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Opinion

Omicron on my own

SINGKIT - Doreen G. Yu - The Philippine Star

I hope I don’t get into trouble with the Department of Health for this, my DIY response to COVID. Yesterday was the 10th day since onset of symptoms for what I believe must have been the Omicron variant of COVID. Feeling feverish starting Wednesday night last week – the fever reached 38.8 at one point the next day – I immediately isolated, took an anti-gen test (oops, two red lines) and amassed my “arsenal” based on recommendations and advice from friends and family – turmeric tea with lemon, Biogesic (ended up taking it only twice), oolong tea, Lola Remedios, Banlangen Keli, lozenges, warm saltwater gargle... I stood in the sun for 10 minutes in the morning. I did tuob (steam inhalation) which felt really good – and gave me softer skin and rosy cheeks to boot!

The fever was gone on the third day. The worst part was the sore throat, not raspy but a swelling that made every swallow agonizing. I tried to get a throat spray, but all the nearby drugstores were out of stock. This also meant I hardly ate anything; drinking the teas was challenging enough.

I tele-consulted with the doctors at the new Traditional Chinese Medicine department of the Chinese General Hospital, and they gave me COVRelief tea from Taiwan, which helped clear the “heat” in my system and “detoxicate;” maybe it was all in the mind, but I did feel “cleansed” after three doses of a half-pack each dose. I also slow cooked a pot of nutritious restorative soup. I did my work from my room, editing on a tablet, watched television, did Sudoku and crossword puzzles.

Right on schedule (according to what I read up on), when I woke up on Day 5, the sore throat was practically gone, my head felt really clear and any trace of the general malaise that I had been feeling was gone – it was a bright and beautiful sunny morning. For sure, what I did will not work for all; this is by no means a regimen I’m prescribing. And definitely, getting COVID is not the answer to achieving personal or herd immunity; intentionally trying to get Omicron is a gamble you should not take – you could get a more lethal variant, or there could be complications and you could easily infect other people who may become seriously ill.

I am vaxxed and boostered, so the odds when I got infected were better for me. But it was still a scary situation those first five days. The most important take-away from this experience is that not getting infected is still the goal, and that means masking properly, going out only when necessary and keeping distance from others if you do go out. No gatherings or parties, and please...get vaccinated!

DIY
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