In a written piece for GMA News Online, veteran broadcast journalist Howie Severino revealed that he has survived a battle with the COVID-19 disease, also known as the novel coronavirus, which has been widespread not only in the Philippines but around the world, as well.
He recounted the nine days he was confined at the Fe Del Mundo Medical Center, where he was stabbed with long needles that could not find veins on his arms, swabs that were stuffed on his throat forcing him to gag, sleep deprivation, and his experiences with the dedicated medical staff who have helped him fight the battle.
Severino also pointed out in his article that having the viral sickness is not an automatic death sentence.
“COVID-19 need not be a death sentence. I am living proof. A combination of good fortune, physical fitness, and competent medical treatment probably saved my life,” he said.
He also shared that an experimental drug called chloroquine “eventually worked” for him and other patients. He also said people who are or have been COVID-19 positive now have roles in society to help people understand the disease and lessen the fear it caused.
“Those of us among the pioneers — I’m Patient 2828 in the lower part of the curve — have a responsibility to talk about this experience in a way that will enable the public to understand it, lessen the fear, and create compassion for those who survived COVID-19,” he went on.
Severino said he is lucky to have been able to go home to a normal life, unlike a fellow COVID-19 positive patient who was barred from returning to his condominium unit despite already testing positive for the disease.
He also advised people who reach out to COVID-19 patients should not just share “get well soon” messages but also family news, new playlists to listen to, and jokes & Internet memes to laugh about.
“Anything that can offer a respite from the constant reminders of our condition. We do not need more pity,” he said.
Zoom meetings with loved ones were one of the many things that helped Severino with the loneliness caused by the isolation.
“My wife calmly walked me through meditation and breathing exercises she learned at theater workshops. In the dark, I closed my eyes, imagined lavender fields, and started counting to 100. I was trying to dispel the dreadful thoughts and finally fell asleep before the count of 100.” he recalled.
He also shared how frontliners are the heroes of this crisis, ending the article by saying it will be hard to pay them back for what they have been doing.
“It will be hard to pay them back, but one can pay it forward. If it’s true that I will have antibodies in my blood that can help others fight off infection, I’ll be glad to donate this accidental gift. It’s a small price for all survivors to pay for the chance to see the sun again,” he said.
Check out his full reflections on his journey with the novel coronavirus by clicking here.
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