Jeanifer Daet Decena | Student, Department of Psychology
I am Jeanifer Decena, from a southeast Asian nation, the Philippines. I am a mature undergraduate student in the Faculty of Arts majoring in Psychology. Asian heritage, for me, is an appreciation of values, culture, and personal grit throughout this pandemic.
I am a healthcare worker, and I manage my time as a student and a worker gracefully. Being a healthcare worker is a challenging job. A large population of healthcare workers are Filipino. The rotating shifts can be hard to manage for a good work/life balance. However, when the pandemic was announced, everybody was scrambling, including me. It knocked me to the ground and blew my mind that we could get sick and die. The pandemic led me to become a silent survivor in the healthcare field while continuing my studies.
As healthcare workers, we were ordered to do a lot of things. There was no time to ask, no time to complain. Everyone was invited to prepare and make sure that everyone was safe and sound. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was always worn. Then suddenly, one of our residents got COVID-19. I felt so bad, but I could not do anything and was afraid because the person was on my floor. Then I was assigned to attend and do everything for this client, even though he was isolated. Then, the next day, another resident tested positive. Everyone was silently crying but continued to help and support the clients.
I don't know or understand how COVID-19 came to us. How did some residents get COVID-19 and others not? One thing for sure, it was airborne. It was transferred from one person to another, and before anyone knew it, some staff had COVID-19. It was that sudden turn that changed my perspective about life. I was silently crying while working but upholding my dignity and supporting everyone. I saw similar emotions from my colleagues at work. We didn't talk, and we did our jobs until everyone recovered and was vaccinated. I can't believe it, we survived!
As a student, I survived, too, with the encouragement of my professors, classmates, and friends in SFU. Supporting each other in the middle of a pandemic is a wondrous and massive thing for me, and as an Asian, this is what we do. We support each other. We will not let anyone look down on us. We are constantly working hard to keep everyone safe and sound. Asian hate will not prosper because we are here to face it, just like COVID-19. We face, stand for our rights, fight, and survive with dignity and respect. We expect the same for everyone.