Coping with the loss of a loved one to Covid

·4 min read

THE Covid-19 pandemic has left many people in grief.

As of Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, health authorities reported a total of 1,339 patients in Central Visayas who had succumbed to the disease.

As the country commemorates the day of their departed loved ones on Monday, Nov. 2, Madyl Cayanong-Damuag, who lost four family members to Covid-19 last June, admitted that she is still in the process of recovering.

To help her cope, she sought the help of professionals.

“Nagpa-counseling jud ko kay depressing jud ang nahitabo sa amoa (I underwent grief counseling because what happened to me was really depressing),” she said.

In less than a month, her father, former Department of Labor and Employement 7 director Elias Cayanong, 67; and her uncles Emmanuel, 64, and Eliseo, 59, fell victim to the novel coronavirus.

She said her father started showing symptoms on June 2, a day after her 91-year-old grandmother Concepcion died.

Her father was about to undergo chemotherapy for stage 1 lung cancer. Her grandmother arrived in Cebu earlier this year from Canada as she had wanted to spend her last days with her children.

She said her grandmother had an undisclosed type of cancer. When she got sick and her condition worsened, her father and her uncles took care of her, Damuag said.

She said her father and her uncles had been staying in their ancestral house since March after her grandmother got sick. When her grandmother died, Damuag asked her father to immediately get tested for Covid-19 since he was immunocompromised.

Two days later, her uncle Emmanuel had difficulty breathing and had to be brought to a private hospital. He died Saturday night, June 13.

Damuag’s father was brought to the hospital on Friday, June 12. He died Sunday morning, June 14.

Eliseo, the youngest brother, also died the same day. He was rushed to the hospital after he had difficulty breathing but he was declared dead on arrival.

She said as of now they have yet to gather together as a family.

Her father was cremated and his ashes are in Zamboanga del Norte with her mother. Damuag said she has relied on video calls for contact since she cannot go there yet.

Although the pain is still there after four months, she said she is positive that in God’s time she can accept her losses.

For 19-year-old Sheradel Quimod, who lost her father Rodel to the disease, “prayer is the power knowing God will always listen.”

In the last week of April, her father, a diabetic, drank softdrinks and forgot to take his medicines. This caused a sudden rise in his blood sugar, prompting Sheradel’s mother and eldest sister to monitor his sugar level and food intake.

When his sugar level stayed high after several days, he sought medical attention.

Sheradel said her father went to four hospitals but was turned away because they were all full. When Rodel arrived at the Eversley Child Sanitarium General Hospital in Mandaue City, he was still able to give the nurse-in-charge his personal details.

But then he started experiencing shortness of breath, Sheradel said.

The doctor and other medical workers were forced to intubate him when pumping oxygen to his lungs didn’t help.

His death came as a shock. When Rodel left their house for the hospital, his family didn’t know it would be the last time they’d see him alive.

The Quimods were advised to bury Rodel immediately as he was tagged as a “person under investigation or PUI.”

After three days, they were told that Rodel was positive for Covid-19.

The family, their neighbors and several zones in Barangay Mantuyong were placed on lockdown. A lot of people blamed them for what happened to their community, Sheradel said.

While in quarantine, Sheradel said she and her family prayed the rosary every night. This helped them cope with his sudden demise.

“We have no choice but to accept that he is gone. It’s a good thing he taught his children how to stand on their own two feet at an early age,” she said in Cebuano. (WBS, KFD)