Wednesday, August 05, 2020

I prepared a morbid to-do list, just in case COVID-19 takes me

Lockdown, Part 2! How are you coping? With the COVID-19 cases rising to a whopping 116,000+ (as of today) in the Philippines, we're under strict quarantine again. And because our government has no plans on dealing effectively with this pandemic - unlike other countries - it looks like "Matirang matibay!" is everyone's battleplan. We are on our own, guys, so please be extra careful.

Thing is, kahit na maging extra careful tayo, mukhang magkakahawaan din tayo eventually. Look at all those stories of people who didn't even go out of their house, who disinfected everything, and they still got it! What the what! Define malas, guys.

So after 5 months, I've finally confronted the fact that I might get COVID and die from it. Kayo, naisip niyo na rin ba yon??? I think kailangan na natin lahat isipin this very real possibility.

Me, I have had to finally confront it. I've had asthma since I was 5 years old. My lungs are very weak. For as long as they can remember, my kids always get nagged to wash their hands. I also spray their hands and their things with alcohol. They tolerate it. Hindi kasi sila sakitin so they think nothing of it. Of course I don't want them to get sick, but to be very very honest, I'm scared they'll bring home something that will make me sick kasi kung ako nagkakasakit, malala talaga. Simpleng ubo at sipon ng mga bata nagiging asthma attack, acute respiratory infection, or bronchopneumonia sa akin.

Imagine how I feel about this COVID-19! It scares me because it's so highly contagious that if I were to get sick of it and end up in hospital, I'd be isolated and, if I were really unlucky, I'd never see my husband and kids again.

Important reminders!

So even though I am even more obsessive with washing hands now, I decided it's time to do a few preparations. Just in case. Here is my Morbid To Do List:

1. Prepare important documents.

Collate documents like birth, marriage certificates, business documents, utilities, bank accounts, insurance policies, email and social media accounts and passwords, important phone numbers, copies of my IDs.

2. Ask my sister to swoop in.

Ideally, it should be my husband but he's never had anyone die on him yet thankfully. So we don't know how he'll function in the aftermath of my death. My sister, meanwhile, has buried our parents. I have, too, but I was pretty useless both times. My sister was efficient - from hospital bills and death certificates to coordinating wakes and burials. She even remembered to thank the hospital and funeral home staff - something I only did when I saw her do it. She thinks of everything.

3. Prepare an isolation room.

Okay, let's get lighter. We don't have to die! In case hindi naman serious masyado, I need to have a place ready for a COVID patient in my house, whether that's me, my husband, or my kids. My husband says our sick room should be the kids' room. I was thinking my bedroom sana kasi may en suite bathroom kami and it's best that the patient has his own bathroom, lalo na since the patient will not only be coughing out phlegm and blowing his nose into the sink, the virus is present in our poop, too.

My bedroom is also the farthest, most isolated, and quietest room in the house. But since my husband's home office is also in our bedroom, hindi pwede. Naisip ko rin to use our maid's room since may bed naman dun and again, malayo sa flow of activity in the house.

Thank goodness also for this to-do list I found. A nurse wrote down what we should do in case we get COVID. Basically, it just says stock up on tissue, paracetamol, mucolytic, and Vicks Vaporub since a mild case of COVID is a really bad case of the cough and flu. For asthmatics like me, I should make sure I have enough asthma medicines to last me a while (that'll be my maintenance meds, Ventolin nebules for the nebulizer, and my Ventolin inhaler).

So I also need to set aside pillows, bedsheets, and towels. Plate, utensils, drinking glass, and cup should be labeled or at least different from the ones the family uses. Actually, because my parents - yes, both of them! - got tuberculosis when I was a teenager, I know the drill. I just need to do the next step, which is...

4. Discuss with my family COVID-at-home procedures.

When the house is ready, I gotta sit the kids down and tell them when someone is sick with COVID, we have to stay away from the patient's room. No matter how much we miss that someone, we don't ever go in their room. For at least 14 days.

Now, with no one sick sa family ko, obviously relaxed kami sa bahay since we're safe. But in case someone does get sick, the virus is now in the house, so the kids must know it is imperative to practice handwashing even more.

The kids also need to know to avoid using the patient's utensils and towels. No aircons! Every window open! Ano pa ba? Yun pa lang maisip ko but definitely this is a conversation we must have with our families.

Something else that worries me is if ako ang magkasakit, paano kakakain pamilya ko? Ang tagal kasi ng COVID! My freezer and pantry are well stocked so may food naman but wala kaming maid and other family living with us so my husband will have to learn how to cook more dishes! Lord, sana hindi kami ever magkasakit please!

5. Talk about what happens in case of confinement.

This is the scariest and saddest of all. When someone is sick enough with COVID to need to be hospitalized, there's a very real chance that someone won't come home. The worst part is there's no chance to say good-bye.

I honestly don't know how to bring this up with my kids. I don't want to scare them. I don't want to take away their hope. Maybe the best thing to do is assure them every day I love them and that I know they love me so just in case the worst happens, they'll have that knowledge to see them through.

And that's my list!

Funnily enough, I was going to put "prepare a death outfit" on my list. Diba when my parents died, I always blogged everyone needs a death outfit to spare the bereaved the emotional toll of going through your closet? (Gosh, I should add that to my list - organize my closet so that my family won't have to confront the chaos in there!) Well, I remembered that people who died of COVID don't get to have a wake or even a proper funeral. For me, that's the most heartbreaking of all for everyone involved—to die alone and not be able to say good-bye.

An important thing I should really do is to tell my family and friends - the ones I don't see now - that I love them. Now that we're prevented from seeing each other and then not knowing if we'll ever see each other again makes it more urgent for me to not take them for granted. I need to just send a "thank you" note. That should be enough. No need to get overly dramatic. After all, hindi pa naman ako mamamatay haha So I gotta make a new list of people to send my love to!

And that's my list!

I know we're all scared. This pandemic truly is a formidable foe because of its insidious way of stealthily attacking us. It makes us put up our walls and suspect everyone. It isolates us from the people we love. But it doesn't have to stop us from building meaningful relationships while observing health and safety procedures, of course!

So stay home, stay safe. If you must go out, always wear a mask (and now a face shield), and keep 6 feet away from other people. Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds minimum. Don't touch your face. Sanitize. Be prepared! That's the best way to cope with the fear. God bless us all!

*My Lockdown shirt is from LINK - it's from their Pandemic Collection. There are other nice shirts from their other collections. Really liking their dinosaurs and wild things shirts. You can shop at their stores in Lazada and Shopee. Lots of promos until August 31, 2020! Follow LINK on Facebook and Instagram for more promo updates.

*The stickers on my face shield are from the Alice in Wonderland collection of Moleskine. They say, "I'm mad" and "You're mad." Of course in the book, the Cheshire Cat meant mad as crazy, but in my case, I put them there to literally mean I'm angry! Hindi ko na ma-take ang nangyayari sa Pilipinas.

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