Philippines | Riding a bicycle to patients

Edlee Batang | 29
Dialysis technician, Quezon City

How do you get where you are needed when the rest of the world is at a standstill? This is what dialysis technician Edlee Batang, and the rest of the staff at the B. Braun renal care center on Quezon Avenue had to figure out last year. From the middle of March to the end of May2020, it was practically a totallockdown: To curb the coronavirus, only those in essential occupations were allowed to be out and about during this phase. That is why many of the streets were closed off and public transit, which many of the staff normally used, was unavailable.

Mr. Batang, how did you manage to get to your patients every day despite the lockdown?

We had the idea of using bicycles. Many of us already had one at home and my colleagues loaned me money to buy one. I still use it today, since traffic is still restricted.

What is your commute like by bike?

It takes me two hours to get to work every morning, my alarm goes off at 3:30 AM so I can get to my patients on time. The commute was pretty exhausting at first, but now I enjoy the exercise.

Why did you decide to take on this responsibility?

Our patients have shown me that they need me, and they appreciate my commitment. That’s how I feel the responsibility that I carry.

How did you manage to get through that most difficult time?

While I’m at work, I’m surrounded by a group of people who will catch me if I fall, and who help me when I need it most: my friends and colleagues.

What gives you hope?

Although I can’t see my family much because of the lockdown, I know that I’m doing this work for them, as well. I do everything I can in the fight against COVID-19 so my little nephews can soon get back to having a normal life.