June 14, 2024

Getting sick, more so getting cut off from one’s daily routine away from his or her loved ones even for a few days, can bring out the worst in a person. But as Filipinos are known for their happy spirit and ability to smile and find humor despite adversities, Covid-19 affliction and the resulting isolation can sometimes feel like a walk in the park. 
One patient billeted in one of the Teachers’ Camp isolation units was caught in a video appearing to amuse himself by cleaning the entire hallway of his wing.  
Dr. Maria Alice Torres of the Baguio City Health Services Office, who is in charge of the city-run quarantine and isolation facilities, said the patient appeared to have gotten carried away cleaning the entire area instead of just his earmarked space ala “tapat-ko-linis-ko” with a little workout to boot.  
“Actually, it’s against the rules because patients are not allowed far from their assigned rooms. Pero dahil mukhang inaaliw n’ya ang sarili n’ya, sige na nga pero ‘wag lang po sana uulitin o gagayahin ng ibang pasyente,” the doctor, also known for her sunny disposition, said.
Torres said patients in the isolation units have different ways of coping with their Covid predicament.
“Meron ‘yung iba nagyoyoga. ‘Yung iba ‘pag birthday, nagce-celebrate o party sila sa loob. ‘Yung iba nagtutulungan sa modules ng mga bata na kasama nila sa room,” Torres said.
Some get creative and strive to be productive in their confinement.
Torres said amusing and inspiring stories abound at the facilities but there were sob moments too, like when patients lost loved ones while still on confinement. “Tearjerker talaga,” she said.
In those moments the spirit of “pagdadamayan,” the cousin of “pagkamasayahin” in the Filipino book of traits, always took over.
“Happy or sad, we do our best to make their stay as comfortable as we can so we don’t add to their burden and instead refill their happy cup,” Torres said. – Aileen P. Refuerzo