COVID-19 Kilos Kababayan: Urgent Call to Action for Filipino-Canadian Community In British Columbia

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  • Mga kababayan,

    Sama-sama nating labanan ang pag-kalat ng COVID-19!
    Let us work together to stop the spread of COVID-19!

    Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are in the frontlines working to keep our loved ones and our communities safe. We are the nurses attending to patients in the Emergency Department. We are the care aides helping the elderly in long-term care homes. And we are the grocery workers stocking supermarket shelves and cleaners sanitizing buildings, hospitals, airports, and other public places.

    We are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Many in our community are either working on the front-line or we have relatives and friends who are. Along with our health, the financial impact of this crisis on each of us hits hard.

    During this unprecedented time, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless. As part of our effort to let our kababayan know they are not alone and that there is help out there – we are launching COVID-19 Kilos Kababayan.

    COVID-19 KK is an awareness raising campaign that complements efforts by the provincial and federal health officers, various levels of government and other community groups to ensure we all stay safe and get whatever help we need during this crisis.

    The time for action is now. The World Health Organization stated March 23rd the pandemic is accelerating. It took 67 days from the first reported case on December 31, 2019to reach the first 100,000 cases. Then just 11 days for the second 100,000 cases and now just four days for the third 100,000 cases.

    In Canada, there were 2, 176 known cases and 20 deaths as of March 24th and in the last week, nearly 90% of all recent cases are from community transmissions.
    The message from all levels of government and health experts is clear: Shut down. Stay put. Save lives.
    We need the help of everyone to get this message out. Through this campaign, we all play a role in making sure we and our loved ones, and our communities are safe.

    Our Objectives

    1. Get the message out to our kababayan, wherever they may be, that we need to do our part and “Stay Home” and practice “Social (physical) Distancing”.

    2. Let people know how they can take action. From sharing social media posts to forwarding text messages or joining virtual information sessions, we want to give people ways to contribute in this fight against COVID-19. They can connect and share information with people in their neighbourhoods, workplaces and organizations.

    3. Ensure the vulnerable people in our community get the help they need. We will do this by providing information or referrals on how they can access government services and programs and by connecting them with any community initiatives that may be available.

    4. Raise our community’s consciousness about the need to continue the fight for better work and health benefits and wages, particularly at this time of lay-offs, closures, quarantine, lapsed work permits, and possible deportations.

    For example, a recent Globe and Mail article about the COVID-19 outbreak at the Lynn Valley Care Centre highlights how drastically reduced sick days for staff is a factor in the spread of cases at their site because it gave rise to situations where staff who were not well were compelled to come to work.

    Society is now recognizing and applauding the important work done by healthcare workers, service sector workers and cleaners. Clearly they perform essential and much-needed services for society to function. Let’s build on this recognition by mobilizing to ensure these workers get better wages and benefits during and after the pandemic. And let us continue to amplify our community’s voice by working for greater representation in leadership positions.

    To achieve the above, we will develop communication materials (translated materials, social media posts, texts, resources and other information) that can be distributed to our networks. We have also requested translated communications from all levels of government. These materials will be tailored to our community and will be in addition to material already available.

    We will also use digital platforms (group chats, Skype, FB live) and collaborate with the many Filipino-Canadian organizations we have to help spread the word and communicate with each other.

    Lastly, we understand many of us might also feel frustrated if we see others not being as careful as we are. Or we may feel isolated because our usual get-togethers are postponed and we cannot see family and friends as easily as before. So let us remember during this time to be kind — to each other and to ourselves.

    Together we will beat COVID-19 and get through this. Lives are at stake. Our future is on the line.

    To join our campaign or for more information about any COVID-19 concerns you have, you can email: kiloskababayan@gmail.com

    Maraming salamat. Thank you.

    Signed,

    Mable Elmore, MLA
    Vancouver-Kensington
    ——————————————

    Free Tulayan Webinar with Fil-Cdn Doctor

    Questions about COVID-19? Wondering how you can keep you and your loved ones safe?

    Please join us for a free Tulayan webinar about COVID-19 with Filipino-Canadian Dr. Iris Radev. The webinar will be in English and Filipino. It will be on: Saturday, March 28, 3pm to 4pm. To join, please visit: tulayan.org/covid19webinar.
    Dr. Radev is a family doctor and Associate Clinical Instructor at UBC’s Faculty of Medicine. She is a former Emergency Room physician and completed her Family Medicine Residency at UBC and is an International Medical Graduate of Saint Paul’s Hospital Program.

    Follow the Tulayan COVID-19 Kaya Natin ‘To on Facebook at:
    covid-19filipinocommunity

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