Archive for September, 2021

COVID already close to home.

To my dear readers:

Please don’t be complacent re COVID. The variant that is now in our environment is deadlier than the original. We were informed that my mother’s nephew ( our first cousin ) was hit by COVID, and for several days , was fighting for his life. The good news is that he has survived , and will be coming home in 5 days. The bad news is the staggering cost of his hospital bills. One medicine costs around $ 500 , and he takes 5 different medicines a day. What surprised us the most is that the patient also pays for the PPE ( Personal Protective Equipment ) that the doctors and nurses use , which is even more expensive than the medicine. Relatives and friends are now pooling their resources to help the family. We just transferred some money to them. Our bank actually needed to know the reason for the transfer . The bank clerk made a side comment that it was good to know that relatives help each other. I think it;s cultural, though. Anyway, their HMO is paying half of the cost ( the running balance is now in the millions … 1.7 M pesos, to date. ).

Also this week, we got news that another relative, my Mom’s cousin, also died from Covid. Here’s her brother’s message to Mom.

Dear Prima,

Last Friday, I lost my sister to Covid. She passed away less than 24 hours after testing positive. We knew it was an uphill climb because she had co-morbidities ( diabetic , high blood pressure ) . Still, her rapid deterioration despite 1 jab of J & J was unexpected. We couldn’t have her admitted anywhere because all the hospitals here in Davao City were full. We had to provide the oxygen ourselves. Prima, for the first time in my life, I truly felt like a Third Worlder. There was practically no time to grieve. That’s another realization. Covid mandates that even grief must be quarantined. I have yet to see my brother face to face who had contact with my sister. Burial was the next hurdle. We faced a weekend where all the crematoria were full. The other alternative was even a more scary prospect…. the mass gravesites prepared by Mayor Sarah Duterte. Fortunately, we were able to arrange a burial in a vacant memorial lot. Of course, premium had to be paid each step of the way. I wonder how the less fortunate can cope.

The source of infection was my sister’s new housemaid who was asymptomatic, but kept it to herself. She even refused a swab so we had to turn her over to the authorities before she spreads horror to the community. All facilities were full , but she needed to be in isolation. Good thing we have a spare house . Isn’t it ironic we have to take care of the person who killed my sister ? In the meantime , my brother who took care of my sister tested positive, but is thankfully asymptomatic, and is now in isolation as well. This isn’t an isolated story. Many infections come from drivers, household helpers and people who run seemingly innocous errands for us. Have them tested before engaging their services.

So, my dear readers, stay safe and be self- aware, especially those who are most vulnerable. Covid will be with us for a long time. Have that booster shot as soon as it’s available. By the way, another relative, the wife of Mom’s first cousin, also died. She was a healthy 75 year old lady, fully vaccinated with SinoVax ( Chinese ) , and seldom went out . ( By the way, in the Philippines, people over 65 years old are not allowed in the streets. ) But , her daughter is a nurse who lives with them. So we suspect she brought home the virus. She’s negative.

Wordless Wednesday, First time doing this wordless thing…. do you see the president of the Philippines Duterte ? Wordless for him. Crickets, crickets… second hand embarassment, again. Yikes !