FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 29, 2020
Contact: Rommel Rivera, M.D. President
Statement On The Filipino American Community Amidst The COVID-19 Pandemic
Philadelphia, PA - There are now 4,037,564 Filipino Americans in the United States, the US Census Bureau announced in its latest American Community Survey data. We make up the third largest Asian American subgroup behind Chinese Americans and Indian Americans. Asian Americans are the fastest growing racial group in the US. Since there is a high percentage of Filipino Americans in healthcare (nurses, doctors, other healthcare professionals), many of us are at the forefront in the fight against the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19 pandemic). Many of us are also isolated at home confronted with stress, fear, and anxiety.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The period within which symptoms would occur is 2-14 days (most commonly 5 days). The disease is spread from person to person through small droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze that may land on objects and surfaces; other people will touch these and then touch their nose, eyes, or mouth. People of all ages can be infected by the virus, but most will have mild symptoms and are able to recover at home. Older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions (like asthma, diabetes, heart disease) or are immunocompromised, appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill. As of this writing, there are no known treatments approved for the virus. Decisions about testing for COVID 19 are at the discretion of your individual healthcare provider and local health departments.
As the COVID-19 cases in the US rise and the death toll rise, we Filipino Americans must join all racial groups in heeding all current and updated health advisories put out by the Centers for Disease Control, the American Medical Association, and others (see below). We must protect ourselves and others by practicing selfcare (eat, hydrate, and sleep well and exercise), washing our hands frequently, not touching our faces, staying at home if we are sick, social distancing, taking frequent breaks at work, and staying connected.
Our Filipino values and traits including: kapwa (fellow being), bayanihan (spirit of communal unity), pakikisama (maintaining good relationship), and tayo (we) will keep us strong and resilient in this trying time. These, as well as our deep sense of faith (including praying individually or as a family) will pull us through this together. We are a people that reaches out to and looks after each other including our parents, children, our lolos and lolas (grandfathers and grandmothers), our titos and titas (uncles and aunts/aunties), and our friends. Let’s continue to use phone chat, facetime/video chat, Facebook, Instagram, and other forms of social media to connect to each other. We are all in this together.
Stay safe and stay healthy!
References: US Census Bureau 2018; cdc.gov; coronavirus.gov; whitehouse.gov; ama-assn.org; psychiatry.org