First jab

ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago-Visaya - The Freeman

It took a long time for me to get my first shot. Initially, I had some reservations about getting vaccinated, despite the fact that, as a senior with comorbidities, I should have been immunized in the priority category. It's gotten to the point where at least two of our members have tested positive for COVID. The entire family became terrified, and they began to monitor each family member's condition day by day to see if they had developed any symptoms.

So the rest of the family was swabbed as well, with some results being positive and others being negative. But, in order to protect them, we finally secluded ourselves from others. Ardent prayers are offered for healing, recovery, and protection up to this writing especially for my 92-year-old mother and a physically-challenged brother.

However, I was already concerned previous to this incident because some of my acquaintances had contracted the disease and were now deceased.

It is true that life is incredibly difficult during this pandemic. Interactions with the outside physical world are extremely limited, if not nonexistent. Face-to-face communication should be avoided, thus social media, through messages and phone calls, is extremely useful.

And I'm well aware that our story is not unique, as it is shared by the rest of the families whose concern and affection have been put to the test. Showing concern by calling them every now and then to alleviate the agony and mental suffering, as well as advising them on how, where, and whom to contact for specialized assistance, are all beneficial to family members whose main priority is to get well and return to normal as quickly as possible.

In this time of pandemic, mental and emotional endurance are put to the strain, and family becomes more important than ever. They never abandon us, no matter what. When everything seems to be falling apart, the family is always there to support us. I'm not sure who else could do it.

Beyond the familial circle, there have always been dependable people who are dedicated to their vocation. My former students who are now doctors are the ones who pushed me to have swab tested and vaccinated. Dr. Arcelin “En En” Lomanta Piramide, who has been consistent and persistent, is generous with her time and counsel who would always monitors my health condition. Dr. Jeremy Robles, giving me sound advice on how to go about it as I have diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. Dr. Lorel Saliendra Dee, has always been available whenever I needed the proper prescriptions to move on to the next step. Dr. Michael Dr. Michelle Cotia for taking time to also pushed me to be vaccinated. Dr. Mitzi Matela, Dr. Jerome Magat, Butch Carungay, Quennie Sanchez Bronce, and the rest of my UP High students who were very supportive and concerned. I am likewise grateful to Dr. Gretchen Chavez who keeps on calling me, constantly inspiring and praying with me to be strong and put everything to the greatest healer’s hands.

In this pandemic, our doctors, other health professionals and friends have taken on the role of angels, ready to catch us when we are about to fall. Doctors as well as friends are said to be God's angels. They hold a portion of our lives in their hands, while God holds the rest.

I'm taking my immunization seriously because I care about my family's health and the people who generously serve others, such as our healthcare professionals. You are great heroes who deserve to be honored.

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