Doctors shield families with ‘quarantent,’ safe spaces
July 01 2020 12:18 AM
Mica Bastillo
Mica Bastillo, 38, a paediatrician assigned to treat Covid-19 patients, is photographed at the makeshift tent in the yard where she stays to protect her family from potential exposure to the coronavirus disease, in Marikina City, Metro Manila. Right: Doctor Jan Claire Dorado, tends to a patient at the Covid-19 Emergency Room of East Avenue Medical Center, in Quezon City.

Reuters /Manila

After taking a job in a hospital’s Covid-19 emergency room, Philippine doctor Jan Claire Dorado planned to move out of the family home to protect relatives from the risk of infection.
But Dorado’s parents insisted the 30-year-old keep living at home, so her father constructed a makeshift isolation area in a storage room there.
Now, when she returns from work at one of the country’s main hospitals treating coronavirus patients, her dinner is placed outside the room’s door on a stool. “The hardest part is being away from them. I miss them a lot,” said Dorado, who greets family members from behind a plastic window on a wall covered in foil.
Her parents are considered high-risk for Covid-19 because of pre-existing conditions, and Dorado said she once painfully refused her mother’s request for a hug.
Hundreds of Philippine medical workers have been infected by the coronavirus and more than 30 have died.
Safekeeping loved ones is also a high priority for paediatrician Mica Bastillo, even as she confronts Covid-19 head on. The 38-year-old took on a new role at a children’s hospital in another part of Manila after it became a Covid-19 referral facility in April.
“My family thought about asking me to resign, but anywhere I go I would still have to face Covid,” she said.
With her father and sister battling medical conditions, the family built a makeshift tent next to their home for Bastillo, which they dubbed a “quarantent”. Made out of plastic sheets to keep out the rain, it allows Bastillo to be with her family at a safe distance.
“My mother put the curtains and the table cloth to make it look like home...And my brother added the plastic sheet. It was a real family effort,” said Bastillo, who still joins her family for nightly prayers seated beside the front door wearing a mask.

Last updated: July 01 2020 12:27 AM

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