The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented crisis that brings with it a lot of problems, especially for the poor and marginalized sectors of our society. Those who have the least financial and other means have the hardest time dealing with the pandemic’s impacts on health and health services, loss of income, limited mobility and other struggles.
This crisis is challenging us, as a species, to bring about an increased sense of our humanity, community and compassion.
As governments, international health agencies and local officials struggle to contain the global infection and its effects, we also see citizens and communities coming together in support of each other, especially for the frontliners and sectors who are experiencing the most difficulty.
With the enforcement of a Luzon-wide Enhanced Community Quarantine, communities are struggling to find their next meals, due either to loss of income or access to food sources, or a combination of both. But some chefs and other concerned citizens have set up various community kitchens and food programs to try and ease a bit of the burden.
Health workers who continue to work, but who have no way of getting to and from hospitals and their homes, are being assisted or ferried by volunteers of efforts like Oplan Hatid, Lend-A-Bike, and Life Cycles.
Nurses, doctors and other health workers, police and military peace enforcers, sanitation workers, researchers and other frontliners are being assisted with crowd-sourced food, temporary housing, face masks, alcohol, sanitizers and other dwindling resources that they require to be able to continue doing very important work for the people.
A group of individuals have collated some of these efforts into a database of responses (http://bit.ly/Covid19PH-SUPPORT) and have asked the public to contribute what they know by quickly filling out a very short form: http://bit.ly/Covid19PH-Support-Form. Another group has also compiled a list of organizations doing such efforts that you may want to donate to (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1V039YUo0IwcfQSwbjxUa2A_7bW5hxfOJIEkgaKvB91M/htmlview#gid=0).
The pandemic may be showing the weakness of systems we have in our current society, but it is also showing us what bayanihan means for a nation of everyday heroes. Bringing out the best in each and everyone of us is what will get us through this.