Life Cycles Is Helping Health Workers and Frontliners Through Bike Donations
When the enhanced community quarantine was announced, we all knew it was for the best as COVID-19 cases rose in the country. But, what lawmakers forgot was to think about those without private transport the wake of the suspension of all public utility vehicles.
We heard and watched news reports of Filipinos walking tens and hundreds of meters to work, including health workers and frontliners. Now, individual cities and hospitals are offering transport to and from designated pickup and dropoff points—it still isn't enough, however.
It's something Keisha Mayuga and her group of friends thought of early on, and put to action almost instantly with Life Cycles PH. In just two days, it's grown to include friends of friends, as well as people in the local cycling community, with over 2,000 likes on the organization's Facebook page. Mayuga says it's a rare evidence of the internet’s ability to connect passionate and competent strangers who want to make things a little better.
"The Enhanced Community Quarantine suspended all public transport, which made it difficult for our frontliners—including health workers, pharmacists, and grocery staff—to get to work and do their jobs. The options that kept being mentioned were driving and walking, but this is a city where very few have cars. So we figured, why not get people biking to work? It certainly beats walking. Bikes are great for three to five kilometer commutes, and they’ll allow our frontliners to focus on their work, without having to compromise their immune systems by walking in the heat," she says.
As of writing, Life Cycles PH has had 100 offers for bike loans. The group has also raised over 100,000 in a day with help from kind strangers. But, it's definitely not too late to help. Mayuga hopes to get about 10,000 to 20,000 bikes for essential workers. She's encouraging anyone who can spare a bike to find someone in need around, too.
Life Cycles PH is already coordinating with Pasig and San Juan's Local Government Units. The organization is also working directly with hospital workers who have reached out asking for bikes to spare. "We're also reaching out to some hospitals, but we also want to make sure we have a sufficient supply of bikes to lend," Mayuga says.
Right now, Life Cycles PH is still in the process of figuring out how to navigate the lockdown and minimize travel so as not to spread COVID-19. Until then, community-based lending is in effect in the group's Facebook page.
The group finds inspiration in the frontliners. "If they can put their health and safety at risk every day to keep our cities running, this is the least we can do to help them. They deserve all the praise," Mayuga says.