Sunday, November 17, 2013

Typhoon Haiyan (Not related to pathology)

You can't work in medicine without knowing some Filipinos. We come over as doctors, as lab workers, and nurses. We are ubiquitous throughout American hospitals, and almost all of us still have family members back home.

I appreciate that my hospital system sent out emails expressing their support of Filipino employees and that coworkers asked after my family members. It took several days for my aunts and cousins to be able to contact relatives in the Philippines but outside of the effected area. Thankfully everyone is fine, and other than some roof damage, my mother's childhood home survived the storm. Also, my grandparents' house has a well of sorts so they have water, which is a big concern for survivors. 

A lot of people have not been so lucky and it is heart breaking to hear the news reports of mass
graves of bodies to be identified hear the worries of people still waiting to hear from family...and of survivors left wondering, "Now what?"

More than anything this past week I've thought about the story of the three little pigs... The Philippines has a type of housing called nipa huts (or bahay kubo), which is made of bamboo, grasses, and/or woven mats and is built on stilts. These are not homes designed to withstand 150 mph winds.The people who have been displaced are not necessarily people who have a lot of resources to replace the things that have been destroyed. I don't know what will happen in the recovery process, but I am heartened by the attitudes of the people there. They are hopeful, they are hard working, and they are resilient.

If you can help in anyway, please do. Because of how long it takes to ship goods internationally and the difficulties with transporting things between islands (especially where the roads have been damaged), money really is the easiest and most effective way to help.

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