Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Custodio: Let me tell you a Covid story

I LOST a dear friend to Covid-19 a few weeks ago. I had met her some 10 years ago through Multiply, a social media platform that I'm not really sure still exists. We shared a lot of good and bad times; made lots of memories together.

I sit here now, writing this piece still unbelieving that she is really gone. It all happened so fast that I barely had time to feel anything. I remember that day when she said she had tested positive. The sunny sky had suddenly turned to gray. I was mortified, knowing that Covid is a ruthless enemy. This was a dear friend and I couldn't believe it! Covid had hit home.

We were praying for her even before she was admitted at SPMC. We were rooting for her and encouraging her through personal messages on FB. She was unable to reply but when I saw her waving during a video call, I was relieved. I remained hopeful that she would pull through and we would soon be drinking soju!

But she got transferred to the ICU so they could monitor her status better.

One morning, I got a PM from her. I was happy because it was the first time she messaged me since she got sick! I was ecstatic! I thought, "Yeyy! She's getting better!"

The succeeding hours were uneventful and we were all feeling good! Then it happened. At 5:30 am, the following day, she was gone. They tried saving her all through the night but in the end, Covid prevailed.

The heartache and anguish is unbelievable. Even when you are a doctor, you adhere to strict protocols. Her daughter, who's a doctor did not get to see her. No one in her family did. None of us, her friends, did either. When we were reunited with her, my beloved friend was in an urn.

The last time we saw each other, we were throwing kisses and virtual hugs in the air. In the aftermath of Covid, I found myself before her picture instead of her.

Instead of hugging her and being hugged back (because she always does), I hugged her urn. I still cry from the memory of it. My friend is gone. She would have been a lola in two weeks. She would've baked rum cake and fruit cake for Christmas and enjoyed the yuletide season with her family and friends.

Now we are left with wonderful memories of her. Her red hair and hot pink lipstick. Her laughter and her 80s playlist. The void she left aches. Don't let this happen to you.

Covid is real. It is ruthless and it will come for you if you give it a chance. Don't let it. Please follow the protocols. Please.


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