At the forefront of this battle against the COVID-19 pandemic are two doctors, siblings and both CKSians, serving in two different hospitals.
The elder brother, Dr. Marvin Ellis Uy Wee (黄智毅), is from CKS high school batch 2004. He is a physician and instructor with specialty in Radiology at the Metropolitan Medical Center. As one of the hospital's chief radiologists, he checks and signs the reports for X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and ultrasounds, and performs critical imaging guided procedures for diagnosis and treatment, assisting attending physicians in arriving at the best diagnosis possible.
Doc Marvin had his 1 year internship, 4 years residency, and 2 years as consultant, all at the Metropolitan Medical Center since 2013. With a lot of advancement in medical technology particularly in Radiology, Marvin has the luxury of interpreting most of the images at home. Nevertheless, he still reports to the hospital for important emergency procedures and to check his staff and their work in the Radiology Department.
Just being human, Doc Marvin admits to having some psychological burden every time he reports to the hospital. He can't help thinking if unknowingly, he has contracted the virus or not. He fears that if he has been infected, he may unknowingly transmit it to his family, friends, colleagues, and especially his 9-month old daughter. But despite all these worries, he still performs his duties because it is what is expected of him in his profession and as a responsible citizen of the country.
Doc Marvin attributes his strong sense of compassion and camaraderie from his many years of basic education at CKS College.
He quoted: "Even without me needing to reach out to ask for help, I receive calls and messages from fellow alumni, asking how they could help during these hard times. These values makes me proud to be an alumnus."
Marvin's younger sister, Mikee Elaine Uy Wee (黃淳郁) of CKS High School Batch 2008, is a second year Internal Medicine resident at the Manila Doctors Hospital. As part of the residency program, Mikee helps man the Emergency Room, including admitting, treating, and stabilizing patients who come into the hospital.
Doc Mikee's dilemma in her current job is the difficulty to triage whether a patient is considered a Person under investigation (PUI) or not, since all sorts of patients come thru the ER door. As such, it is imperative for her and the other ER doctors to practice extra caution not only for themselves, but also for other patients inside the Emergency Room. As the number of cases steeply rise, a lot of medical staff at the Manila Doctors Hospital were exposed and were advised to undergo quarantine. And as the medical work force became less and less, manpower became more in demand.
Like her brother, Doc Mikee also knows her limitations, especially since there were already casualties from the ranks of doctors in their hospital. She said: "Other than the PPE we all know of, top priority for me is to organize and compose myself. Getting infected with the novel virus is indeed frightful, but never should I let fear hit me first. Never let fear rattle you, because once it does, you'll miss a lot of important details and you'll have to suit up again and go back to the patient. Not only will it waste valuable protective equipment, but it will also increase everybody's exposure. The main goal is to minimize exposure. So, I try to list down in my mind everything I need to do for the patient, gather all the equipment I need to examine the patient, calmly take the history of the patient and do physical examination. My mindset - do it once and do it right. Lastly, nothing beats handwashing and hygiene. I make sure to clean myself before and after patient contact, to and from hospital shifts."
Doc Mikee fondly remembers a story from her Chinese teacher about "Kong Rong Gave Away Biggest Pear (孔融讓梨)". It was about a young scholar, who was the second youngest among seven siblings. Being the favorite, he was given the biggest pear his father brought home. But instead of accepting the biggest pear, he took the smallest pear instead. He gave away the biggest pear for his older siblings, and took the smallest so his younger sibling can have a bigger pear.
How does Doc Mikee apply this to the current situation? "Amidst the panic and anxiety, there should be no room for selfishness. Instead, we should be hand in hand (figuratively only by remembering social distancing) to fight this COVID-19 together, even in our own little way. There should be no "I", but "We" instead.", she added.
Going back to the elder brother, Doc Marvin ended our short conversation with an advise for everyone, and he said: "Please stay home as much as possible. Just by staying home, you’re already doing your part to confront this pandemic and minimize community spread. Stay home so you could protect yourself, your loved ones, your neighbors, and our community. Stay home so you could protect our frontline workers and give them a fighting chance."
Thank you, Docs Marvin and Mikee. CKS College is proud of you, WEE siblings!