Philippine Doctors Shield Families with 'Quarantent'

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  • Jan Claire Dorado, 30, a doctor assigned to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Emergency Room of East Avenue Medical Center, shares a moment with her mother who is behind the small plastic window on her makeshift isolation room, where she stays to protect her family from potential exposure to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, June 9, 2020. Dorado has been working at the COVID-19 Emergency Room of East Avenue Medical Center, one of the major hospitals in the Philippines. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

    Jan Claire Dorado, 30, a doctor assigned to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Emergency Room of East Avenue Medical Center, shares a moment with her mother who is behind the small plastic window on her makeshift isolation room, where she stays to protect her family from potential exposure to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, June 9, 2020. Dorado has been working at the COVID-19 Emergency Room of East Avenue Medical Center, one of the major hospitals in the Philippines. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

    TEMPO.COManila - 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 preexisting 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 pediatrician Mica Bastillo, even as she confronts COVID-19 head-on.

    Mica Bastillo, 38, a pediatrician assigned to treat COVID-19 patients, is photographed at the makeshift tent in their yard where she stays to protect her family from potential exposure to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Marikina City, Metro Manila, Philippines, May 29, 2020. Picture taken May 29 2020. Her family and pets can say hello behind the small plastic window on the foiled makeshift wall of her isolation room. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

    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.

    Read: Philippines Extends Lockdown in Capital Beyond 11 Weeks

    REUTERS