A sad plight
ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago-Visaya (The Freeman) - September 24, 2020 - 12:00am

These past few days have been emotionally draining for the family. Though we're not directly affected by the situation, we can't help worrying about our close relative. And in extending what we can do to her, we feel a sense of responsibility as well. There is also a saying that first, before helping others, help those who are direct to us.

Ever since, being sick for those who have less in life is a massive risk, but even more so in this pandemic period. And I understand those who do not want to be admitted because they do not want to be suspected of being COVID-19 positive and so endure the burden of recovering, opting to stay at home.

And more than ever, there appears to be a stigma towards patients with COVID-19, but the truth is that many other patients with other diseases need to be treated urgently and equally. There are people who considered going to hospitals as a last resort because of the complications involved and still do need medical attention.

As new patients can no longer be accommodated, it is devastating to learn that a sick person has been overlooked and denied admission by a hospital. When one is nobody, no power or contacts to request assistance, it is more disappointing. Many of our ordinary individuals find themselves in the mire of helplessness and frustration.

I can't just withstand this problem they've been through. Using the social media that has been so effective in letting others know one’s current problem, based on experience. I have sought the support of my social media friends. And in only a couple of minutes, messages for assistance, referrals from well-intentioned friends flood in. Some names based on my memory were my students and are now accomplished in the medical field. And to cut the long story short, referral after referral, doctors and nurses have pledged to make things easy for us.

Accommodation to the hospital, including attending to the needs of my relative, had been taken care of. And I know these wonderful souls just wait to be informed so they could be tapped for their most sought help especially during emergencies.

During challenging times, there are angels in our midst who are willing to help directly or indirectly. They make our lives easy to bear during difficult times. They just need to know that we needed them for our well-being.

Poverty is a lack of resources and money is just one of those. A person can suddenly come into money and become poor again quickly if they haven’t built the other resources. One may have inherited a large sum of money and increased their financial resources, but lacked many of the other resources. Emotionally they are not coping well with the stresses of life and loss. This person did not have a strong support system or people she felt she could trust.

I am perhaps fortunate to have a circle of friends who value and genuinely lend their support. And I am truly grateful for this.

Sadly, she passed away after a day she was admitted. A relative who was always happy to extend her support to us, even for everyday menial tasks. Rowena “Awing” Cabatingan was a go-to person every time we had family gatherings. Her hands were never empty for errands and household chores.

My relative’s death leaves an enduring lesson, if only we follow the ideals and systems that know no social status, set no boundaries, we can have a place where people thrive in harmony and justice. Farewell and rest well, my dear cousin.

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