Everyday we hear the news and stories about COVID-19. It is all around the world and everyone is affected. There were cancellations of NBA, NHL, Olympics, concerts, mass, festivals, trips, flight and even small public and private gatherings. In most countries, there were lockdowns, quarantine, curfews, state of emergency and closing of non-essential businesses. Some people were torn apart by death, lack of communication, fear, anxiety and opposing opinions. It wasn’t the same world anymore.
In our FEATURE STORY, we are writing about a story of HOPE, FAITH and LIFE amidst this pandemic.
If you were tested positive, how will you cope up? Is this the dead end? How will you fight not only the virus, but also the judgment, stigma and discrimination of misinformed and shallow people? How will you deal with your family and friends? WHAT IS EVERYDAY LIKE WHEN YOU ARE TESTED POSITIVE?
I met him in the Philippines years ago. He was my “kababata” (childhood friend).
Having parents and sister in the Philippines, I still keep myself updated with the news from my hometown. It was late in March when we had our first COVID patient. Then there was another one who lived in our barangay. I was worried about my senior parents because their health might be at risk if ever they contacted the virus, so I kept reminding them to be cautious. To my surprise, patient number 2 is someone that I know. I got the chance to chat with him at his recovery stage. I wanted to understand how it feels like, and how life after that proceeds. And I want to wish him well, of course.
Let’s call him Patient 2. He is an ESSENTIAL WORKER who has undergone COVID testing after one of the patients with whom he transferred from one hospital to another died. He was then asked to isolate and undergo swabbing.
His first swabbing was March 26th. There were no symptoms, no colds , no cough, no shortness of breathing. He felt fine, however the result turned out to be positive. He was then informed that he is ASYMPTOMATIC, meaning a carrier but without symptoms. The symptoms may not physically hurt him but the emotional and psychological distress upon knowing that he is positive is too much to bear. It weakened his body and mind. Being a guy with good health and in good shape for long, he told me that time, “I felt nervous and depressed. Every now and then, I feel exhausted!” He also fear that he may spread the disease to his loved ones and acquaintances who maybe more vulnerable. And one of the most difficult part he had experienced was being treated with discrimination.
While it’s normal to get scared, discriminating someone with COVID should not be tolerated. We all want to protect ourselves, we all want to be safe but we all must do it kindly and with compassion. Patient #2 is an essential worker that helps save lives at the expense of theirs so the least that we can do is to respect them and understand them and if we have the means, help them.
What made him stronger and motivated to fight everyday are the love and the support of his family and friends and the faith he had in his heart. His best weapon while in isolation is PRAYER. Day and night, he prayed. While in hospital, his blood pressure, blood count, chest and lungs were monitored. He was totally cleared after the results of the third test came out to be NEGATIVE on April 28th. The feeling was like winning in a lottery. He can come back to work again and his life will start to be normal once again.
For him, “It may weaken my body and mind, but IT WILL NEVER PUT MY SPIRIT DOWN!”
His FAITH is stronger than his fears and that makes him overcome the biggest challenge of his life. He had forgiven those who have treated him not so nicely. For him, this day is a fresh beginning. There’ll be good times and bad times in life , but in between there will always be something to be grateful for. Patient #2 has fully RECOVERED. 😊
See video and pictures below: