The thing we feared the most to happen to any member of the family this year materialized. Despite all the necessary precautions taken by everyone, two of our family members, my Nanay and my younger sister, still caught the much dreaded COVID-19 virus.
The fact that my sister lives with our parents who are both senior citizens and both high-risk individuals, and with Nanay having comorbidities — a diabetic and a dialysis patient at that — the probability of all three of them in the household (Tatay, Nanay, sister) catching the virus was really high.
It was Nanay who first showed symptoms of the virus on August 18. She first had chills, then diarrhea and fever. When her symptoms subsided, my father and sister started getting febrile, too. Tatay also experienced diarrhea; fortunately, his swab test came out negative.
After Nanay’s swab test turned out positive, she couldn’t go to her dialysis center anymore. Her case was reported to the LGU (local government unit) and was waiting for the go-signal for admission at a government COVID hospital in Caloocan.
Before August ended, Nanay already missed four dialysis sessions which could prove fatal and which prompted us not to wait for a slot at the Caloocan hospital anymore. Her nephrologist who was also a consultant at the City of Imus Doctors Hospital (CIDH) managed to get her a slot there, and she was admitted last August 30 and was discharged on September 12.
A few days after Nanay’s confinement, my sister, whose remaining symptom at the time was body weakness – she stopped having fever on August 27 — went to a quarantine facility in Dasmarinas, Cavite with the help of a barangay health worker. She stayed there to complete her quarantine period of 14 days without symptoms. This we believed was the best course of action to take so that Tatay would be spared from this deadly virus. My sister finally went home last Thursday, September 17.
What to Do When You Suspect You Have COVID
First, you need to get in touch with your barangay health center. Report the name of the patient with COVID-like symptoms. The patient will be monitored daily by the barangay health nurse/barangay health worker. They will even take you to a diagnostic clinic or hospital for swab testing which is shouldered by the LGU. If you’re a COVID suspect or COVID positive and don’t have place in your house to isolate, they can also escort you to a quarantine facility near your area and take you home once your quarantine period is over.
Now if you’re a dialysis patient like our Nanay, the barangay health center will also work hand-in-hand with your dialysis center to get all the documents/information needed for your transfer to a government COVID hospital if you need to be confined. You can also request for ambulance assistance from them to transport the patient from his/her home to the hospital. They also give food/vitamin assistance to the infected patients staying in their homes.
Why You Should Not Be Ashamed That You Have COVID
Because of the social stigma associated with COVID-19, most patients who opted to isolate themselves at home are ashamed of having their neighbors know about their condition. They fear getting ridiculed, ostracized, and worst, getting hurt by the people around them.
First of all, it is not your fault that you have acquired the virus. Who wants to contract the virus, anyway? None of us do. Since majority of those infected by COVID-19 are asymptomatic, it’s possible to catch the virus from just about anyone you meet or anywhere you go. People should be sympathetic towards those infected with the virus because yes, it could also happen to them.
Why You Should Not Conceal Your COVID-19 Information
In times like this, you need to be honest about your condition. Do not lie about your symptoms or your travel history to your doctor, nurse or any healthcare worker. Doing so would harm others. You can infect people and put their lives at risk.
Patients not providing accurate information about their condition are actually in violation of Republic Act No. 11332 (Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act) and will be penalized.
Thank You, Salitran 3 Barangay Health Workers! We Appreciate You!
To end this blog post, I would like to extend our deepest gratitude to Salitran 3 Barangay Health Center staff Ms. Norie Moral Estabillo (barangay health worker) and Ms. Donna Rycah Dones (barangay health nurse) who patiently helped my parents and sister in Cavite during their COVID-19 days and accommodated our request for ambulance for Nanay’s hospital confinement and barangay tanod assistance for Nanay’s dialysis after discharge.