In consonance with the UP System’s Kaagapay sa Pag-aaral ng mga Iskolar ng Bayan Fundraising and Resource Generation Campaign (Kaagapay UP), UP Open University (UPOU) launched its own UPOU-Kaagapay+ program on September 1. It builds upon Kaagapay UP’s efforts to include: student loans; income generating projects; academic support via online tutorial courses and bridge courses; technological support using apps that assist in study skills, note-taking, organizational skills, etc.; psychosocial support through counseling, access to free online support resources, helpdesk, referral system, among others; and, peer support and virtual interactions through spaces like virtual hangouts.

Several UP alumni, including Julliano Fernando ‘Jules’ Guiang, a National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG) alumnus and graduate student, were similarly struck by the inequities highlighted by the pandemic. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Guiang, who is also a journalist, had launched The Hatch Hub, a co-working space on Maginhawa Street, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City with his friends. At first, they envisioned it to be an affordable establishment where students and professionals could study, meet, work, and hold events.

The site “provides the Filipino and Cebuano translations and definitions of the featured terms, their part of speech, as well as usage in a sentence to further demonstrate their meaning.” It is accessible on any internet-connected device.

As of press time, “Isang Gabay sa mga Salitang Kaugnay ng COVID-19” has a list of at least 115 words and phrases, including scientific and medical terms, commonly used in reference to the disease. It also has “new vocabulary that pertains to changes in business, education, and new way of life.”

Hannah Marie R. Aranas, a faculty member of the University of San Carlos Department of Languages and Literature, worked on the Cebuano translation of the COVID-19 terms for Google’s e-resource.

Noting the powerful role that language plays in any effort to contain the pandemic and the rise in community translators working on DOH-released information, DL officially launched Language Warriors PH (LWPH) in late March. Dubbed a “meta-translation initiative”, the project aims to connect the disparate community translation projects and “language warriors” across the country that are translating materials related to COVID-19 into the country’s estimated 180 or so languages.

Reports on mutations of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, mainly on D614G which affects the spike protein on the virus’ surface, have led the public to ask whether these changes make the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease more infectious, lethal, or on the other hand, benign and less transmissible.

As the official count went beyond 61,000 (as of July 16) confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, more participants are joining the community of health educators, learners and practitioners following the UP Webinar Series “STOP COVID DEATHS: Clinical Management Updates”.

The UP COVID-19 Pandemic Response Team (UP PRT) has launched “CITY vs COVID”, a feature within the dashboard that provides information on how cities are recovering from COVID-19 over time, based on DOH and LGU data.

Users can simply select their city to generate charts showing the latest number of cases, deaths, and recoveries, and information on their locality’s recovery rate, fatality rate, and current phase of community quarantine. Users can also find COVID-19 statistics of past dates by hovering their cursor on the bar aligned to the specific date they’re looking for.

The word kaagapay is typically associated with being at one’s side. Its constituents, the affix, ka-, which indicates relation, and its root, agapay, or support, together connote mutual assistance, trust, care, and respect from individuals who desire that others become fully functional persons.

With these qualities in mind, the University of the Philippines (UP) launched the Kaagapay sa Pagaaral ng mga Iskolar ng Bayan or #KaagapayUP project on July 21, 2020. The project’s primary aim is to help UP’s financially challenged students acquire the resources to engage in the remote and blended learning solutions instituted by the University in response to COVID-19. The launch was broadcast live over Zoom, and through the TVUP Youtube channel.

“We want our patients to be able to go back to the lives they had before being critically ill.” This is the end goal of physiatrists in providing rehabilitative care and treatment, as emphasized by Dr. Celso Bate of The Medical City and the Victor R. Potenciano Medical Center, in the eleventh episode of UP’s STOP COVID DEATHS webinar series on July 3.

And that journey back is a long one.

In “Rehabilitation for Critical Care Survivors of COVID-19”, Bate clarified that because the disease is new, rehabilitative care and treatment protocols have yet to be established; but most helpful are existing strategies used in patients with prolonged confinement in the intensive care unit (ICU) and/or who are afflicted with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

UP CoPES is the system-wide umbrella committee for various psychosocial support programs being implemented by Pahinungod in UP’s constituent universities. It has three working areas: kamalayan (awareness promotion); ugnayan (setting up referral mechanisms, partnerships, support); and, kasanayan (training volunteers who can, in turn, also train others).

With the Ugnayan ng Pahinungòd celebrating its first year of reactivation under UP President Danilo Concepcion, as the official volunteer service program of the UP System, Pahinungòd Constituent Universities can now also collaborate through UP CoPES to coordinate and improve the psychosocial aspect of their volunteer and public service efforts. Through this body, UP’s CUs may combine their strengths to provide swift, robust solutions to emergencies, as well as to share best practices in training and public service.