Every day, Nurse Jordan Sarmiento makes the 25 minute walk from his home in Makati to his workplace. While many of us have the luxury to stay home, he has to continue working as a company nurse for a public relations firm. And because of the enhanced community quarantine that banned public transportation, he has to brave the walk under the intense heat, while being exposed to the threat of the coronavirus, which has 1,418 cases as of yesterday, March 29.
Yesterday was different. While walking, a car stopped him while he was walking and asked if he needed a ride. According to Nurse Jordan, “Hinintuan niya ko at tinawag. ‘Nars ka ba? May anak din ako nars nasa abroad. Dapat nga kayo ang tulungan dahil kakaunti na lang kayo dito sa Pinas.'”
[“He stopped me and called out, ‘Are you a nurse? I have a child who’s also a nurse abroad. We should be helping you because there’s few of you left in the Philippines.'”]
This act of random kindness is made even more special when you hear reports of medical frontliners being discriminated against. Reports are spreading of frontliners being displaced by their landlords because of their exposure to COVID-19. Just three days ago, a health worker in Sultan Kudarat was attacked by five men as he was on his way to report for duty. On top of that, the men splattered bleach on his face, which could have irreparable damage on his sight.
The man who drove Nurse Jordan to the office was right. We should be protecting our health workers since they’re our only defense from COVID-19. We hope there are more like him who help our frontliners.
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