Saying goodbye

VERBAL VARIETY - Annie Fe Perez (The Freeman) - May 22, 2021 - 12:00am

I remembered the first day I visited the NOAH complex at the South Road Properties. I have been seeing it in photos but I didn't really know what it actually looked like. The word quarantine facility gave me chills to the point where I was thinking that my step inside the complex would automatically expose me to the virus. I was wrong and it was pure judgment. It was a place of refuge for those who did not have enough money and space to isolate themselves because they got COVID along the way in this big pandemic.

I could literally hear my heart pounding as we were on the way to the area. My phone kept ringing because Councilor Joy Pesquera wanted to know if I was near; she was running the place. I was nervous not because I was going to do an interview, but because I was going to a quarantine facility. Upon arrival all the necessary precautionary measures were done on our vehicle and we were denied entry to the area where the patients were but we saw them from the CCTV camera feed. I was too judgmental, I felt ashamed.

As the weeks went on and the cases of COVID kept rising, I had many friends admitted to the NOAH complex. They shared how the facility helped them recover. There were issues that cropped up regarding the facility but there was nothing that could take it down. Now, we have to say goodbye to this complex which has helped so much in Cebu city's response to COVID. It will simply be a thing of the past, a complex filled with stories that did not only cater to the virus but to those who had to give birth in the area as well.

Saying goodbye isn't easy, not any part of it is. You have to remind yourself that you are entering a new phase and the system that you were used to being with is definitely going to change. There will be a lot of hiccups but you will collect yourself together as you leave and let go. I guess with NOAH leaving, we are entering a new phase in the pandemic where the transmission is close to being controlled and we are embracing the infamous new normal.

I have said goodbye more times than I have thought I would because of this pandemic. These included my favorite restaurants, hangout places, and people who had to leave to go back home to be with their families. How did that make me feel? Well, I am simply coping and making sure the memories are useful enough not to hurt me. In time we will get there where everything that we do today will be part of the stories we will tell to our children and grandchildren.

Reminiscing is a fond leisure but it also brings up the pain of the past and the lessons learned. Letting go of NOAH will definitely let us go through all those feels with a learning balance.

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