Dr. Jose Tongol
Q: What have you done in response to the COVID-19 pandemic?
JT: COVID-19 has affected everyone. We are committed to take care of our cancer patients in the community. We try not to see long-term follow-up, but we see those who need to be seen. We provide necessary precautions, like strict use of masks and handwashing.
Teleheath medicine is being used with patients who prefer to do so. We are getting better with it. Non-critical work-up and surgeries are delayed. I am seeing fewer patients in the office.
Q: How has your background in art and music inspired you?
JT: With more time to myself, I am writing a book about my wife’s journey through cancer.
I sang and brought my guitar to patients and medical professionals. I continued my pencil drawing and writing poems.
Q: How has this pandemic impacted you personally and professionally?
JT: During this time, we need to re-evaluate our priorities. Take good care of ourselves and family. Eat heathy. Glad I have a Greek wife who loves to cook. I also continue to exercise, practice yoga and meditation. I have tried to instill happiness and kindness to everyone.
I know we can pull through this. We need to be together and pray for everyone. It disrupted our normal life, but we definitely know we will rise up and be better.
Q: How do you keep mentally healthy in these difficult times?
JT: I will continue to sing, exercise and play guitar. I will definitely continue to expand my artwork. These are the things that make me sane.
Q: When all of this is finally behind us, what is the first thing you want to do?
JT: The first thing I will do when this thing is over is to celebrate with my family together. We are hoping to have a family reunion. I will also re-evaluate my priorities.