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Monthly Archives: April 2020
In a faraway kingdom of Pandemonia in the Land of the Idiots, King Moron was left to think on his own. The following is his monologue.
I know now I should have started these things before the pandemic
I know now that shortening the time to do things is more efficient and cost-effective than doing it in for a longer period even if it means there is a add-on cost to that efficiency
I know now that many things can still be achieved, and achieved better, even when I get rid of manual or face to face system
I know now that many objectives and deadlines can still be met even on a zero physical contact basis
I know now that investment in improving my digital skills at least the basic level like operating a computer or mobile gadget) will eventually pay off and eventually become a matter of survival
I know now that investing in building intermediate and advanced digital skills could mean finding me a job of higher value and even of greater value when my manual job or my business is destroyed by the pandemic
I know now that I should have gradually installed digital transformation in my company, even just for simple payroll and personnel management, virtual conferences and digital marketing
I know now that as a government leader, I should have a long time ago installed digital innovation to ensure ease of doing business and zero contact prolicy and created a data base to ensure updated and proper profiling
I know now that aside from simply importing medicine and giving lip service to healthcare, we could have invested in manufacturing of medicines and research laboratories, and in health sciences to create vaccines and treatments
I know now that as a school, a hospital or an institution many of our services can be migrated to virtual format so we can still serve our core vision and mission
I know now that industries need to innovate and apply technology to increase production or yield like agriculture and manufacturing
I know now that accurate and real time data can help make sound policy decisions instead of guesswork and impulse
I know now that innovation can bridge communities, people and families in a timely manner, and the world come become smaller because we can share our ideas, aspirations and culture with everyone
I know what innovation means now. Its simply thinking out of the box to look for ways to do things faster, and more efficient because time is precious.
Sadly I know it only now that time became equivalent to life. The life threatened by waste of days to deliver healthcare, amelioration, real-time information.
I only know now that innovation can save lives.
But when I heard about innovation before – I thought of it as –
– an additional expense
– simply just a fad
– something we need to fear because we don’t know about
– something only tech-savvy people know about
– nothing of value that we need to learn about
– a burden to my comfort zone
– something that will simply make me vulnerable to the public
– of no consequence in my present because the future will take care of itself
– something a naive politician will say instead of simply buying our votes
– something voters won’t understand so I would rather give doleouts
The list of my reasons are long. Because I don’t know.
After this pandemic is over, there is a tendency I will not know again. I know.
Then King Moron retired to his chambers to rest. Another day is over in the Kindgdom of Pandemonia.
Disclaimer: All characters in this book are fictional and not real. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Kimberly Joy Mallo Magbanua, the painter of Laban Pilipinan is a nurse, a poet and syringe artist. She is a member of the Association fo Negros Artists (ANA) based in Bacolod City. Her recent artwork “Inang Bayan” showing three healthcare professionals operating on the Philippine Flag captured the hearts of netizens and her fellow artists.
Below is the caption and poem of Kimberly with the artowrk which she calls “Inang Bayan” on April 18, 2020 as posted by Joan Honoridez, founder of ANA.
In one surgery I am now undergoing.
I don’t know when it will end
but the pain will endure.
I’m sad ‘ the heart is broken.
My wish is to be saved and healthy.
Even if the process is bloody and dangerous,
so stay at home, avoid trouble.
Cooperate with your sibling so I can be healed.
They don’t sacrifice for the end, their family will be with them.
Engraving in history that we are unite.
To the beloved town, hope will break.
To Almighty let’s pray.
He has mercy, our prayer will be heard.
Mother Filipinas 🇵🇭
Here is Kimberly’s caption and poem in her FB wall as posted April 18, 2020.
I got inspired with the thoughts that popped into my mind yesterday
so I painted a syringe art and wrote a poem about her.
Our motherland is sick. She needs you to heal. She’s battling inside the operating room now.
Can we help her move to recovery room?
or help her transfer to the ward as soon as possible.
Spread the love. Spread the hope.
We heal as ONE.
One love, one nation.🇵🇭
In the name of God almighty, Inang Filipinas will be discharged soon.
syringe art by kimjoymm💉
Here are some more of her artworks using syringe.
Using powerful hashtags “Laban Pilipinas” along with #WeHealAsOne – 27-year old Kimberly’s works serve as inspiration to both young artists and frontliners in the midst of this pandemic.
We salute our thousands of health workers and frontliners now risking their lives in the fight against COVID19. We are praying for you!
Written and Posted on Facebook By R. Dennis Garcia
Dear friends and policy-makers,
When May 1 comes and we go out of our homes, we will not be immune to COVID-19 any more than we were before March 16, except for the few of us who were infected in the preceding 6 weeks. Indeed, if 10,000 Filipinos would have been infected by May 1, this would only amount to 0.009% of the PH population, hardly a dent towards obtaining herd immunity against the dreaded virus.
At the onset of the lockdown on March 16, the doubling time of COVID-19 cases was 5 days. By April 15, as an effect of the lockdown, the doubling time had prolonged to 13.8 days.
The Phl population is 110M. To achieve a sizable herd immunity, we generally have to have at least 70% of the population to have been infected by COVID-19, and to have recovered.
Over how long a time can we achieve that 70%?
Once the lockdown is lifted on May 1, if there are 10,000 Filipinos infected by then, and if people behave as they did before March 16 (inadequate social distancing, unimpeded outside activities, no substantial use of masks in public), it will require roughly thirteen doubling times, if viral spread is transferred efficiently from person to person, in order to infect 82M Filipinos. With a 5-day doubling time, the date by which 82M Filipinos would have been infected will be as early as July 5. 82M is 74% of the Phl population, enough for herd immunity. As the viral transfer becomes inefficient when more people become infected and recover, if the doubling time is spaced out to 9 days, the new date by which 82M Filipinos will be infected will be August 26. Currently, on April 15, due to the lockdown’s inhibiting effect on the spread of the virus, the doubling time has prolonged to 14 days. If we assume that when the lockdown is lifted on May 1, and we can still have a 14-day doubling time (because people will be good at preventing horizontal transfer as they go back to work and school), we will achieve the 82M Filipinos infected by October 17 (ie., thirteen doubling times).
In all of the above scenarios, if the target herd population to be infected is 82M Filipinos, and based on Chinese data, 20% of infected people will become severely ill, this means that 16.4M Filipinos (of the 82M) will need in-patient hospital care between May 1 to October 17. So, the huge question is: will the hospitals throughout Metro Manila and the rest of the country be able to provide beds, HCWs, ventilators and medications to admit and treat 16.4M Filipinos between May 1 to October 17? If we divide the 16.4M over 5 & 1/2 months (to October 17), the number will be about 3M admissions/month. Where will we get these beds, medications, ventilators and personnel? Another problem is that when moderately ill COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, the length of stay lasts 2-3 weeks, tying up a hospital bed for a prolonged time. Yet another problem is that, as the hospital industry is unable to provide the necessary hospital care to those who need it, the mortality rate will rise compared to what it is now.
Prolonging the lockdown will continue to slow down the spread, perhaps past 2020. Otherwise, a quickly developed and approved vaccine is the only real solution for an illness with no clear effective treatment. The former is untenable much longer because people are growing hungry, using up their savings, losing their jobs, while government has finite resources by which to feed the people, and, heaven forbid, law and order may break down. The government will have to find the best balance at allowing a gradual lifting of the lockdown to allow essential industries to operate, allowing less-at-risk working populations to return to employment, while shielding the elderly and those with co-morbidities at home, and enforcing strict and punishable rules on containing the spread of infection by having masked civilians on the streets, offices and schools; encouragement of home-based work, and well thought-out mass transportation arrangements, among many things.
Otherwise, for the health care industry to not collapse in the 3-4 weeks after the lockdown is lifted on May 1, the following have to be present by then, or within 2 weeks of that date:
1. Testing capacity should be adequate for the whole Phl. Those who are sick have to be tested, so that every ill person is identified, treated, quarantined and/or hospitalized.
2. Quarantine facilities in every town, city and province should be ready for occupancy, numbering in the thousands of beds for big cities.
3. The LGU should be able to fund the needs of the quarantine facility.
4. Multiple COVID-contact tracking teams employed by each local government, whose job will be to do contact tracing of all COVID+ people and their contacts, should be in existence. Their job will be to see to it that the COVID+ patients and their contacts are staying at home, if they are clinically well and the home is big enough, or are housed in the LGU’s quarantine facility. Quarantining is the best way to protect the COVID+ patient’s family and housemates from becoming ill themselves, especially for people who live in one-room homes. Placing them in the quarantine facility will also prevent them from unnecessarily occupying a much needed hospital bed, which should be saved for the 20% of sick and elderly people who really need these beds. The hospitalized COVID+ cases can also be discharged to the quarantine facility, to finish the quarantine period, so that they do not infect their housemates if and when they go home too early.
5. The people who test positive, and those suspected to have it, should be placed in the quarantine facility, if not in their homes, for the obligatory number of days. This process will shield the community and limit the virus’ spread.
6. National and local governments have to designate the local hospital which will take in the COVID+ and probable cases all over the country, down to the smallest town. The medical, nursing and HCW staffs have to be increased, correspondingly, to the expected huge increase in workload.
7. The moderately and critically ill will be admitted to appropriately staffed and stacked government COVID-19-designated and private hospitals.
8. Appropriate numbers and volume of PPEs, pulse oximeters, oxygen tanks, ventilators, medications and other medical needs should be budgeted for and obtained.
9. The goverment needs to continue to support private hospitals, which will continue to provide for the bulk of in-patient care, as has been noted in Metro Manila.
10. Most importantly, the public has to be continuously reminded that going out of one’s home everyday is a life-and-death decision, and should be considered as such.
Unfortunately, this problem will not go away like a bad dream when we open our eyes in the morning. By having a populace well-educated and conscious of how to avoid getting the infection and spreading it to others, and with the necessary preparations of the government and private sectors through testing, pursuing ill people and their contacts, quarantining, protecting HCWs, and bracing hospitals, which are the last strongholds of the battle, we can see a situation wherein the Filipino population can attain a recovered number of people necessary to attain herd immunity over a manageable prolonged time period, like over 2-3 years (unless we are fortunate to have a vaccine within a year), while avoiding a total collapse of the hospital and health care industries in a situation of anarchy.
We do hope and pray for the best and God’s grace, but we all have to concretely realize what we are up against in the next many months.
R. Dennis Garcia
Infectious Disease Physician
IMPORTANT: This FB Post has been copied in verbatim without any editing or modification and with knowledge of author.
To find the law, order or issuance that you need, please click on the logo of the agency or department below to see their respective issuances.
International Guidelines from WHO and CDC
Other Resource Documents related to COVID-19
IMPORTANT: Please look at other reference materials to fully ascertain that the laws and issuances are still effective. This is since we are experiencing a global pandemic and agency issuances are being modified or changed according to expediency.
We thankfully acknowledge the University of the Philippines Women’s Circle (WILOCI) for the compilation of laws in this site as shared by The Outstanding Women in the Nations Service (TOWNS) Awardee Atty. Lorna Kapunan.
SCENE 1: The Awakening
One day, in a faraway Kingdom of Pandemonia in the Land of Idiots – there was a great pandemic which needed a massive quarantine of all people. King Moron assembled his leaders.
Leader 1: Let’s wait for orders. We cannot act without orders.
Leader 2: Let’s alarm people. They need to know. This is something big.
Leader 3: Let’s inventory all our resources from food to healthcare supplies so we can prepare. Let’s ensure we protect our doctors and nurses.
Leader 4: Let’s make sure we are safe. I am going home to prepare my family.
Leader 5: Let’s make sure all key agencies are coordinate.
Leader 6: Let’s create solutions to ensure the orders are curated and blasted real time in readable formats. Let’s also give more information to people so they panic less and know what to do instead of assume things. Let’s create solutions to track our resources real time and connect with requests so we know how much is left and how much we need every minute. Let’s harness systems to lessen exposure of our frontliners to the virus like telehealth and other solutions. Let’s create solutions to connect us with our families and communities so we can keep and eye on everyone and know who needs immediate medical care and isolation. Let’s make solutions to ensure all agencies data are interoperable so a citizen just asks one portal and not go to all agencies for each single item of assistance.
Leader 1: You might violate rules. Don’t do anything of that sort. Stick to what we follow now.
Leader 2: No, I am now going to post on Facebook whatever I want to post just to alarm people. I am well versed with social media.
Leader 3: Sorry, our manual system is more reliable. It maybe slow but its what we re used to.
Leader 4: What???? What is that gibberish?
Leader 5: That will take a long time. Agencies will surely flag down those ideas. And besides, our citizens are scared of using digital solutions.
Leader 6: I was just concerned for all of you.
Then Leader 6 went on auto-pilot mode. Thanks to some citizen innovators who created it- at least the AI Leader got to suggest.
Post script: Unlike in the TikTok Republic above, in the Philippines there are many Filipinos who are like Leader 6. Not an AI but real human beings. Sadly they are not leaders.
Disclaimer: All characters in this book are fictional. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental