Pinoy frontliner in London plea to people: “Stay home”
By Gene Alcantara, UK
LONDON --“Do your part so I can do mine. I come to work for you, you stay at home for us,” pleaded London health worker Jhoe Breaker on his Facebook account as the daily rush of Covid-19 patients with serious symptoms into hospitals overwhelm the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS).
“Just because I’m a health worker and chose this profession doesn’t mean that every time I put on my gown, gloves, hair net, N95 mask, and eye shield means I am fine with it. Each time I suit up it gives me that anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach because #covid_19 is real and it isn’t a joke,” he revealed.
“I have my own people to protect. So I am asking you to protect you and yours! Social distance yourself. Be cautious. Remember this isn’t about you or me, it is about us and the community. That vacation you had planned can wait. Get some perspective people! I go to work because I am a servant to humanity - it’s my duty. But please don’t make it harder on us. Do your part so I can do mine. #coronavirus I come to work for you you stay at home for us,” he added.
Jhoebreaker is an air name he used when he was working as a DJ in the Philippines during 1980s and 1990s.
His appeal on Facebook struck a nerve.
The appeal came as Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced more stringent orders for people in Britain to stay at home and to warn people against congregating in parks or using public transport in such a way that ignores warnings on how to protect themselves and avoid the risk of infecting others.
Jhoebreaker and his wife grew up in Cagayan de Oro, and came to the UK in 2001. They were unable to have children as his wife suffered an ectopic pregnancy, and all three attempts at having children through in-vitro fertilization (IVF) in the UK failed.
Since then, they have decided to focus on their career in the health sector where they both work. Jhoebreaker is an Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) in Anaesthetics, referred to as an Anaesthetic Nurse, in north London. His wife is an Intensive Treatment Unit (ITU) nurse in the same hospital where he works. They are joined by his brother-in-law and wife who also work as nurses in the same hospital.
According to Jhoe breaker, the situation in their hospital is becoming desperate.
“We’re run(ning) out of ventilators in ICU that’s why we’re bringing intubated patients in operating rooms and use our anaesthetic machine as ventilator to accommodate very serious patients with underlying illnesses. We’re running out of PPE Last weekend pero may dumating na stocks yesterday,” he revealed.
He also wrote that the hospital has apparently cancelled most operations, “Ni cancel na namin yong lahat na mga elective list cases namin, only between life and death operations lang and cancer patients lang ang ginagawa namin.”
As to those seriously ill with Covid-19, Jhoebreaker wrote, “Maraming serious and very severe na nakita ko at na intubate namin for intensive care unit. Nakaka-awa at it will make you cry because they are helpless, they can’t breathe, it’s really heartbreaking, they’re dying to reach the oxygen to breathe.”
He also revealed that there are also Filipino Covid-19 patients but they do not appear to be serious cases.
“May mga Pinoy din pero mild yong mga nakita ko.” Jhoebreaker added.
Asked by Pinoy Portal Europe what his parting words were for all of us on his frontline role, he said “This war against covid 19, we're equipped, we know the tactics, but we can not see the enemy. It’s like sniper, we cannot hear the bullets. There are no war planes hovering, no armoured cars roaring. It is quiet. To fight back is not possible in short distance, stay indoors, don't touch the face, and above all wash those hands.”
UK is one of the countries in Europe that has the highest incidence of coronavirus cases. As of 24 March 2020, a total of 90,436 people have been tested, according to Department of Health and Social Services (DOHSC). Of this 82,359 were confirmed negative and 8,077 were confirmed positive. 422 patients in the UK have sadly died from COVID-19, an increase of 81 deaths in the last 24 hours.