Dr. Joseph Alexis Jiao: The frontliner

IN THESE dark times, we hold on to our humanity. In an instant, this global calamity can either make us or break us. It is a defining moment which brings out the worst and the best in mankind. If such tribulation is given to man to separate the wheat from the tares, are we a good harvest or shall we be bundled so as to burn in the furnace?

At the height of the pandemic and the panic of the community is a force ensuring the safety of the people. Our brave frontliners in the medical field risk their lives in the battle to fight for many lives. In the process, they also resuscitate hope in our deteriorating morale as God’s people.

This weekend we got hold of Dr. Joseph Alexis Jiao.

This refined, young, vibrant, good-looking former Blackout Model took his pre-med degree at the University of St. La Salle. He graduated his Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing before proceeding to Medicine proper. He then entered the College of Medicine at the University of St. La Salle. After which, he completed his Post Graduate Internship at. Dr. Pablo O. Torre Memorial Hospital Bacolod City. Currently, he is a medical resident at Bacolod Adventist Medical Center.

In light of all the chaos brought about by this pandemic, Dr. Jiao has this to say to everyone: “If anyone hears from family or friends that Covid-19 is just like the usual flu, and think that this is no big deal, or that the response of everyone has been excessive, please know that they are very wrong. Let’s be vigilant and be very careful. Let us learn from the mistakes of other countries.”

Dr. Jiao also warns us that we should not underestimate this Covid-19. He states, “Let us help flatten the curve, we do not want to reach to the point where we have to choose who lives and who dies from lack of medical supplies like ventilator, oxygen, anti-viral medicines, etc. when our health care system gets overwhelmed.” He adds that everyone can help prevent overwhelming our hospitals and health care system. “The best way to do that is to do social distancing and proper hygiene.”

Dr. Jiao reiterates that doing social distancing and proper hygiene can be very simple:

1. You, together with your family, must stay home. This includes not going to church, not going to the gym, not going anywhere.

2. If you are thinking of going to hospital for OPD checkup, this is not the right time, call or message first your doctor if there’s really a need to go to the hospital or a need to get admitted. You may also go first to your local Health Center for assessment. Emergency rooms and hallways are exposed.

3. Avoid groups of people, and not just crowed areas.

4. If you can’t avoid going out (groceries, work, etc.) please maintain a distance of 1-2 meters from people.

5. Wash hands more often. Use sanitizers and alcohol especially when on the go.

6. Wearing of appropriate mask is a must.

Dr. Jiao clarifies, “I’m not saying people should not go to work. Just don’t leave the house for anything unnecessary, and if you can work from home, the better.” He advices everyone that while we are on home quarantine, we can spread the message by telling as many people as possible. He encourages, “We can do this, let us help one another.”

Dr. Jiao also has a message to his fellow frontliners: “For all the fearless and unselfish Filipinos working at the front lines to stop Covid-19, thank you so much for your priceless service. We, who pledge our lives in the service of others... We, who put the health of our patients and the community as our first priority... We, who despite these hard times, continue to fulfill our duties with honor, as we continue to bear and uphold our titles as MDs, nurses, and other medical and nonmedical staffs. We, who are now exhausted physically and mentally with risk of getting ill, but continue to cater to medical needs of others... We may not be superheroes with supernatural powers to help and assists the world, but we are part of the heroes now needed by the whole world more than ever in this trying times. Know that you are not alone, and with that, this is no longer a fight of one doctor against a disease or one organization against an epidemic. It is the fight of all bearing this calling. Let us help each other, uplift each other, and comfort each other. Until we, together, by the grace of God, end this tribulation victoriously.”

Indeed, being a frontliner can be overwhelming and exhausting. They need our help. By staying put, we can also do our part in supporting these heroes. We can be part of the solution, and not the problem. With fervent prayer and cooperation, we can fight this unseen enemy.

Truly, evil feeds on fear. Hence, we cannot succomb to such defeat. Panic can only worsen our very predicament. Instead, we have to be vigilant and updated. We have to hear those sent by God to us. Our arrogance can be our end, but a sense of surrender can be our survival. If only we will humble ourselves. If only we pray and seek the face of the Lord by turning from our wickedness. Only then will the Divine Creator truly heal our land.


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