Online Memorial Honors Filipino Health Care Workers Who Have Died Of COVID-19


Jolene Lovitt has lost friends and family to cope in 19 She and other volunteers have been keeping track of Filipino healthcare workers who died from the disease worldwide. Their website is called Communion, which means shelter or refuge. It's an online memorial with pictures and stories of those who've been lost. Jolene livid joins us now from Los Angeles. Welcome to the program. Thank you for having me. So why don't you just start by telling me why created this online memorial? So the first week of stay at home orders? I lost my aunt who was a registered nurse. Her name is Rosary. Castro Olonga. And she passed away without being named. You know, for weeks. Two weeks later, I lost another aunts. They worked with my mother for 30 years in the I C u as registered nurses. So your mother is also a registered nurse. Yes, And as the days went on, we noticed that a lot of the health care workers unless there were independent journalists covering their family's stories. We were unable to identify them. And so there were a group of us. We got together and we started. Basically documenting everything confined. You talked about how many people with Philippine ancestries were dying on the front lines as health care workers. Are they over represented in the medical industry. Absolutely. Here in California. One in five registered nurses is of the looking ancestry in New York. So now we're talking about two hot spots of the pandemic, 34.4% of all Filipinos are actually in the healthcare industry. New York So we're highly over represented in the healthcare industry because of historic exclusion, except for health care professionals, for example, and educators that were allowed to migrate here, and that's why a lot of people choose this career path. That's correct. I know that in my family, there will be entire households that will save up tuition for one person to go through nursing school so that she can migrate abroad and support being rest of the entire family that's still back home in the Philippines. A main feature of the digital memorial are the numbers that you've collected. Can you tell us about the data you found United States has more than doubled the deaths of Philippine healthcare workers, then the Philippines itself. Wow, that's quite shocking. It is it is on the second highest number of deaths of health care professionals. Of Philippine ancestry is actually the United Kingdom again beating out the Philippines outside of this site. Are there really hard, fast numbers of deaths of Filipino healthcare workers, Filipinos in general and how they're impacted by this disease? There is a loose network of Filipino and Filipino American journalists that are attempting Tio collect numbers of all Filipinos that have fallen to probe it in the U. S on DH. In our research. We found a similar effort in the United Kingdom. But the Philippine government itself is not collecting those numbers where Filipino migrants reside. So, for example, the consulate here in the United States their number, it's missing like half of the names that we've been able to collect. Who knows how many stories you still haven't heard every single day. We're still combing the news. We're still checking to see if more testimony have been submitted by by loved ones. That was Julian livid founder of the website, Kong London, which tracks deaths of Filipino healthcare

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