WATCH: Doctors serenade coronavirus frontliners amid fear, loss
MANILA, Philippines – At a time when the medical community is beset by worry and fear over the coronavirus outbreak, a number medical doctors sang their hearts out to bring hope and courage to their colleagues on the front lines of the pandemic
Through a “virtual choirantine,” 21 alumni choir members and graduates of the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Medicine sang “Lead Me Lord,” which was popularized by Basil Valdez.
“We believe that medicine cures the body but music heals the spirit.... We chose the song because it resonates our collective cry as health care workers in the time of the pandemic. We fear for the worst but we have hope that God will guide us,” said Kathlynne Anne Abat- Senen, a neonatologist from the Philippine General Hospital.
As the number of confirmed cases continues to rise in the country, the deadly virus has taken away the lives of several medical doctors in the country. Senen said that the medical community is devastated by its loss. There are other medical professionals and workers who are either confined or in quarantine.
Hoping to uplift their spirit, individual recordings made by each medical doctor in the group were stitched together to come up with the entire production.
“We wanted to sing to uplift our spirits. We were devastated by the loss of our mentors. We decided to record individually and stitch the videos together. We had no idea it would touch so many lives,” Senen, who also took charge in editing the video, added.
Hope in difficult times
It was not the first time that the acapella group turned to music to bring hope to others. Back when they were still in medical school, they would serenade their patients and mentors by going around different wards at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH),
“The choir has been our creative outlet amidst all the pressures of medical school. It gave us refuge and also a chance to heal ourselves. Because of that, we have formed tight bonds that went beyond med school. Up to now we keep in touch and try to get together for reunion concerts,” Senen said.
Senen said that all proceeds from their reunion concerts were for the benefit of PGH patients.
With the challenges everyone faced today, the group hopes to also give encouragement to fellow frontliners as well as patients.
“We hope this song gives hope and healing in this most trying time,” Senen said.
She said the video recording which had been uploaded online received a lot of messages from its viewers expressing support. As of posting, the video has garnered at least 4,700 reactions, 3,000 shares, and over 60,000 views.
“They say it gives them hope and courage knowing that we the doctors have not lost hope,” Senen added.
Senen continues to hope that the song would raise awareness on the daily struggles of health care workers who battle an unseen enemy with very little protection due the shortage in personal protective equipment. She also called on the public to support the frontliners by donating PPEs and advocating for expanded testing. (READ: LIST: How to help healthcare workers, frontliners during coronavirus pandemic)
“Help us heal you,” she said in a Facebook post.
Those who are interested to donate may course it through the PGH Medical Foundation.
Here are the doctors who took part in the video:
- Daryl Dagang - IM Endo, South Cotabato
- Jamine Cruz-Nalumen - Pathology, Bacolod
- Katrina Torres-Magno - Retina specialist; Angeles, Pampanga
- Jose Donato Magno - Cardiologist; Angeles, Pampanga
- Jae Salvan - GP, PharmaMed, Quezon City
- Marissa Elizabeth Lim - IM Nephro, Quezon City
- Eliza Mia Dejoras - IM Rheuma, Antipolo
- Rene Gerard Galera - Public Health-Nutrition Specialist, Parañaque City
- Margarita Echavez-Quitos - Cornea External Disease Specialist, Iligan City, Lanao del Norte
- Fernando B Serra III - Anesthesiology, Manila
- Miguel Dimacali - GP, Metro Manila
- Gerald Abesamis - Plastic Surgery; Sta Rosa, Laguna
- Benjo Delarmente - GP/Health Policy; Baltimore, Maryland
- VJ Mercado - Academe - Parasitology/Biochemistry, Cavite
- GK Galvez Tan - Radiology, Metro Manila
- Joy Zeta - Nephrology; Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
- Patricia Anne Collantes-Concepcion - Ophthalmology/Glaucoma, La Union
- Christel Mendoza - Pediatrics, Metro Manila
- Recivall Salongcay - Ophthalmology/Vitreoretinal Surgery, Metro Manila
- Juan Paolo Lagunzad - IM Nephro, Quezon City
- Kathlynne Anne Abat Senen - Pediatrics Neonatology; Valenzuela, Bulacan
Senen also mentioned that the group is looking into having an entire repertoire soon. – Rappler.com