Updated: Feb 2
Global pandemic, lockdown, disinfection, social distancing, and new normal; these are only some of the words that can encapsulate the year 2020. The crisis brought upon by COVID-19 inflicted major adjustments all over the world. On one hand, panic and fear were comforted with health and safety protocols enforced by national governments to ensure that the coronavirus does not spread and multiply active cases. On the other hand, fictional superheroes were replaced by real people called frontliners who risk their lives on a daily basis to help victims in need.
This whole COVID situation may seem endless and hopeless for many but how is it seen from the eyes of a frontliner?
On the front line
Khristofer Andreus, also known as Bingo, is a Filipino from project 5 who used to be a skilled musician during his pre-COVID life. He joined the International Sanitization and Protection Suppliers (ISPS) because he genuinely loves to help the people around him.
His initial description of being a frontliner is “scary and at the same time exciting” because his great passion for helping others is at the expense of being exposed to the unseen enemy that keeps him from being with his family.
“Nakakatakot but yes, we are here to serve, to clean and protect.”
(It’s scary but yes, we are here to serve, to clean and protect.)
Bingo emphasizes the need to be strong and healthy to help each other fight against COVID-19 despite the fear that envelopes him.
“Ang sakit sa puso at nakakalungkot but again, we have to do it. We need to fight it. We all need to survive.”
(It hurts and it saddens me but again, we have to do it. We need to fight it. We all need to survive.)
The responsibilities of frontliners are already heavy to begin with and yet they still carry the burden of being discriminated against from having constant exposure to the deadly virus.
“As a frontliner, it’s so hard being us because they discriminate [against] us which is hindi dapat because we are here to help.”
(As a frontliner, it’s so hard being us because they discriminate [against] us which shouldn’t be the case because we are here to help.)
“Isa sa nakakalungkot 'pag frontliner ka, iniiwasan ka or iiwas ka kasi alam mong exposed ka,” he added.
(One of the saddest things of being a frontliner is people avoid you or you avoid them because you know you’re exposed.)
But despite the hardships that come with his job, there’s always a brighter side to be thankful and hopeful for.
Heal as one
Bingo was happy to share his fulfillment of being a frontliner as he took on the role of a Team Leader for ISPS’ Misting and Bio-fogging Services.
“Nakakagaan ng loob kapag nakakatulong ka sa mga tao and at the same time, sa team mo. They learned a lot of things from me and our leaders. Nakakataba ng puso kapag nakikita mo yung mga tao na nawawala yung pangamba nila sa virus kasi nandoon kami at lilinisin namin at gagawing safe ang lugar nila or any mass testing sites.
(It’s relieving when you get to help people and at the same time, your team. They learned a lot of things from me and our leaders. It’s fulfilling when you see people’s fears of the virus disappearing because we’re there and we clean and make the area or any mass testing site safe.)
He always had to make sure his team is safe and everyone is in their right mentality. He had to ensure that the site they are going to is safe and that all protocols are strictly followed in order to provide the best service not only for the team’s image, but for others as well. They have nothing to worry about because the ISPS team is here to secure them from the virus.
Giving service to the public makes Bingo the happiest as he gets to fulfill his responsibilities as a frontliner to the people. It brings him joy to give hope to positive patients to help lessen their looming sadness and fear.
To win against this pandemic and have a better place for our family, friends, and future generations is the aspiration of all including Bingo’s. For us to achieve that, he believes staying focused, healthy, positive in life, and safe are some of the things that we can do.
“Think 10 steps ahead. Wala tayong problema na hindi natin malalagpasan. Hindi natin kailangan takbuhan ang hinaharap pero kailangan natin lumaban. Kung kinakaya ko, kakayanin din ng lahat. I believe in humanity. As long as we work together. Everything will be fine.”
(Think 10 steps ahead. There is no problem that we cannot overcome. We don’t need to run away from the present but we have to fight. I believe in humanity. As long as we work together. Everything will be fine.)
“Pray, believe, and also have faith in yourself. How I wish we never ever experience pandemic, crisis, and war again. Spread love as we heal as one. One love!”
ISPS is the Philippines’ leading authority when it comes to environmental disinfection. We were commissioned by the national government to provide daily sanitization for the country’s largest quarantine and testing sites namely: the Philippine Arena, Palacio De Manila, Lakeshore drive thru testing facility, MOA Arena, Amoranto Sports Complex, and Pateros Mega Swabbing Center.
Last May, ISPS, in partnership with the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Bases Conversion Development Authority, and the Department of Health (DOH), achieved a major milestone by constructing the Philippines’ largest swabbing center at the Philippine Arena Complex in Bulacan. The project consisted of providing six customized semi-permanent structures that can house up to 100 test booths in a 10-day window.
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