News World Special: Responding to the Surge
In part one of the INC News World Special, we’ll look back at the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak, as governments began to shut down businesses, borders, and issue shelter in place orders for their residents. Hear frontline workers share their COVID-19 stories and the choices they had to make during this pandemic.
Visit the INC News World page to watch the full stories featured in this episode.
RICHIE FERRERA: Hello and welcome to this special episode of INC News World. I’m Richie Ferrera coming to you from the Los Angeles area. With us, also working from home in Anaheim, is Naomi De La Cruz.
NAOMI DE LA CRUZ: Yes, working from home like so many of us today. We hope everyone is safe and healthy at home, or wherever you may be joining us from. And we’d like to say Happy 106th Anniversary to all our fellow members of the Church Of Christ.
RICHIE FERRERA: July 27, 2020 marks 106 years since the re-emergence of the Church Of Christ in the Philippines, through Brother Felix Y. Manalo, the one whom members of the Church believe is God’s Messenger in these Last Days.
NAOMI DE LA CRUZ: In over a century since, the Church and her members have endured much, and 2020 was exceptional in both crisis, and response.
RICHIE FERRERA: It’s July 2020, and this is the world today:[VIDEO STARTS]
CBS NEWS: Tonight China is racing to contain a new outbreak of COVID-19.
CBS NEWS: Tonight parts of Beijing under lockdown again.
WASHINGTON POST (ANTHONY FAUCI, M.D., NAID DIRECTOR): We are now having 40,000+ new cases a day, I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day.
ABC NEWS (LILIAN ABBO, M.D.): We really need your help. Miami is now the epicenter of the pandemic. What we were seeing in Wuhan six months ago, five months ago, now we are there. So, we really need your help.
DW NEWS (ADRIAN KRIESH): Capetown, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in South Africa is preparing for the worst.
AL JAZEERA: This is what a total lockdown looks like in one of Manila’s busy areas. More than 7,000 people in this community have been ordered to stay at home for 48 hours.[VIDEO ENDS]
RICHIE FERRERA: It is definitely a scary time, no matter where in the world you are.
NAOMI DE LA CRUZ: Here at INC News World we have spent the last four months covering the coronavirus and its impacts around the world.
RICHIE FERRERA: We’ve spoken to countless families and we heard the fear, and the uncertainty.
NAOMI DE LA CRUZ We’ve cried with you, we’ve laughed with you. We’ve heard your hopes for a better future.
RICHIE FERRERA: And we’ve shared with you all a faith that we believe will carry us through it.
NAOMI DE LA CRUZ: But before we get to how bright that faith is, and how bright that future can be, let’s take a look back, at how we, all of us, got here today.[VIDEO STARTS]
NBC NEWS: The coronavirus outbreak rose rapidly in China. Authorities there are now reporting more than 100 deaths and more than 4,500 cases.
MARGARET IP (INTERNATIONAL TRADE OFFICER – HONG KONG, CHINA): First time I heard about the outbreak of COVID-19 in January, we saw footage of the place where it was broken out. And at first it was still, we thought it would be within that community only. It wouldn’t be spread around the world and become a global thing, a global pandemic.
ABC NEWS: As doctors outside Seattle today revealed new details about the first American patient who is being kept in isolation.
KAREN FAITH SIMPLEO (NURSE – MACAU, CHINA): When we found out about this kind of disease, as a health professional there’s apprehension and fear in ourselves because we do not know if those people and patients who are coming here in the hospital are exposed from the coronavirus or COVID-19.
RICHIE FERRERA: Eventually 213 countries and territories, and counting, would have cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
CHARLOTTE NIRONA (RESPIRATORY THERAPIST – FREMONT, CALIFORNIA): First, it hit us February, end of February, our workload has just tripled. Like, in days, like within 24 hours, it’s just changed.
KAREN MANGUBAT (NURSE EDUCATOR – QUEENS, NEW YORK CITY): In the beginning of March we had meetings at work and conferences to prepare for the pandemic that was starting in Asia but nobody knew how bad it was going to get in our area.
CONSTANCE-JOI CALONGE (NURSE – ATLANTA, GEORGIA): It was in the middle of my shift, and we had an emergency huddle. So keep a heads up for all of the things that we’re going to have to do, all of the procedures and protocols that we’re going to have to follow from here on out.
OLIVER PINGOL (INCTV PERSONNEL – BULACAN, PHILIPPINES): When we first heard that the COVID-19 disease reached here in the Philippines, we were very worried and anxious of what we are going to do, because the news said that this new disease has a very fast rate of infection. Therefore, if one is infected, many can be infected in just a matter of days.
GLOBAL NEWS: Alberta has confirmed more than 1,100 infections.
RICHIE FERRERA: Hospitals around the world began feeling the surge.
JEMMUEL JASMIN (NURSE – NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK): Initially, we had our preparation. We’d been ready. But as soon as we started receiving COVID-19 patients, we were actually overwhelmed by the number of patients coming to our hospital.
CBS NEWS: Health officials scrambling to quickly contact trace.
RICHIE FERRERA: And governments responded attempting to contain the spread.
KAREN FAITH SIMPLEO (NURSE – MACAU, CHINA): Since March 25, Macau has not allowed any inbound or outbound travel of any nationality
MARGARET IP (INTERNATIONAL TRACE OFFICER – HONG KONG, CHINA): We have all these border control. Not only in the areas which are connected to China, but also border control against all non residents flying from overseas countries to Hong Kong. They’re not allowed to get in now.
ARTO HEISKANEN (SENIOR RESEARCHER – TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF DENMARK): And lockdown was implemented in the middle of the day. That started to feel a little bit scary.
OLIVER PINGOL (INCTV PERSONNEL – BULACAN, PHILIPPINES): The government implemented what we call community quarantine. Where the people are restricted to go into public areas without medical safety like wearing a mask.
CNN PHILIPPINES: Movement shall be limited to accessing basic necessities, provision for food, and essential health services shall be regulated.
RAM VENERACION (SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS – MONTCLAIR, CALIFORNIA): So when they shut us down, it was like, whoa, this is becoming real.
JEN VENERACION (SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS – MONTCLAIR, CALIFORNIA): It all happened so fast, right. Wednesday, NBA. Thursday, the small businesses. Friday, our school shutdown for five weeks.
BROTHER BERNARD DAOS (MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL – SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA): Here in the Bay Area, they started to shut down, or what they called “shelter in place”. But because I was in contact with my dad, everyday. You know, I would call and say, and see how it was over there in New York. And it wasn’t at that height of alarm yet.
DEON VAN STADEN (BUSINESS OWNER, CONTRACTOR – JOHANASSBERG, SOUTH AFRICA): In South Africa, Johanasberg, life here is, we were told yesterday morning we’re all under level five lockdown. Which means nobody is allowed to leave the homes unless for food purposes, and of course essential services.
CBS NEWS: It’s going to be a tough battle getting people to stay home here. Already in the first two days of lockdown, the streets were still…
RICHIE FERRERA: As international travelers rushed home before the borders closed, cruise ships docked in ports around the world unloading passengers and the pandemic across the continents to Australia.
60 MINUTES: It’s a big problem for Australia because we don’t want to be seen as a place that cruise ships around the world can come to.
RAELENE QUINTO (CLINICAL NURSE EDUCATOR – SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA): So the patient, she denied everything. She said that she was fine. That she hasn’t recently traveled. That was when we discovered that she did have a high temperature. And she also was, she always showed signs and symptoms of a dry cough. There and then she did admit to us that she recently came back from a cruise. And that cruise ship per se, had a total number of at least I think 50 Covid-positive patients.
AINELOU DAVID (RESIDENT – QUEENS, NEW YORK) And every day, every night, every afternoon, I hear ambulance sirens.
RICHIE FERRERA: So as the virus spread, so did the deaths.
ABC NEWS: March was the month where the country woke up to the reality of coronavirus. And April has become the month where it’s really sinking in.
ANNABELLE YALONG (NURSE – NEW JERSEY): Because it’s really hard, and it’s scary , too. You are just wearing your PPE and it is already stressful. Of course it’s more stressful because you want to help them. You want to save them. It’s not easy. Not easy at all.
DICELYN GANTE (REGISTERED NURSE- WALSALL, UNITED KINGDOM): With the COVID-19 it is a 50/50 case. You will see the patient that she is well at this moment but in a matter of seconds, in a matter of minutes, in a matter of hours, they can just go very serious. Very Ill. That they could go to ITU. They could just die.
CINDY BATOON (NURSE – TORONTO, CANADA): Most of our COVID-19 patients do end up getting vented or intubated. They do get hooked up to a breathing machine. Most of them have to be fully sedated. Some of them even have to be paralyzed just so we can effectively ventilate them.
ARTO HEISKANEN (SENIOR RESEARCHER – TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF DENMARK): That has happened. There is news all the time that someone is healthy one day, and two days later, they die in a hospital.
EVSON REY CAPUNO (NURSE – LOMBARDY, ITALY): There are times when they will never see their loved ones again, once they enter the hospital. In Italy, especially in Bergamo and here in Lombardy, they are having death after death.
JEMMUEL JASMIN (NURSE – NEW YORK COMMUNITY HOSPITAL): When we started getting patients, I believe about a week since we started receiving COVID-19 patients, some of my co-workers tested positive. They started showing symptoms and after several days, I think about four to five days, I started showing symptoms as well. Unfortunately the result was positive, I got infected by COVID-19 virus.
KARA CABUSAO (NURSE – SAINT JOHN, OTTAWA): My co-workers are really scared because they know that we’re at risk in my workplace right now. All of them are troubled, scared, panic, anxiety.
EVSON RAY CAPUNO (NURSE – LOMBARDY, ITALY): You can’t avoid worrying about the health of those who are with you at home. But on the other hand, I can’t neglect the job. It’s your calling, it’s your profession. If you, who are trained for it, won’t do it, who will do it? We’re much more organized, we’re entertaining the patients.
RICHIE FERRERA: And we learned of the horrifying decisions healthcare professionals were having to make.
DOCTOR DAVID ORIA (DOCTOR – MANHATTAN, NEW YORK): Running out of ventilators and people were getting intubated every hour. So what do we do?
ALBERT GUERZON (FATHER SENT TO ER DUE TO COVID-19 – ROCKLAND, NEW YORK): When we got word that my Father wasn’t, may not make it, and they actually told us, told my sister that they’d rather give a ventilator to someone who would have more quality years of life.
CHARLOTTE NIRONA (RESPIRATORY THERAPIST – FREMONT, CALIFORNIA): We’re respiratory, we’re the first person that they see when they’re distressed. We’re also the last person they see when that vent comes out. So, it’s real.
RICHIE FERRERA: To keep themselves safe, families of healthcare workers split up, riding out surges apart until given an all clear.
KIM FIGER (NURSE – BLUE DIAMOND, NEVADA): We asked my mom’s help and my sisters help if they can watch Troy for two weeks, while we sanitize the house. While we watch out for our own symptoms for two weeks.
AGUSTIN FIGER (NURSE – BLUE DIAMOND, NEVADA): We never thought that at any time that we would have to sacrifice giving up our son for two weeks.
RICHIE FERRERA: The personal sacrifices of the medical front liners simply cannot be quantified. They have acted with courage and bravery, risking their lives for others while sacrificing so much. As the virus took its toll, the world took a breath, we stayed home, when we could, and we waited.[VIDEO END]
RICHIE FERRERA: While frontliners and essential workers kept the world turning, the rest of us were sent home to wait.
NAOMI DE LA CRUZ: As the virus spread to 213 countries, over 150 of those countries are home to members of the Church Of Christ.
RICHIE FERRERA: And since we live in this world, we are not immune to its hardships.
NAOMI DE LA CRUZ: When we come back, see how the faithful said goodbye during the pandemic.[VIDEO START]
Until I finally got a call Wednesday morning, and the call was because my dad was being rushed to the hospital. Looking back now, I really wish we kept talking about it more, because that Sunday was the last conversation that I had with my dad.
RICHIE FERRERA: And see communities around the world pivot to a new normal.
So the faster you accept it, which I’ve learned to do, this is it, this is the new norm, and you just adapt, then the faster that you could truly help your client.
RICHIE FERRERA: More on INC News World when we come back.