MANILA — Imagine this: You’re all alone in a hospital room, self-isolating due to testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) and you happen to come across a bit of news. It’s about you and your husband and it claims that both of you have already died and have been cremated.
That’s exactly what happened to Leslie Marcelino Babasa, a nurse working for an intensive care unit (ICU) at a local hospital who was diagnosed with the virus.
She went on DZMM Saturday night and shared how the stress of reading fake news and seeing her and her husband’s names being passed along in group chats along with pictures of their house became a bigger source of stress for her than battling the virus.
“Iyon ang mga mas nakakaiyak kasi you are suddenly afraid for your family, na baka iyong mga anak mo ay ma-bully paglabas, o pagkatapos ng quarantine,” said Babasa, who is now free from the virus and is back to working at The Medical City.
She also pleaded to the public to try and refrain from stigmatizing those who either have the virus or have had it, and most especially the medical workers in the frontlines who are being tasked to take care of the patients.
“Huwag ninyo pandirian,” Babasa said, adding that the nurses and other healthcare professionals take the proper precautionary measures before arriving for work and leaving it.
“Sila iyong tumutulong sa mga patients na may COVID-19. Sila iyong nagbubuwis-buhay para lang tulungan at ma-relieve iyong mga pain ng mga patients.
“Sana huwag niyo silang pandirian at sana i-uplift niyo na lang iyong spirit.”
She added that there are many of them who have suffered emotional breakdowns, not only because of the deaths, but have chosen to keep working to try and save more lives.
In the same interview, Babasa recalled her own road to recovery.
She described it as a lonely challenge, and that having a good moral support base helped her get through the weeks in isolation.
She was first tested for the virus on March 10. She learned that she was positive three days later, on the same day one of her kids celebrated a birthday. She was tested negative on March 25.
According to Babasa, her symptoms included coughs, a fever, loss of taste, body malaise, and a migraine.