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.

23 responses to this post.

  1. Very sorry about your losses. It is indeed to be taken seriously. As for paying for everything makes me think of Mexico. My daughter, and MD, works at a hospital where there are no antibiotics. And she is prohibited to write a prescription for the patient’s family to buy it outside… (So she writes them “undervcover”). Sad world. stay safe.


    • Philippines = Mexico…. I don’t know if that’s a good thing, ha ha ha. Prohibited to buy outside ? Why ??????? The Philippines is now experiencing a second surge despite the strict precautions. People are speculating why this is happening.


      • There are so many similarities between Mexico and the Philippines… Amazing. Prohibited because the president has said that healthcare is free for the people. So you can’t tell patients to go buy medicine outside. But there is. no medicine inside… One can speculate why this could be right?
        And for the second surge in Philippines… Mismanagement maybe?


        • Mismanagement, corruption… the money that was supposed to buy vaccines and medicine, were diverted to buy masks , oerpriced PPEs, face shield to just one comapny, owned bty Chinese nationals… it’s now a big scandal in the Philippines and is currently being investigted by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee. And said compay couldn’t account for Php 47 B … the Chinese nationals are now hiding in China and warrant of arrests were issued. These Chinese nationals are cronies of the Dutertes. the people are starving and the promised “ayuda” didn’t arrive. There is a surge in Davao City where the daughter of Duterte is a mayor. People are speculating that it’s because Davao City , a small city in Mindanao, is the gateway for Chinese nationals to enter the country without visa and health cards. It’s a small city , but there is a Chinese consulate with 5 consuls. All over the Philippines, Filipinos cannot even travel from one place to another without a health pass. Even Filipinos living abroad cannot go to the Philippines without health cards, plus they will ahve to undergo a 10 day quarantine, liivng in hotels, at the travellers’ expense. But Chinese nationals can enter w/o restrictions… that’s what I always say, Duterte is selling off the country to China. They say the Chinese who come are PLA’s ( military combatants)


          • Jesus! Duterte is really a gangster right?
            I once heard on the radio a development consultant who said: “Corruption” is the easiest way to steal from the poor.”
            And I’ve done research crossing GDP per capita and Transparency’s Corruption index. What do you know? The R2 is about .72. Very high correlation. The more corrupt a country, the poorer…
            I don’t like the world you young people are going to “inherit”.
            (Are your parents ok?)


        • Do you know there are towns in Mexico where more than half of the population have Filipino ancestry?


          • I didn’t know, but I’m not surprised. there were such strong ties. (I always learn new things with you. Salamat) 😉
            In Yucatan, they imported Chinese workers early 1900’s. They have completely blended into the Maya population. Chinese names are similar to Maya names.


  2. So sorry for your losses. I hope people take your advice seriously. Blessings to you all.


  3. Sorry for your losses. Know or know of a few people who have been diagnosed, including a neighbor just a few doors down now in the hospital with it really bad. It’s a shame the virus has gotten so many opportunities to stick around and mutate.


  4. Yes it’s true, my hometown is Davao City and despite of strict precautions, things are happening badly. I’m worried for my family there. Sorry for your losses. Take care


    • We’ve seen videos of patients lying in beds outside the hospital premises, looks like the sidewalks… it;s almost the same image that we saw in India . Some are even on trycicles, and you know they are patients because there is an oxygen tank beside the trycicle. And as our relative said, the crematorium is very busy, and cannot accomodate our deceased relative.


  5. Sorry to hear about this unfortunate event. May she rest in peace. The vaccine mostly helps with lowering the chance of severe illness, and I’m glad I took it.


    • That’s another positive advantage of getting vaccinated. If you’re fully vaccinated and you get Covid, the effect will less severe… Except our 2 elderly fully vaccinated relatives who passed on…. We now fear for my parents’ well-being.


  6. So sorry to hear about your loss.
    I find it very frustrating and annoying when I hear people say that COVID is a hoax. That it isn’t serious and it’s just hyped up by the government.
    I don’t find it funny. I watch Covid survivor TikToks and I am in awe of their fighting spirit! The nurses and doctors inspire me because I couldn’t do their job. I would have a breakdown. A lot of them do. It amazes me how many people take this pandemic as a joke.
    I pray for everyone for their health their spiritual well-being and for everyone to start waking up and help others to stop protesting.
    I will stop rambling now 😂🥰🤗


  7. Early treatment with inexpensive antiviral cocktails prevents most hospitalizations.


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