Spending 14 Days in a Quarantine Facility

A few days after Nanay was admitted to the hospital due to COVID-19, my sister who also caught the virus finally agreed to spend her quarantine period at La Quinta Court (Dasmariñas, Cavite Quarantine Facility No. 5). This is to spare our 77-year-old Tatay from getting the dreaded virus, too. My sister was accompanied to La Quinta by their barangay health worker. As mentioned in my previous blog post, the barangay health center can assist COVID-positive patients in many ways, so it’s important to coordinate things with them.

Photo credit: La Quinta Court FB Page

How does a quarantine facility look like? Do patients pay for their stay in a quarantine facility? How do patients spend their days in a quarantine facility? These are some of the questions I have asked my sister after her quarantine period was over. With her permission, I’m going to relay the answers to these questions and more in this blog post in the hope that many will learn from our family’s experience with COVID-19. To respect and protect my sister’s privacy, I will not include a photo of her in this blog post nor will I mention her name.

Dasmariñas, Cavite Quarantine Facility No. 5

My sister’s room at La Quinta

La Quinta Court, a government quarantine facility located on Governors Drive, Langkaan 1, Dasmariñas, Cavite has a 60-bed capacity and manned by one head nurse with the following staff: a nurse assistant, utility worker, and a watchman. A quarantine facility is where COVID-19 asymptomatic patients complete their 14-day quarantine period.

Do patients pay for their stay in a quarantine facility?

My sister’s stay at La Quinta was free. Each patient is quarantined in his/her own room with aircon, cable TV and bathroom. Patients’ meals and bottled water (maximum of two bottles per meal) were also free. Upon arrival at La Quinta, my sister was also given 20 pieces of Vitamin C with Zinc. Local government units (LGUs) are the ones responsible for the upkeep of government quarantine facilities. All rooms are disinfected before patients move in.

These are some of the pictures of the food that were given to La Quinta patients during my sister’s stay there. She said food was good. As you can see, the food they served the patients were healthy balanced meals with meat/fish, veggies and/or soup, and rice.

What should patients bring with them to a quarantine facility?

Patients should bring their own personal hygiene kit (soap, shampoo/conditioner, toothbrush/toothpaste, hand sanitizer/alcohol) towel, clothes, maintenance medicines, face mask, face shield, bedsheet, blanket, pillow, pail, detergent powder for washing their own clothes, bleach for cleaning their bathroom).

What do patients do at La Quinta?

Patients just basically stay in their own rooms for 14 days. It’s where they eat, exercise, sleep, watch TV, wash their laundry, and communicate with their families and friends. Once in a while, a staff member garbed in PPE suit visited the patients to monitor their blood pressure and to check if patients develop new symptoms during their stay. Since all of the patients here asymptomatic, the staff pay more attention to those with comorbidities. According to Very Well Mind, comorbidity means “the existence of multiple disorders in the same person.”

What is my sister’s typical day like at La Quinta?

My sister said she started her day at La Quinta with a prayer. She washed her clothes thereafter and breakfast would have been served by the time she finished. She then took her nap to make up for not being able to sleep well at night. She exercised in the afternoon before taking a shower. She watched TV in between.

Do patients receive medical certificates after their 14-day quarantine?

Yes, they do. A medical certificate is issued to all patients on their last day in the quarantine facility stating that they are COVID-19-recovered and are allowed to go home.

Are discharged patients required to have a repeat swab test?

According to La Quinta’s head nurse, DOH protocol does not require re-swabbing of patients for as long as they have spent 14 symptom-free days at the quarantine facility. My sister’s first symptom occurred on August 22, and she doesn’t have any symptoms of the virus on August 27, the day she and my father had their swab test done. She went to La Quinta on September 3, already asymptomatic, and went home on September 17. She was fetched by the same barangay health worker that took her to La Quinta.

Posted in Cavite, COVID-19, COVID-19 Case, COVID-19 Experience, COVID-19 Pandemic, COVID-19 Positive, COVID-19 Virus, Dasmariñas, Government Quarantine Facility, La Quinta Court, Quarantine Facility | Leave a comment

What It’s Like to Be a Patient in the COVID Ward and a Relative of a COVID-Positive Patient in Hospital Confinement

Nanay and my sister tested positive for COVID-19 last August. Nanay experienced the following symptoms (chills, diarrhea, fever), while my sister had fever and myalgia. Fortunately, for our Tatay, his swab test came out negative, despite experiencing exactly the same symptoms as Nanay.

Photo taken by the City of Imus Doctors Hospital COVID Ward Head Nurse

Being COVID-positive, Nanay was not allowed to undergo hemodialysis at her dialysis center anymore. She had to be admitted to a hospital for close monitoring of her underlying medical conditions. A stroke and heart bypass survivor, Nanay is also diabetic and has been receiving hemodialysis sessions for well over a year now.

Her nephrologist finally found a slot for Nanay’s confinement at City of Imus Doctors Hospital (CIDH) COVID Ward. Nanay was admitted last August 30 and stayed in the hospital for almost two weeks. For those not in the know, COVID-positive patients stay alone in an isolation room, only seeing his/her doctors and COVID Ward nurses. No companions or visitors are allowed.

Nanay’s Experience at CIDH COVID Ward

Being alone in a hospital room at the COVID Ward without her spouse and children for 13 days would probably be the loneliest days of Nanay’s life. On her first few days of confinement, she would call me several times a day despite our already long conversation earlier in the day. She would often burst out crying, too, because she said she missed us.

The only persons she saw during her stay at the COVID Ward were the nurses, her attending doctor, and just days before she was discharged, an infectious disease specialist. There was nothing else to do inside her room but eat, sleep and talk with us on the phone.

My Experience Dealing with CIDH Staff Remotely

Being the main contact person for Nanay, I did everything remotely. That’s because my parents live in Dasmarinas, Cavite, while I live in Pasig. A COVID ambulance provided by their barangay health center transported Nanay alone to CIDH. My sister and father who live with Nanay were already placed on home quarantine that time as they were also experiencing COVID-like symptoms.

Hours before Nanay’s arrival to the hospital, I talked to CIDH’s Admission Department to inquire about admission procedures, to give her personal details, and to inquire about our payment options. I also called their ER Department where I was interviewed by a resident nephrologist for Nanay’s medical history and COVID-19 history.

I was also given instructions by an ER Supervisor where Nanay’s ambulance should park and where she would be met by the ER nurses and doctor. And because Nanay was alone in the hospital and no relatives were allowed to visit, I also requested the hospital to let Nanay sign all her papers. Whew!

Our hospital deposit, partial payments made after we’d reached the allowed limit for COVID-positive patients, and our remaining balance were all paid through online bank transfer. Thank God for modern technology! I also had the Viber number of the Billing Department’s supervisor who gave me our daily running bill and official receipts for partial payments we’ve transferred to the hospital’s bank account number.

I also have the Viber number of the hospital’s COVID Ward and was in regular communication with the three COVID ward nurses: Mark, EJ and Angel. They give me updates on Nanay’s condition. They send me pictures of Nanay, too, in her room. They also facilitate video calls so that Nanay can see us whenever she wants. And not only that. I was also able to request one of the nurses, Angel, to buy adult diapers and some snacks for Nanay. Wasn’t that amazing? Hats off to these young and brave frontliners! You guys rock!

Our Overall Hospital Experience

It was Nanay’s first admission at CIDH, and I must say I’m impressed with how the staff handled COVID cases in their hospital. Everyone I talked to in whatever department I called (Admission, ER, Billing, COVID Ward) was polite, courteous and accommodating.

Our Hospital Bill

Would you believe our hospital bill reached almost half a million? Php456, 971.25 to be exact for 13 days in the hospital. If not for the big discount from PhilHealth (Php153,667) and 20% senior citizen discount (Php80,858.26), we wouldn’t be able to produce such a big amount right away. Our total cash payment minus PhilHealth and senior citizen discounts was Php222,445.99, an amount that still wasn’t readily available when Nanay was about to be discharged.

But many thanks to generous souls who helped us in our hour of need. Monetary assistance from relatives and friends reached 80k+ which greatly eased our financial distress. Thank you all so much from the bottom of our hearts. You all know who you are, and we pray that God richly blesses you far more than you could ever imagine.

Nanay Is Finally Back Home and Safe

Nanay’s admitting doctor was keen on discharging her early from the hospital because her condition was already good a few days after she was admitted. Her repeat swab test done on September 3, however, revealed she was still COVID-positive. Another repeat swab test done on September 10 yielded the same positive result. That’s when an infectious disease specialist was asked to see her to certify that she’s COVID-recovered despite the result of her two repeat swab tests.

Nanay had her third repeat swab test done last September 25, eight days after she was discharged from the hospital. Finally, SARS-CoV-2 (the causative agent of COVID-19) was not detected anymore. She is now back to her 3x-a-week regular hemodialysis at her dialysis center. We could all heave a sigh of relief at last. We were just really happy that our family’s COVID nightmare was over, and that Nanay did not suffer much during her hospital confinement.

Posted in CIDH, City of Imus Doctors Hospital, COVID-19, COVID-19 Case, COVID-19 Experience, COVID-19 Pandemic, COVID-19 Positive, COVID-19 Virus | Leave a comment

Our Family’s COVID-19 Experience + Helpful COVID-19 Information

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 sister, still caught the much dreaded COVID-19 virus.

Photo taken by the City of Imus Doctors Hospital COVID Ward Head Nurse

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.

Posted in Barangay Health Workers, City of Imus Doctors Hospital, COVID-19, COVID-19 Case, COVID-19 Experience, COVID-19 Pandemic, COVID-19 Positive, COVID-19 Virus | Leave a comment

Moving Your Motorcycle Cross Country

Planning to move house soon and if you own a motorcycle, you can ride your bike to the new home if you are only moving a short distance away. This option may not be a good one for some people especially if you have your household items to take with you. If you are moving cross country, you would definitely need the help of a professional motorcycle transport service.

Choosing a motorcycle shipping company

When you are moving long-distance, you should probably ship it to your destination instead. The only way to guarantee that the moving of your motorcycle is a success is to choose a motorcycle shipping company that specializes in the transportation of motorcycles. Such companies will have the required experience, insurance and reputation to help you complete the job quickly and safely.

Just how to find one of the best motorcycle shipping companies in the country? Don’t worry because you can now request for personalized quotes from online marketplace platforms such as Shiply. It allows you a one-stop place to check out rates to move your motorcycle and compare quotes. Just fill in a simple form and you will receive shipping quotes sent directly into your inbox.

The motorcycle shipping company which you have selected will offer you a few options on how to transport your motorcycle and they are:-
Enclosed Shipping – This method of transport is the most secure way to ship a motorbike. Your bike will be completely protected from the elements and transport hazards. Enclosed transport is also the most expensive way to ship a bike.
Crated Shipping – The bike is kept safe and tightly secured inside of a crate. This shipping service may require a bit more preparation and it is the absolute safest way to ship a bike.
Door to Door – This option is the most convenient for shippers. The truck will arrive at your home on the day of the move and do a brief inspection of the motorcycle. After the inspection, it will be loaded onto the truck and delivered directly to its destination.
• Terminal to Terminal – This delivery option may not as convenient as others, but it will save you some money. You will need to arrange for a ride home for yourself from the terminal where you will drop off the bike. You will also need to pick the bike up from the terminal once it has been delivered.

Shipping Cost

The motorcycle shipping cost is based on several factors such as follows:-
Size and weight – The size and weight of your motorbike will definitely affect the shipping cost. Lightweight models weigh somewhere between 200 and 300 pounds, while larger and heavier ones weigh approximately 500 pounds. Shipping companies charge more for transporting larger and heavier bikes.
Distance – The greater the transport distance is, the higher the price will be because greater distances require more fuel.
Pick up and drop off locations – If the bike is picked up and dropped off in an urban area, the cost will be cheaper. Remote locations that are harder to access are usually more expensive to service.

Posted in Motorbike, Motorcycle, Motorcycle Shipping, Motorcycle Shipping Quotes, Shiply | Leave a comment

Why You Should Watch Moon Embracing the Sun

I have no idea who Kim Soo-hyun is prior to watching It’s Okay to Not Be Okay. Curiosity got the better of me, so I searched for his name online and learned that he is Korea’s highest paid actor for 2020. I also watched his earlier K-dramas on Netflix to see more and know more about this very promising actor. I absolutely enjoyed watching Moon Embracing the Sun so much so that I pulled an all-nighter to finish all of its 20 episodes pronto.

Moon Embracing the Sun centers on the love story between a king and a shaman that’s poignant and heart-rending for the most part but with a redeeming ending. Here you’ll see play politics, sorcery, betrayal, undying love, friendship and loyalty, and the triumph of good versus evil. Writing about this K-drama makes me really want to watch it again. Moon Embracing the Sun won the Best Drama and Best Actor awards in the 48th Baeksang Arts Awards in 2012.

Crown Prince Lee Won (Yeo Jin-goo) is set to marry noble lady Yeon Woo (Kim Yoo-jung), but the soon-to-be-appointed Crown Princess is afflicted with a mysterious illness and dies before the wedding happens. Everyone assumes Yeon Woo is dead, but she comes back to the palace eight years later as a trained shaman named Wol (Han Ga-in) with no memories of her past. By this time, King Lee Won is already married to a woman he does not love, Queen Bo-Kyung (Kim Min-seo).  After countless mishaps and tragedies, the true identity of Shaman Wol is revealed, and she claims her place as the rightful queen.

My Two Cents
I think the plot is well thought out. It’s an interesting, well-written story with interesting twists and turns. Kim Soo-hyun was at his best portraying a very complex and demanding character of a heartbroken and bitter yet charismatic and brilliant young king. Donning his kingly robes, he looks dashing, regal, manly, and oh so sexy!  You’ll be completely taken by his acting, too, especially in the heart-wrenching scenes. However, what happened to Prince Yang Myung’s character (Jung Il-woo) in the end, albeit dramatic, was unbelievable and quite preventable. I also think that Hang Ga-In’s portrayal of Queen Yeon Woo was overshadowed by the brilliant performance of the young Seon Woo (Kim Yoo-jung).

To be honest, historical K-dramas are really not my thing, but I enjoyed watching Moon Embracing the Sun for its engaging storyline and brilliant performance of its actors, with Kim Soo-hyun leading the pack. It’s available on Netflix if you still haven’t watched it yet.

Posted in 48th Baeksang Arts Awards, Han Ga-in, Historical Drama, K-drama, Kim Soo-Hyun, Kim Yoo-jung, Korean Drama, Moon Embracing the Sun, Netflix, Yeo Jin-goo | Leave a comment