Editorial: For the books

(Editorial Cartoon by Josua Cabrera)

YOU can say this is bayanihan in the age of physical distancing. With all these shining efforts leaping from many corners, we easily lose track of all of them, but the Cebuano community is equally grateful to all these all-weather heroes—whether they are in the shadow or in the limelight.

One such effort that propped up on social media was that of a team of faculty members and staff of the University of the Philippine Cebu fabrication laboratory (FabLab). In an animated use of the workshop’s cutting-edge machines, this bunch of wizards 3D-printed and laser-cut face shields in their bid to help stock up on the much-needed and easily depleting supply of personal protective equipment (PPE). While the World Health Organization discourages PPE’s that are not medically approved, it says it is better than having no protection at all, most especially for frontliners in Covid-19 time. So UP Cebu’s contribution is, indeed, a welcome effort.

The FabLab is now in the thick of reproducing as many shields, made of acetate, as it can within its regular day-time operating hours. The team—composed of UP Cebu College of Communication, Art and Design Dean Prof. Palmy Mariel Tudtud, professors Mona Alcudia, Jan Nathan Jore, Fidel Laurence Ricafranca, Mark Argel Simacon and Raymund Fernandez—is expected to get more raw materials for the shield frames from the Department of Trade and Industry.

Ricafranca said that if production goes well, the FabLab may be able to produce at least 200 face shields in a day.

Meanwhile, a group of mental health professionals from the University of San Carlos, on the other hand, also looks at helping frontliners in matters of psychological coping.

The team created a go-to Facebook page where frontliners when the rough and tumble of work take their toll on them. The team is composed of licensed professionals and graduate students specializing in the fields of clinical psychology, political science and nursing. Frontliners can send a message to any member of this team of 12 volunteers.

These shining efforts contrast to the rambunctious stunts of individuals who just couldn’t find it in themselves to help when the weather isn’t good.

SunStar Cebu welcomes tales of heroism—in whatever scale—in this time of crisis.


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