* I started writing this post in July but I don’t know how I just can’t get around to finishing this, or anything that I’ve started recently, even just finish a Kdrama or a book or whatever it is. I feel so uninspired (to write) and just plain lazy.
I felt nauseous when I rode the ambulance, it was driving too fast, my stomach churned as I tried to sit still and not topple over. It took less than 20 minutes to get to my destination out of town.
It was a gloomy afternoon, rain threatened to pour, gray clouds loomed over towering trees and the rumble of thunder can be heard from a distance .
I was met by nurses in space suits when I arrived at the mountain resort turned quarantine facility, briefed of the going-ons of the place and was escorted to my room. And that was just the time my situation started to sink in. I did not know if I wanted to cry or be mad or laugh like crazy so I dropped myself on the single bed by the end of the room and slept.
It was just one party, I say, and I let my guard down. 3 days later I was coughing my lungs out, my throat itched and hurt like hell, I was catching my breath, it was so hard to breathe. 5 days later I lost my sense of smell and taste. My swab result turned out positive.
Somewhere, somehow, I knew it was Covid even before testing and it scared the hell out of me. I have asthma and cardiac arrhythmia but that did not really matter, I was mostly scared on how I will affect the people around me, the people I interact with daily at work and at home. I have senior and sickly parents, I have an asthmatic kid, I have a diabetic boss, I have a pregnant colleague and another one in remission from thyroid cancer. It was too overwhelming, I felt like falling into depression.
My mind was blank. I slept away my first week, my roommate started to worry. I did not feel like interacting with other people or seeing the nurses or consulting with the doctor. Insisted even when it wasn’t allowed and went down to the river because I just wanted to be alone and away.
It was the longest 2 weeks of my life.
This pandemic, it’s indescribable. It has changed the way of our lives beyond recognition. It’s widely stigmatized and discriminated, I had to tell the ambulance driver to not turn on the siren when they picked me up so my neighbors won’t look.
But I’ve learned so much in the 2 weeks I was quarantined, that there are still so much that I should be grateful for.
I am grateful that the strain I caught was not deadly and I was able to overcome the disease. I am grateful for the nurses and doctor who looked after me at the facility. I am grateful for the community I was able to get to know and embrace in the 2 weeks I was there, it made my quarantine stay more bearable. I was able to laugh, share stories, binge on zombie movies and indulge in delicious food even when it tasted bland on my end.
I am grateful that the people I left behind at home and at work are well and safe despite being close contacts.
And that I was able to get some rest. Mobile reception was bad I unintentionally did a digital detox, away from social media and just de-stress. I was able to just laze around, not minding the time, and even finished 5 books during my stay. I consider myself lucky that my workplace took care of me, accommodated me in a conducive facility as compared to others in the province, and everything was for free.
I realized that we’ll never go back to how it was. It’s been almost 2 years and the pandemic is still here. A lot of people are still in lockdown, unable to go to work, unable to go to school, unable to meet in public places, struggling in isolation stations from the lack of hospital beds, dying in the ICU, people everywhere are dying because of Covid. And during times of existential uncertainties, we instinctively desperately strive to be with family, but we can’t. I missed my kids so much during the 2 weeks I was away from them.
This Covid thing, we are confronted with the true uncertainty of human existence and the true vulnerability of human life.
That its’s such a terrible waste of time to drown ourselves in an endless unwinnable war for wealth and status and power and not recognize the value of people [our families, our friends, our colleagues, even acquaintances and strangers], instead.
That this forces us to appreciate the value of freedom — the freedom to move, to be with those we love.
That this braves us to stop procrastinating and push ourselves to pursue those things we’ve always dreamt about, because we may run out of time. But this also allows us to pause and bask in the moment, soaking in the mundane and rest.
I had Covid and had so many realizations at that despite the fear and anxiety, and luckily, thankfully I survived.
And just to put this out there, get vaccinated people.