Leomila Alcalde, ER Nurse
Leomila Alcalde is a healthcare frontline nurse at the emergency department of Tondo Medical Centre. She has always dream of becoming a nurse. She wanted to take care of the sick, she believed it was her calling to serve the needy, especially her fellow Filipinos.
Her life drastically changed when the pandemic began. Being a nurse was never easy, but, at least before COVID-19, she had a lot of time with her family. Now, she rarely goes home. They need to isolate ourselves from our families.
And yet, she still finds this job very rewarding and gratifying. She hopes people know how much they sacrifice for this job.
At times, she worries a lot; she reports 40 hours a week. Being a positive thinker has helped her cope. Even when she became COVID positive, she thinks it was her positive thoughts and the support from her family and friends that made her recover quickly. She finds strength from many sources – from her family, her workmates and friends, and most especially from God.
There are moments when the appreciation comes from strangers too. Aside from government support, private sectors and individuals stepped in. They experienced special frontline lanes in some establishments, some provided them with shelter and shuttles, others provided them "ayuda" (a term for aid in the Philippines). The support can get overwhelming.
However, there are still cases of discrimination against frontlines.
“We are facing a pandemic, and we are rendering the utmost of our services even though we are at risk. Please be fair, that’s what I want to tell those that discriminate. Hope and pray that we get to cure COVID-19 and that we get to work on better preventive measures. We, too, want things to go back to normal soon. But until we’re there, please keep supporting us.” – Leomila Alcalde