COVID-19 has finally hit my immediate family big time. Five of us, including two children from three households, tested positive for the virus. Only three, including myself, were spared. The good thing is, we have two doctors in the family though one also tested positive. The second doctor, my daughter, already had her bout with the virus last year.
Those who are infected did not need hospitalization because their cases are mild. Thus, everyone needed to undergo isolation. Family members with COVID-19 are now well on their way to recovery and in a few days, all of us will finish our quarantine period.
We are among the lucky ones because while we are hit, not one is hospitalized. Our doctors see to it that we all have the medical care we need, and we do what needs to be done. We are able to procure the needed medicines and supplies, and we have adequate provisions for other basic items. While we go through quarantine, we have the physical space and more or less, the necessary facilities.
Still, the experience is very far from pleasant. As the oldest in the family, I feel that my children are extra-protective of me during this pandemic. However, this time around, their reminders are more frequent and seemingly urgent. I feel the worry in their words, and this saddens me. Never in my life have I wanted to be a burden to anyone, especially my family.
Dealing with COVID-19 in the family, no matter how mild, is stressful. We need to be very careful especially in terms of always properly wearing well-fitted face masks, physical distancing, and ventilation. Constantly and patiently, everyone in my household is reminded how serious the situation is, the importance of strictly following protocols, what to do when deliveries are received, and how to sanitize and store the delivered items. For someone like me who does not like to constantly tell people what to do, this is tiring.
The stress levels while isolating and dealing with COVID-19 is extraordinary. It is hard to sleep at night not knowing what tomorrow will bring. Finding out how everyone is doing daily, while hoping that the condition of those afflicted does not worsen and none of the others has developed symptoms, is worrisome.
It is most difficult to not be able to personally see, touch, and care for sick family members. We have to content ourselves with video calls, voice messages, and chats. Still, this is better than not having any contact at all.
Of particular concern to us are our two children, eleven and six years old. While the adults have been vaccinated and two have received their booster shots, the kids have not. This is COVID-19, not any ordinary sickness. Never have I worried about fever, cough, and colds. It is really a terrible time.
Understandably, a time will come when patience and being good natured about things will almost run out. The most mundane of things irritate me at times. But then, we know that our experience is “easy” compared with how hard this pandemic has hit others.
Out of curiosity and knowing that the data coming from the Department of Health (DOH) is far from accurate because of the small number of tests done, I did an informal survey on Twitter and Facebook on how many in my social media circle have remained COVID-19-free so far.
The responses are overwhelming and saddening.
The big majority of the few hundreds who responded said that they themselves, close family members, close friends, or officemates were infected with the virus. Only a few said that they and their loved ones have remained free from COVID-19.
Too many of those who responded said that several members of their families had been infected. It was notable that among cases detected this January, more family members, at times entire families, have tested positive for the virus. Many attributed the spread to the Omicron variant and the fact that they went to see their families for the holidays. Children were also among those who got the virus. I think that this was also my family’s case.
There were those who were infected twice although all said that the second infection was mild. Most of the recent cases are mild, according to those who responded, and they attributed this to the vaccines they have received.
Not a few were still in grief for losing their loved ones to COVID-19. And while they grieve, the virus has attacked their families again.
Indeed, these are very trying times. My family’s experience is already difficult despite the fact that no one had to be hospitalized, we have doctors in the family, and we have everything we need. We can only imagine how those in poor communities, those without ready access to medical care and treatment, deal with this serious and life-threatening problem.
I do not envy the families and friends of those who needed, and presently need hospitalization. We can only hope that the patients recovered, or will recover, and that their loved ones will be able to cope.
There are no words that can be said to comfort those still grieving. We can only support them and hope that their healing time will not be too long. This experience with COVID-19 will not be forgotten especially when our own families are stricken. There are lessons to be learned and we must take them to heart.
@bethangsioco on Twitter Elizabeth Angsioco on Facebook