They risked their lives to save the lives of others, so why discriminate?
Despite their selfless service and enormous sacrifices, it is disheartening to witness several reports and stories of discrimination against frontliners and health care workers who are working tirelessly to protect us from the virus. Other essential service personnel including PUIs, PUMs, and COVID-19 patients have experienced hate and discrimination from their neighbors and landlords out of fear that they could infect people since their jobs are prone to be exposed to COVID-19 patients. Yes, it is pretty understandable that we are all just being careful, but don’t let this pandemic create hatred against other people, especially to our beloved frontliners.
The Department of Health recently warned the public regarding discrimination against health workers after the testimonies of doctors and nurses being kicked out of their apartments or residences and rejected from establishments made rounds on social media. The government has threatened legal action to those who will discriminate against frontliners, COVID-19 patients, or suspected cases. In Manila, the City Ordinance No. 8624 or the Anti-COVID-19 Discrimination Ordinance of 2020 was implemented by the city government which “prohibits any person from committing any act or utterance which causes stigma, disgrace, shame, humiliation, harassment or otherwise discriminating against a person infected, under monitoring or investigation due to the COVID-19 virus including public and private doctors, nurses, health workers, emergency personnel, and volunteers, service workers who are assigned to hospitals or other centers where these persons are being treated and imposing the appropriate penalties therein.” Violators will be fined PHP 5,000 or face imprisonment up to six months, or both.
Aside from discrimination, one of the main problems that our health care workers are still facing is the lack of personal protective equipment or PPE. Frontliners from different cities have been using recycled or DIY protective gear. With that, it would be a huge help if we will continue to donate, disseminate donation drives, and voice out their concerns for the government to take quick action and come up with better solutions. Our country has also lost some doctors due to COVID-19, their health must be prioritized as well. Without them, we cannot surpass this global crisis.
Frontliners are dealing with stressful scenarios and long working hours daily while most of them miss their families, being kind to them and valuing their hardship would mean a lot. Again, we thank all the dedicated and brave frontliners for putting their lives on the line! Don’t forget to take care of yourself, we cannot overcome this battle without you. Let’s include them in our prayers!
Have you read the discrimination reports on social media? What is your opinion about it? Share it with us!
Featured image courtesy: Limuel Abrogena (Artwork by: Daje Pinpiño)