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  • Saludo Kami Sa Inyo, Nanay! 4 Moms In The Front Lines Who Answered The Call To Serve

    These moms are braving the fight against COVID-19.
    by Kitty Elicay .
Saludo Kami Sa Inyo, Nanay! 4 Moms In The Front Lines Who Answered The Call To Serve
PHOTO BY courtesy of Vanessa de Guzman Rivera, Dr. Maria Cristina Ignacio-Alberto, and Ren Palma
  • Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this Mother’s Day may feel a little different compared to previous years. With the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in place, many will be celebrating at home — a good thing since it means taking advantage of quality time together.

    Frontliner moms who are fighting COVID-19

    It might seem difficult to celebrate this day because of all the challenging things that has happened, but that doesn’t mean it should be any less special — there is no one like mothers in our lives and they deserve to be appreciated. This year, especially, we should salute moms in the frontlines — not only are they risking their lives for our safety, but they are also sacrificing time away from their family because they have been called to serve.

    #ISeeYouMoms in the frontlines! Here are 4 moms who are braving the fight against COVID-19:

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    Physician mom who continues to operate her community clinic

    Doc Tina with her family.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Tina Ignacio-Alberto
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    Dr. Maria Cristina Ignacio-Alberto, or “Doc Tina,” as she is fondly called by her patients continues to run her community clinic in Bacoor, Cavite, even if other medical facilities in their area have already shut down during ECQ. In an interview with SmartParenting.com.ph, the good doctor shares that she chooses to do so because “the coronavirus kills even the non-COVID patients” — with hospitals overwhelmed, patients with medical cases and emergencies unrelated to COVID-19 find it hard to get treatment.

    She also came up with a unique way for babies to get their vaccinations on time, without their parents having to fear infections. At home, she caters to medical consultations online. “This is our reality now,” she shares. “We have to make hard choices and pray they work. We will survive this.”

    Read her story here.

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    Police officer manning boundary checkpoints in the metro

     

    Ren with her son, Raine
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Ren Palma

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    Police Staff Sergeant Renelie “Ren” Palma made the difficult decision to leave her son, Raine, with her parents when the ECQ was announced on March 12, 2020. When Smart Parenting interviewed her in March, the single mom shares that she and her son have mostly been communicating through calls.

    As part of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), part of Ren’s responsibilities is to man boundary checkpoints around NCR. Like other frontliners, our police force also lacks personal protective equipment (PPE), so they have had to improvise face masks and shields. Food is also scarce, but luckily, there are fellow Pinoys who are always willing to lend a helping hand.

    Despite the risks that come with the job, Ren is bound by her duty to serve. Her only wish is for us to stay home. “May mga pamilya at pamumuhay na naaapektuhan nito pero sumusunod po kami para sa kanila at para sa inyo. Please stay home. Para hindi na lumala ang sitwasyon,” she shares.

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    Read her story here.

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    Operating nurse who chooses to keep her babies safe

    Vanessa with her husband, Vin, and daughters, Venice and Vianne.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Vanessa de Guzman Rivera

    As an operating room nurse, mom Vanessa de Guzman Rivera was already aware of the COVID-19 threat even before the ECQ was declared. Thus, she chose to relocate her children to live with her in-laws for the meantime. When we talked to her back in March 2020, she had not seen her two daughters for two weeks.

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    Vanessa says it was a not an easy decision, but one she needed to take because even if she doesn’t attend to COVID-19 patients, she is still prone to exposure. “Hindi maiiwasan na ‘yung mga taong exposed sa ward na pumapasok sa OR to assist in the operation like our surgeons, anesthesiologists, and mga doctors doing rounds. That’s the time na lahat din kami exposed na talaga,” she tells Smart Parenting.

     She already knows that her job as a health worker is risky, but what hurts more is being discriminated just because she is in the frontlines. “Sa LRT nung sumakay po ako pauwi, makikita mo talaga ‘yung tao lalayo sa’yo even if I’m wearing a mask,” she shares. “Others, magtatanong pa — ‘di ba sa inyo [hospital] ‘yung may namatay?’”

    The community quarantine is a tough period for everyone, but Vanessa hopes parents can still be thankful despite the challenges. “Sa mga fellow moms ko na nagka-chance mag-stay at home or quarantine, ang swerte-swerte ninyo kasi 24/7 nasa family ninyo kayo. Play more with your kids, bond with your partners, keep your family healthy. And stay home. Napakalaking tulong na ito sa mga frontliners,” she says.

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    Read her story here.

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    An OFW nurse who overcame COVID-19

    Mary Ann with husband Patten, and son Andres.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Mary Ann Munoz-Vergara

    When mom Mary Ann Munoz-Vergara found out she was positive for COVID-19, she was overcome with guilt. As a nurse in London, United Kingdom, she was aware that she could contract the virus any time since they were also experiencing a shortage in PPE.

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    Because she only experienced mild symptoms, Mary Ann was asked to self-isolate at home. The only problem: her nine-month old baby, Andres, was exclusively breastfeeding and she could not bear the thought of not being able to provide him with liquid gold.

    Upon the advice of her doctor and after researching the possible effects of breastfeeding with COVID-19 (Philippines’ Department of Health recommends it. Read their guidelines here.), Mary Ann chose to have her son latch onto her, even as she battled with her symptoms. “I was advised to continue, ensuring that I observe proper hand hygiene. Kasi the benefits outweigh the risks,” she tells Smart Parenting, adding that she and her husband, Patten, took precautionary measures like wearing masks at all times and wearing gloves especially when preparing food.

    Thankfully, in the three weeks that Mary Ann tested positive for the virus, her son remained healthy and did not exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms. “We attended to his needs, played with him, laughed with him, prayed with him. We praise God for sustaining us,” she shares.

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    Read her story here.

    Frontliners are really modern day heroes. Click here for more inspiring stories.

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