Wilbur Demafiles, MD
The early days of the COVID 19 pandemic in the Philippines saw the demise of health workers, mostly in their 60s – Dr. Greg Macasaet, Dr. Raul Jara, Dr. Francisco Lukban, Dr. Sally Gatchalian. The exception was Dr. Israel Bactol who was in his thirties. The death of the elderly is a characteristic of this coronavirus that attacks the respiratory system and usually takes weeks to kill the patient. Naturally, senior citizens with hypertension, obesity, diabetes, long smoking history and cardiac/pulmonary problems would be the first to fall.
As we are now in the seventh week of QUARANTINE or LOCKDOWN, we are seeing the deaths of younger FRONTLINERS and the the only logical reason is the drastic deterioration of their health status and immune response due to continuous or prolonged duty hours (overwork/exhaustion), lack of sleep and the obvious stress associated with knowing that the patients they are treating may pass on the disease to them.