Humanity vs COVID-19, Trump, Maduro, Duterte, Bolsonaro…
“Every COVID-19 statistical number has a face,” is the urging of humanitarians to politicians and populations alike.
The other urging, says Michele Francis, a nurse practitioner in Venezuela who has been providing care to desperate Venezuelans, “is that people must lock down and continue washing their hands and cleaning all surfaces, and should try to ignore for now, the incomprehensible stupidity and criminal negligence of leaders like Nicholas Maduro, Donald Trump, Rodrigo Duterte and super-spreader Jair Bolsonaro.”
“Read a book, play with the kids, watch a movie but keep your brain safe from COVID Politics and the male egos of terrified, powerful, elderly misogynists, all of which can make a person feel sick,” she added.
Humanity of COVID-19 by Melissa Hemingway
Note: FPMag writers have been relocating to work in their professional sphere. Most are medical workers and are doing a yeoman’s work in helping patients and building systems with which to help more as the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic explodes.
As the COVID-19 pandemic nudges 200,000 reported infections around the world and 8,000 deaths, nearly a billion ordinary people are being “locked-down”.
Different countries call it different things.
Nobody quite understands what Donald Trump is calling the American “lock-down” because it isn’t a lock down.
First 100, then 50 and now 10 is the number of people that Americans should only party with. “It’s madness,” say seven medical practitioners FPMag interviewed, all of whom chose “none” as the correct alternative to Trump’s coronavirus-sharing ten-person-gaggles.
The other thing those seven agree on is what one doctor shared. He thinks it “likely every family in the world is at risk of losing a member if the current path of this pathogenic attack on the human race continues the way it is going. As much as sixty percent of the global population could become infected if this thing is not mitigated and slowed until a vaccine is proven,” says Doctor Anderson of The RINJ Foundation.
“Groups of ten says the man in the White House standing at the podium as his sycophants stand nearby adulating in unison like a vibrating glob of human jelly encouraging predicted millions of Americans to get very sick,” says NP Francis.
“None, is the correct answer,” she added. “Stay home. Lock-down. Engage with no other person except uninfected members of your own family,” she added. “And everybody wash their hands right now,” says the nurse who wears Army boots and talks at times like a drill sergeant.
In our interviews, every practitioner agreed with NP Francis’s assessment:
- Stay at home with your family. Don’t leave. Stay healthy. Do not engage, in-person, with any other person.
- Wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds. Clean all surfaces around you.
- Develop impeccable hygiene throughout your home.
- Eat carefully; sleep plenty; drink plenty of water and exercise regularly—jogging on the spot is fine.
- Take a break from the political cacophony of men mansplaining why they failed to do enough to protect us. In other words, avoid stress. Read a book. Play with the kids. Watch a comedy or twenty.
Speaking of comedy…
is leadership incompetence endemic among authoritarians?
In the Philippines, the government of authoritarian leader Duterte, insists that Filipinos do not call the current “State of Calamity”, Martial Law, on social media platforms. This despite the fact that the country is still partially under martial law and that soldiers in Manila are everywhere, some carrying “Babyly” infrared thermometers and assault rifles, demanding to take people’s temperature while explaining their right to attendance in the city.
“This would be the same Duterte, whose country has had only a few WHO-donated SARS-CoV-2 test kits, not bothering to make or buy more,” said Karinna Angeles, a nurse in the Philippines Luzon Island region.
“That’s the same Duterte whose government officials just laundered nearly a $billion in US currency for the Chinese; and while cancelling the Visiting Force Agreement with the United States, invited nearly 7 thousand Americans and 4 thousand filipinos to mix it up in the mud with 44 Australians while 66 million ordinary filipinos are forced to stay in their huts until April or May when 11,000 soldiers will mix up their DNA and coronaviruses to bring home to make their family and community deathly sick.”
Speaking Filipino, she angrily said that long sentence in a second or two without a breath, during our interview.
The nurse makes a good point. Why are 11,000 soldiers from three countries mixing up their sweat in the midst of a morbid SARS-CoV-2 pathogen’s field day (pandemic)?
Confirming Angeles’ allegations, Philippines’ Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo, an official spokesperson for the Philippines military, released an official statement saying exercises, called “Balikatan”, are set for May and would include 6,529 American Army troops, 4,302 Filipino soldiers and 44 Australian grunts.
“And yet there is no money to buy COVID-19 test kits for 60 million Filipinos who are already worried sick, po,” railed Karinna Angeles, a nurse in the northern Philippines Luzon region.
“Many civilians don’t know if they are infected with COVID-19 by the thousands of Chinese gamblers the President and his cronies has brought into the country these past three months along with a Battalion of The People’s Liberation Army [armed forces of the People’s Republic of China] ” she continued.
“That is typical. While women and children are locked up in their homes the men are going to drink booze, rape women and play Army games while bringing COVID-19 infection to their families and blowing [expletive deleted] money we as a country do not have.”
Connections around the world reveal other astonishing personal accounts.
One such medical worker is FPMag‘s Behar Abbasi.
“One thing that I am finding that really stands out among most people who live in countries that have been locked down is that many folks need to talk to someone.
In some very populous but poor countries the only method they have, the only connection to the world, is the data section of their mobile phone,” notes Behar Abbasi who is in Iran now with three coworkers learning the Iranian systems and helping their medical colleagues battle against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its savagery.
“When I am busy and I see a patient wants to just talk I give them the RINJ Foundation Helpline and I am getting good feedback. I must stay focused on my work, get to the next patient, and leverage the resources that are available for patients. This adds to their healing, especially those people COVID-19-locked-in most days with nobody to talk to,” the stoic humanitarian added.
Good Plan for dealing with routine? “Somebody must still do routine health care, like delivering and caring for babies.”
“The percentage of pregnancy deliveries in a health facility has plummeted around the world,” notes the renowned practitioner, Abbasi.
“Frankly, I don’t want to see too many birthings done in COVID-19 facilities where there is an influx of COVID-19 patients unless the mother is already infected. I want the mother in very good health to care for her healthy baby at home.”
“Regardless of my opinion,” she adds, “mothers will make their own choices. I want to make sure they have a skilled birth attendant, either a nurse or a professional midwife in the context of the Middle East cultures, providing antenatal and postnatal care as well as birth care for mother and child no matter if home-birthing or hospitalization is their decision.”
“Seventy percent of global health care workers are women,” notes Behar, “and Iran is no exception. Men hog the limelight but it’s the women who brought them into this world in every many ways in Iran. Women health care professionals do most of the work, where female patients are concerned because of religious or cultural restrictions on men that are still applied in parts of the country, said Abbasi.
“I am here in Iran from my Yemen clinic with Yemen-trained nurses who want to be here; many having family here; and they want to be a part of this fight against this cursed coronavirus that is hurting all our sisters and good brothers around the world.”
Abbasi is taking in indigenous information related to Iran’s healthcare system medical directives, policies and procedures and will add those to the training syllabus at the Middle East clinics she supervises and will have nurses and midwives (healthcare birth attendants) trained accordingly. The goal is to recruit and train medical staff to handle some of the more routine healthcare chores while the surge in COVID-19 patients dominates the practices of dwindling health care professionals, many of whom have fallen victim to COVID-19.
“It’s heart wrenching to know a team saving a coronavirus patient drew resources away from mitigating five infant and maternal childbirth mortalities because there was no antenatal and postnatal caregiver available, says Behar.”
“I plan to do everything I can to fix that,” she said.
“On top of that, many of the critical care team members are perishing or are being sidelined by the pandemic. I would tear my hair out in this frustration and heartbreak if I had any left.”
“That’s how our Civil Society NGO can help in any country,” she adds. “And that’s how I am doing my solidarity with the fight against this COVID-19 disease,” she concluded.
The Women’s Global Helpline
“We had a big meeting and conference in Iraq and a lot of workers were at our building,” says Gracie Edwards, a nurse practitioner from Canada who was born in Syria and returned in 2012 with The RINJ Foundation to help out with the care of women and children during the civil war that continues to rage in that country.
“We all got talking in the ‘caf’ [cafeteria] one day about our time spent on the helpline and the types of requests we were getting. It was supposed to be a Rape HelpLine but we quickly learned in about 2010 that most survivors will not easily talk about that event but basically just wanted to talk. That’s why we trained many nurses in basic social work and both trauma and cognitive therapy counselling. It’s one of our NWOB certifications.
RINJ systems engineer Fred Harris explains that “the system uses one of the organizations’ servers connected via ™WhatsApp Web to a smartphone. The server can be connected by a remote terminal computer [any laptop with the VPN software] on what is called an encrypted virtual private network (VPN) by nurses around the world at the time they are scheduled to have a duty hour or two.”
“My Spanish still sucks but I get by,” says Michele Francis who is now locked down behind a closed border in the Amazon Basin of Venezuela. “We are trying to cover as many languages as possible,” she explains, ” but most people want to practice their English or French.”
“Real people with real world experience are providing care and they welcome anyone who would like to chat or search for an answer or opinion on something personal,” says Michele.
“They’ll be talking to people who really care—volunteer professionals who do what they do because they love humanity; what can I say… they just love.”
“Our Chinese sisters and brothers are more in our hearts than ever,” says Rosa Yamamoto. Now that is “solidarity”.
Current COVID-19 Case Updates Indicate a Deadly Global Crisis
The following sources are available to readers. Additionaly FPMag and The Nurses Without Borders make direct contact and interview colleagues and sources close to the information around the world to track events and statistics. Information about China comes from the official website of the National Health and Health Commission and from direct contact with health and other officials, patients, doctors and nurses.
- United Kingdon COVID-19
- Coronavirus in Scotland
- The People’s Republic of China
- Canadian Department of Health
- US Centers for Disease Control
- United States Food and Drug Administration
- Hong Kong Global Tracking (PDF)
- Philippines COVID-19 Tracker
- Iran News Agency
- Govt. of Ireland
- Australia DoH
- Australia Public Information (PDF)
- Ministry of Health, Singapore
- Ministry of Health and Welfare, South Korea
- Province of Ontario, Canada CoronaVirus Info
- Province of Ontario, News Room
- Government of New Zealand
- MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis
- US Washington State Health Department
- New York State