jara. The identities of the others were still being verified, said DOH Undersecretary Ma. Rosario Vergeire.
Meanwhile, we learned that our compatriot ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Eric Yap tested positive for COVID-19, most likely a result of his exposure to infected persons during recent congressional meetings. Our thoughts and prayers go out to our indefatigable friend for his early recovery.
President Duterte on Wednesday paid tribute to the warriors on the frontline, particularly those doctors who perished and other health workers who have likewise gotten sick, who knew we are running against time, as well as up against a formidable foe.
They knew the significance and importance of flattening the curve on the COVID-19 incidence.
If we ourselves do not appreciate this and do nothing to help, more and more people among us will contract COVID-19, making the curve a steep mountain on a graph.
Health officials have warned that health care facilities are getting overwhelmed with overworked staff, not enough equipment and supplies, and not enough room to accommodate any more COVID-19 patients. Several private hospitals have announced they can no longer admit due to unavailability of space.
If we only strictly adhere to the calls for self-quarantine and social distancing, the COVID-19 curve would begin flattening on that graph.
It may not necessarily mean that fewer people get sick in the long run. But there will be fewer people getting sick at one time.
We have to strictly enforce all the measures we have in place under the six-month national state of health emergency declared by President Duterte.
Isolate people who are sick. Trace the people whom those sick people may have had contact with. Quarantine people who may have been exposed to the virus. Keep schools closed and avoid crowds and observe social distancing.
It is outrageous that unto this time of global health crisis, some of our fellow Filipinos would rather show apathy and indifference to helping stop the spread of COVID-19.
Just as revolting is the alleged discrimination against health workers by neighbors and barangay officials.
There are instances of nurses and other health workers identified with COVID-19 facilities being ejected from their rented rooms. Such were reported occurring in Iloilo City, Cabanatuan City, Davao City, and Cagayan de Oro City.
We must all realize what great sacrifice our frontliners are doing in order to save this country from ending up like Wuhan, China or Italy where hundreds of COVID-19 patients die each day.
We owe it to them to help ensure this whole thing works, and that their sacrifices would not be in vain.