I wake up each day, thankful for life.
I hardly have an income with this lockdown,
but life goes on.
Thank God for savings, so the
maids, driver and secretaries can get their just wages
now, more than ever.
My patients hardly text me. Strange.
They must know, I am occupied
with thoughts on how to combat this,
or how I might protect my own family.
I can be a patient, myself, I think my patients realize.
We are all at risk.
Almost 20 doctors have died, some I
have known for half a lifetime.
Doctors count as 20% of all deaths locally,
by far, the one profession at risk the most.
Doctor deaths have doubled every 5 days.
Imagine if clinics had not closed last March 16.
I know of no other illness in my lifetime
that has done this, knowing that
the illness is amidst us, but
there is nothing one can do
than hide in the four walls of our homes.
When the lockdown ends,
none of us, except a few, like Francis,
unfortunate to get, yet fortunate to survive,
will be immune.
We won’t be any more immune on April 30
than we were on March 16,
unless we get, and receive God’s grace
or unless a vaccine is produced,
which will take another year.
What do we do?
Do we resume practice when the lockdown is lifted
because people depend on us,
and as professionals, we do still have to make a living?
Or is the risk of harm to us and our families too great, much beyond our calling to serve our community
and provide care to our patients?
These are tough questions we face.
I do not have the answer now.
Humankind has no herd immunity
to COVID-19. We generally need 70%
of a previously virgin population
to acquire the illness and recover,
to have herd immunity.
But so many people will still die,
4% of all who get it, before the growing herd provides protection for all.
This is the one time in my life,
that I realize, that science does not have the answers. Period.
Mighty USA suffers, and is not doing
much better than us.
All the money in the world
may not save any one person, or nation.
The last time this happened, in 1917,
a virus killed more people than the Great War of 1914-18.
Someone who can stop this, and will, is the Divine Physician, the Supreme Medical Director, at His own time,
when we have learned our humbling lessons, that we are all, of feet of clay.
I hope and pray that time will be soon.
Lord God, we ask for mercy
and new life.
(Robert Dennis Garcia, Ateneo de Davao Grade School 1971, is currently the Pediatric Infectious Disease head of Makati Medical Center and Cardinal Santos Medical Center in Metro Manila. Francis is a colleague of his. Dr. Garcia posted this on his FB page. MindaNews was granted permission to publish this)