The situation in hospitals nationwide is fraught with fear and anxiety. Despite this, medical professionals try their best to remain calm and optimistic.
“You can feel that deep inside, everyone—from the manongs and nurses to the staff and doctors—is all nervous and anxious,” said Dr. Daniel Morales, who specializes in internal medicine and adult cardiology at Manila Doctors Hospital.
“Since we are duty-bound, the only thing we can do is embrace the stress and try to lift each other’s spirits—because in a crisis such as this, that’s how we Filipinos get through the day. I fight for the ‘3 Fs’: faith, family and friends. If I can add another, food.”
Dr. Morales said that he follows institutionalized protocols, social distancing and a mandated, self-monitored 14-day isolation period. “When on volunteer duty, I try to preserve our PPEs by holding in my bodily functions for 12 hours to avoid any possible contamination. I was never an advocate of supplements, but now I double up on vitamin C and D, and do moderate exercise. Most important: vitamin P for prayer.”
He shares tips to ride out the storm. “There are bad days and not-so-bad days. When something bad happens, learn from it, then move on. Laging may bukas pa. I especially like the idea of bayanihan in our hospital, where we all support one another to help make a patient better. But personally, a simple call to mom spells a huge difference,” he said.
Morales is a people person who enjoys hanging out with friends on weekends, and seeing his patients on weekdays. “Given the situation, cooking and cleaning during my downtime takes off the edge. More importantly, just knowing you have no symptoms or illness gives you hope to fight another day.”