Keeping It Real

“Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.”–Mark Twain

Reality is indeed stranger than fiction.

Establishments and businesses were slowly reopening, and work arrangements were normalizing to already three days on site (the rest of the week, “work from home”) when along comes a mild whiff of wind that carried another Corona virus variant.

COVID baffles the human race by every single breath each one takes. In a span of two years (and counting), the Corona virus has mutated into different strains that infected a huge percentage of people from across the global hemisphere, as well as taken lives by the million.

Omicron, the newest strain known today, is the mildest and the meekest among the various forms, I believe. It takes on the most unassuming of flu-like symptoms: headache, cold, cough, fever, and loss of strength. This is unlike the regular flu, in which a person could still occasionally manage to perform house chores here and there. On the other hand, also like the flu, it could pass on to each and every member of the household, often leaving no stone unturned.

Unassuming as it seems, Omicron reportedly spreads five times faster than other variants and has already taken two lives in the Philippines. Metro Manila is once again on the brink of a lockdown due to the surge of positive infected citizens that multiplies by the minute.

Imagine this, a nephew of mine who had his RT-PCR test two days ago which brought back negative results, experienced symptoms the next day after being exposed to a family member positive from Corona virus. Voila! And just like that, he now tests positive. Thing is, it was not his choice to be exposed to the virus. The other person is a senior citizen who is in need of care, and he is the one in charge.

No matter how much people, in general, want to stay healthy these days, it’s just so difficult. I have observed that even when one practices health and safety protocols enough to keep away from being infected, the virus somehow finds its way.

Many have done it–minimized risks of exposure, practiced isolation in the house, sanitized dwelling spaces, and even arranged for food delivery. There are those who will even attest that they have probably used most of the tricks in the book. But lo and behold, they end up infected just the same.

Admittedly, there are needs that should be fulfilled outside of our homes–some employment, grocery shopping, pharmaceutical needs, medical appointments. However, after all is said and done, interaction with other people in this sense can still not be avoided entirely.

Having known this, I believe there actually is no known trick or strategy to minimize the risk of exposure nor infection. In the case of the Omicron variant, once a person feels that he may be having symptoms, observe for possible prognosis, isolate right away, and try to differentiate a regular flu from the COVID infection. Undergo RT-PCR or Antigen testing so that the illness may be addressed with proper medication.

Have a quiet time alone. Rekindle some reading habits. Netflix may also be helpful. Most importantly, take a lot of that coveted rest. Truth be told, once a person is stricken with the Corona virus, the person is left alone to recuperate. Due to the risks of infection, other household members may not actually be able to render care. Take the prescribed medication diligently and hydrate as much as you can.

Dealing with the pandemic is indeed a struggle. But let resilience, awareness, and the sense of responsibility be your companion in this solitary times.