Tibaldo: My Covid-19 Diary: Doing things worthwhile in isolation

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I HAD several engagements with the Philippine National Red Cross in the past. I was a resource speaker of the local chapter on the Standard Disaster Management in 2000 and years before that, I was a participant in an Airport Emergency Preparedness following the incident command system generally known as ICS.

To continue what I wrote last week on turning a plus sign into something positive, I received a call and emailed certification from PNRC saying that my swab test result turned out to be positive with the coronavirus disease 2019, so I immediately submitted to be in isolation for 14 days observing the strict guidelines set by the inter-agency task force.

Accordingly, 90 percent of Covid-19 cases are mild and asymptomatic and in order to reduce the risk of spreading the virus, I was advised to isolate myself in a room, get enough rest, eat right, drink plenty of water, wear masks and face shields at all times, and have my own personal utensils.

As of this writing, I have already completed the 14-day home-confinement, which means a recovery or a graduation that I jokingly told myself but seriously, I have to thank all efforts starting from my family, relatives, friends, officemates and the City Government of Baguio with its responsive community. I am also grateful to the contact tracing team led by the Baguio Health Department for notifying those whom I had direct contacts and for recommending a disinfection at my office including our Baguio-Benguet provincial office next floor.

So what have I felt and been doing for the last two weeks? Realizing that this pandemic has caused a global impact to all humans and considering it as a state of emergency, I treated it as a disaster response that starts within myself. First was to suppress that fear and release that negative feeling and condition the body not allowing it to be sick. I consider myself lucky to be confined at my home workplace and art studio where I can fix things and do something worthwhile like fixing leaks, cleaning up, sprucing up a rooftop mini-garden and washing my own clothes.

In those span of days, I had confidence boosters, prayer warriors and received encouraging calls and text messages from friends and colleagues. The alley within my immediate community was on lockdown for two days and our Barangay gave food packs and multi-vitamins. My siblings in our compound also provided necessities and helped me get some hardware materials that I needed to keep me busy. While under the same roof, my immediate family too were in isolation with my daughter and wife maintaining social distancing. With interconnectivity, we were able to connect online with my daughter in Manila and my 7 year old grandson who stays momentarily with his father some four kilometers away.

I have also chosen to make my situation and the circumstances known to the public through social media for everyone's protection and guidance. I thank the Lord that I do not feel any trace of weakness as I feel positive that I shall overcome this stage with the support, encouragement and prayers of friends and loved ones.

I counted the days thinking of others who also tested positive but in more difficult situations and wondered when will this pandemic ever come to an end or at least be leveled up so that countries in debt like ours can fully recover with the resumption of trade and commerce.

In my assessment on what is happening nowadays, my only resolve is not to let our guards down. It means that we should always take care of ourselves and do preventive measures not to catch even a cold. We should boost our immune system by having enough rest, eating the right food and drinking a lot of water that the body requires. I also noted the "kalasag" as a symbol of strength among us Cordillerans, a perfect sign and reminder that we can all combat and surpass this challenge. It also means that we must now live as Covid warriors, armed with our protective gears in all our undertakings.

This pandemic is not likely to leave us any time soon so we must plan, do, check and act the right moves starting from simple things like social distancing, wearing masks and face shields in public places and constant washing of hands whenever we can.


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