By Dhel Nazario
It was faith that held intact a man on the brink of insanity brought about by his isolation, depression, and fear as he battled the dreaded coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Fear that he could die alone any moment and not having the chance to live the life that God may have wanted him to.
“I realized I am nothing and I could die instantly and it could be a very lonely death. And if I didn’t have the chance to live a life our Lord wanted me to, it could be too late by then,” he shared.
It is no ordinary feat to recover from COVID-19, which now afflicts the world. No one is spared from the disease. Even medical professionals die due to exposure and the non-disclosure of some patients of their symptoms and travel history.
This patient from Pasay City shared with Manila Bulletin the struggle he faced for two weeks after he turned out positive for the disease.
It was on March 13 when he was brought to the Makati Medical Center by his wife and son after learning from a friend who was doing contact tracing that he could have been possibly exposed to a COVID positive patient in one gathering.
“Being isolated for more than two weeks was really difficult. I couldn’t help but feel depressed and feared for my life especially upon seeing all the news on TV and the Internet,” he said.
If it were not for the Internet connection and the face of his family that he sees on the screen, the 18 days at the hospital could have taken a toll on him. Apart from that, the city’s second COVID-19 patient renewed his faith in God during his ordeal.
“While in isolation, I also rediscovered God and developed a closer love relationship with our Lord and savior Jesus Christ and our dear Mama Mary. During my most difficult times, I turned to God and lifted everything to him,” he said.
Part of the treatment was for him to remain tranquil. As with other patients, the psychological aspect of fighting the disease was just as significant as the physical treatment. It helped that he took his mind off the complication of his situation by filling his mind with positive things.
“While in isolation, I spent my time praying the rosary and hearing mass online. I also listened to inspirational talks to remove all my fears, worries, and anxieties,” he said.
He likened people’s negative thoughts to birds, hovering around the head.
“These negative thoughts are like birds. We can’t keep them from flying around our head but we can certainly keep them from building a nest on our head,” he said.
After his third and fourth tests yielded negative results, he was finally healed and ready to go home.
He wanted to be out of the hospital just before Lent, which gave him ample time to reflect on the time he spent in isolation, the time he almost lost himself to fear and anxiety but regained it through faith.
“The ordeal also made me realize that God will never abandon us in our most difficult times. All we have to do is to hold on to our faith and to believe in the power of prayer,” he said.