Broadcaster Howie Severino
Howie Severino via GMA
Patient 2828: Howie Severino shares how he survived COVID-19
Jan Milo Severo ( - April 8, 2020 - 10:47am

MANILA, Philippines — GMA News broadcaster Howie Severino revealed how he survived his fight against the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In his essay published on GMA News Online, Howie said he is now a COVID-19 survivor.

“After nine days in the hospital, a bout of pneumonia and a major scare, I think I can now be called a COVID-19 survivor,” Howie wrote.

He described COVID-19 as one of the loneliest things in human history next to leprosy because of isolation.

“I know of a few others, all attempting to return to low-profile lives in a fearful world, but most choose to remain invisible. There are strong reasons for this anonymity. This disease is one of the most stigmatized and loneliest in human history, perhaps comparable only to leprosy where quarantine can be forever,” he said.

As a survivor, Howie said he has the responsibility to talk about his experience to the public so people would understand it and lessen their fear.

“Since the pandemic is far from over, many more will be infected and confined. Some will not make it. 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 said.

The veteran journalist also said that the virus is not a death sentence and the odds of survival are pretty good.

“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.

“Don’t believe all the statistics. One false impression is that the fatalities outnumber the recoveries, artificially bloating the case fatality rate. The reality is many of the recoveries don’t get counted, while the deaths often make the news, adding to the overwhelming sense of dread. The odds of survival are pretty good,” he added.

He also thanked the frontliners for assisting him and the other COVID-19 patients.

“Frontliners are true heroes, but many more have chosen to stay out of harm’s way. One can’t blame them considering the risks and discrimination,” he said. 

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