A dilemma between staying home or risking to Help

Apr 8, 2020 | 0 comments

Read stories and analysis directly inspired by volunteers’ experiences

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Most of the regions in the Philippines, if not all, are already under the Enhanced Community Quarantine which corresponds to a tighter implementation of the stay at home policy. As a committed volunteer, I opted to follow my desire to function as someone who could render humanitarian service in this time of crisis. However, I am also aware of the risk that I might end up infected because of the fact that COVID19 is a highly contagious disease. I made a choice of becoming part of the COVID19 response team of the Philippine Red Cross Compostela Valley Chapter (Davao de Oro), thus staying at home has become a second option.

To make sure that my family is safe, I stayed in the quarter and didn’t visit my family to secure their safety at home. It’s been over a month since I didn’t come home because my tasks in the COVID19 response includes Profiling of PUM and PUI at the barangays within the jurisdiction of the Province. I also helped the welfare service at the quarantine site with 33 stranded passengers from Manila who can’t pass through the region’s border because of the regional lockdown implemented. All of the passengers are subject to 14 days quarantine because all persons who travel from Metro Manila are considered PUM. We initiated to craft face shields for the frontliners, intensify the promotion of handwashing, regularly disinfect areas that people usually visit, and more.

Going out of the comfort zone to do fieldwork has always been uncertain with the possibilities of having been infected with the infectious disease, but I have also understood the hard work of the staff in the call for this humanitarian noble service. They surely need more manpower to perform duties that are necessary for today’s challenge not just in the Philippines, but also to the rest of the world who are facing this Pandemic.

Renz Jan D. Ontal
Philippine Red Cross
April 8, 2020
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