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Saturday, July 11, 2020

Pandemic Diaries: Living At Risk

COVID 19 has been ravaging the world for months now with no solution in sight. So many people have died from the disease, and so many have suffered from it. While there are also recoveries, the amount of people who have died makes the effects of this disease difficult to ignore. With no vaccine, you cannot help but wonder how long we all must live the way we do. It is hard not to wonder how long before the disease hits closer to home with all the people who have been affected by it.


As someone with the health conditions identified as “at risk” for COVID 19, these times have been difficult for me not just physically but also mentally. Physically, it has been hard because I am someone who needs to take maintenance medicine for my medical conditions. Going to the pharmacy is a challenge with its long lines and crowds. It does not help that sometimes some of my medication is no longer available by the time I go out and buy them. I have had to ask my doctor for other medication I can take in case I can no longer find the ones he prescribed me. I am trying to look for a good pharmacy that makes deliveries (some do not deliver in my area, others I have heard take way too long). Hopefully, I can find one soon. 

During the lockdown, I had a scheduled checkup with my doctor that I wasn't able to go to because of the Enhanced Community Quarantine. By the time we got around to scheduling it, there were already extra precautions being done at the hospital. It was even harder to get an appointment with this pandemic. The doctor can only take a limited number of patients and only a handful of people can enter the hospital at a time, going through a disinfecting foot mat and being sprayed with alcohol all over before you can enter. The doctor and the entire hospital staff were, as expected, in full PPE. I know that it was all for the protection of the staff and the patients, but it was still unnerving to see and experience. 

During the Enhanced Community Quarantine, I felt safe because I stayed and worked from home. Once we were placed under General Community Quarantine I had been ordered to report for work at the office, which means that physically, I am at risk for exposure given that everyone has been ordered back to work. It does not help that with our line of work, we always have people coming in and out of the office.

Mentally, this situation has been taking its toll on me. Being at risk and having issues with medication plus my exposure at work has made me very anxious and nervous about my health. I worry that I will not only get sick but that I might make others in my family sick from what I bring home from the office. 

My bedside table is never without alcohol.

Most of my close friends and family know that I am a germophobe - I spray alcohol on almost anything and everything - this COVID 19 thing has only made it worse. I cannot stop wiping things down with disinfectant wipes and alcohol. I cannot stop washing my hands. If I drop something on the floor, I will wash if with soap and water (if I can) or spray it with so much alcohol that it is practically soaking wet. I know it is too much, but that is how paranoid I have become.


Sleep has been difficult for me too. I wake up in the middle of the night dreading going out to the office. I have had an entire week of waking up at midnight and being unable to go back to sleep again. My mind cannot stop worrying.

It has affected my job because I take longer than I usually do to get things done. Can you blame me? I am sure I am not the only one who worries about this.

I have been doing my best to be careful during this pandemic. I wear a mask every time I go out. I wash my hands often and use alcohol when I cannot. I do not go anywhere else but work, and only because I must. I socially distance when I am in public as much as I can. Whenever I get home, I make sure to change my clothes, wash and disinfect myself as soon as I arrive. I know that it is the best I can do. Given the circumstances, I do not think there is anything more I can do to be careful. I know that should probably give me peace of mind, but it does not. 

I do not know where the people I work with go aside from work. I do not know if they take the same precautions as I do. Same thing with the people who visit our office daily. That just makes me worry even more.

None of us know when this pandemic will end. None of us know what happens tomorrow, days, weeks, months or even years from now. I just hope that we all make it out alive.

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