Lifestyle Blog from the Philippines

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Pandemic Diaries: COVID 19 Scare

I don’t know if anyone noticed, but a few months ago I was blogging daily and then I stopped. I was having a difficult time processing my thoughts and I could not write anything. I was not sure about what I was feeling and I did not know if I had it in me to say my piece about it. This is because a few months ago, an officemate of mine who I work closely with revealed that her sibling was positive for COVID and that she was going to get tested. Until we found out her results, I was technically also possibly infected.

At first, I was not that worried about it. As I mentioned before I was only at the office once a week and by the time she informed me that her sibling was positive I had not seen her in five days. She assured me that the last time she saw her sibling was a week before that, so it was not a problem.

But it actually was a problem. I was informed by another co-worker when I reported for work that the truth was that our possibly positive officemate had indeed seen her sibling much later than what she admitted and that the reason she had not been telling the truth was that she was afraid of being quarantined. That meant that if she ended up positive, I could be at risk too.

Immediately after I found out that there was a possibility that I was infected, I called my sister and we agreed to make arrangements for me to self-quarantine at home. It wasn’t easy for all of us, but we agreed that I would not leave my room until we found out the results of my officemate’s test.

Self-Quarantine meant eating in my room too.

Thankfully, after five days, the result of the test was negative. I was so happy to get out of my room and hug everyone. Being isolated is difficult, no matter how much I could contact everyone via phone and no matter how many books I’ve read or TV shows I binge-watch. I think I got more work done that week than usual because there really was not much else to do to help ease the panic that was going on in my mind.

I never confronted my co-worker about her lying about when she was last exposed to her sibling. I was very disappointed with her, but what else can I do? She had her reasons, as misguided as they were. But it did make me scared about how I could think that people around me are being careful when they really are not. It makes me wonder just how safe we really are —- we may be the most careful person out there but if the people around us are not taking similar precautions, how can we be sure that we will not get infected?

Getting COVID is no joke. My aunt got sick and she was hospitalized and the bills were sky-high. A neighbor was infected and the discrimination, albeit low-key, since there are laws against it, was troubling. I don’t understand why so many people are not taking it seriously. I know I can’t control how people think and how they live their lives is none of my business, but how can I not be concerned when it could affect my life as well? 

Why can’t people just stay home if they can? Why are there so many people who are going out, meeting with other people socially, and having parties without masks or social distancing? I have even heard of people who, just to be able to travel, were intending to fake the required COVID test results so that they can be allowed to check into hotels because taking the test for them is too expensive. 

I just can’t wrap my head around the idea that people cannot make the sacrifice of not seeing friends or family for the sake of helping stop the spread of the virus. I know it’s sad, I know we miss everyone and everything we used to do...but it’s people’s lives we are talking about here.

It also bothered me that when my co-worker went to get herself tested at the local health center she was told that she didn’t need to get tested unless she had symptoms. Her cousin, another co-worker, was only given vitamin c when he said he was not feeling well and had a cold. Both had to go to a private hospital to get tested. They weren’t even advised to quarantine...they decided to do that on their own.

Why are they refusing to test people exposed unless they are actually sick? There is a greater risk of spreading the virus through asymptomatic people. I don’t get it! What about the less fortunate people who get turned away for being asymptomatic? They won’t be able to afford private testing and they can spread the virus more as asymptomatic patients because they do not go on quarantine since they were not tested.

And if all that wasn’t enough to give me even bigger anxiety...just a week after the negative test result, another co-worker reported that he was possibly infected (and he was). 

Can you blame me for being anxious during this pandemic? This is all just too much to process!


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