WHEN her two daughters, who work as nurses in a government hospital, contracted Covid-19, the secretary to the board of a public utility company immediately had herself and other family members swabbed and tested for the coronavirus at one of the DOH-run laboratories in Cebu.
The choice was economics-driven: tests administered by privately-owned molecular laboratories cost a little fortune while the government labs, funded by taxpayers’ money, do it free of charge. The downside is that because of the sheer number of people that they serve daily, the public labs take some time to process and release the results.
So for three agonizing days, she waited for the results, all the time worrying about her 80 plus year-old mother, who was living with them but was not swabbed yet. By the time their test results were given to her by a friend, she was already drained emotionally and physically. When she read the results, she somehow recovered her strength and heaved a sigh of relief. They were negative.
Assured that they were not coronavirus carriers, she brought her mother to a private lab where she was also cleared of any viral infection. Some two weeks later, her daughters who were quarantined, came home. “My prayers were heard,” she told me.
Sadly, not all Covid stories have a happy ending. Many have to be brought to the hospitals because their condition had turned serious. If they’re lucky and are able to secure a room, they get adequate medical attention. But even the best medical care could not save a number of them. Save perhaps for an overworked nurse, no one is beside a Covid patient when he breathes his last. No family, no friends, and then no wake and no final goodbyes befitting a loved one.
The secretary and her family were not just lucky but were prepared. When the coronavirus invaded her home, they were all fully vaccinated, including her daughters. Theirs must have been cases of what medical science calls breakthrough infection as a result of their heavy exposure to the virus while attending to Covid-19 patients. But because they were vaccinated, were young and had no comorbidities, they suffered nothing more than a scare.
I was told that there are now enough vaccines in Cebu to sustain relentless and uninterrupted vaccination. So let’s go to the vaccination center nearest us. The vaccine works. Scientists and doctors say so. Let’s not listen to the fear mongerers who claim that the vaccine will turn us into zombies two years after they entered our bodies or that it will make us seriously ill, even die. They are even more ignorant than we are.
Trust the medical experts and nobody else when it comes to the virus. Not the lawyers, accountants or engineers, certainly not public opinion writers and even more certainly, not the politicians.
Heed this tweet even if it is written by an American for an American audience because it makes perfect sense: ‘When someone gets sick on a plane, do they say, “Is there a politician on board?’ No? Then don’t take advice from them about treating Covid.”