Take time to rest and eat.
This was the advise given by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, the Vatican’s Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, to medical frontliners.
“To our frontliners, you should also rest,” the cardinal said in an online recollection for frontliners on Tuesday, August 11.
“We are not machines. We are not tools…. We are human beings with needs and with limitations,” he said.
“Even machines are given time to rest to preserve it, what more the people?” said Cardinal Tagle. Sadly, he noted, some people tend to forget this aspect of life.
The Filipino church leader said that while the capacity to work is part of human nature, it must serve God, humanity, and not the other way around.
“To rest a little affirms that we are human beings,” he said.
“As human beings, we are called to serve our true God, and our neighbors. The call to rest is also a reminder (that) work is not our God,” he said.
The cardinal said even patients should not be treated merely as cases or numbers rather as human beings.
“They are not cases, they are not numbers. They are human beings with names, with stories, with families, with futures that sometimes have been interrupted,” he said.
The Filipino cardinal expressed hope that Christ’s invitation for people to rest, eat, and go to a quiet place, and the pandemic will remind people about humanity.
“This is not just a case of a pandemic. This is (a) human sign involving human beings whether patients, workers. It’s about humanity,” he said.
The National Secretariat for Social Action in partnership with Dilaab Foundation, Inc., organized the special online recollection as a way of saying thank you to the frontliners.
On Tuesday, the Philippines’ Health department said there were already 5,551 health workers in the Philippines infected with Covid-19, and of which 610 were active cases.
As of August 9, the department’s latest Covid-19 situation report showed that 4,902 of the infected personnel had recovered from the disease, while the death toll remained at 39.
With the Covid-19 cases in the Philippines continuing to increase, the percentage of health workers in proportion to the total was still relatively low at four percent, said the Health department.