#MyCovidStory: A roller coaster ride

·3 min read

By Francisse Elegino

Last year, I resigned from my job as an ICU nurse from one of the most advanced hospitals in our city. The main reason was, I had a hard time sleeping for months because I kept on dreaming about my patients who've passed away.

Before the pandemic, I worked in a BPO in the industry. My life was stable before the pandemic. I earned decent money to support my family however, everything changed when the cases of Covid-19 peaked.

I lost my stable job and since I am the breadwinner of the family, I had to find ways to make ends meet. Initially, I resorted to online selling. Since the demand for bike accessories was high, I decided to sell bike locks.

In the first week of selling, the main challenge was to find a supplier. I scoured downtown and luckily found one. Using only my bike to deliver my goods, I sold around 150 locks.

It was very exhausting since the weather was blistering, and I was used to an office environment.

I saved enough money to buy an e-bike and applied to Food Panda. I did not expect to be accepted. It was very fun, but also very challenging. I earned enough money but decided to stop because I was developing sunburns.

Later that month, a week after loosened quarantine guidelines in our city, the cases of Covid spiked. DOH then launched its Emergency hiring program, to which I applied, and got in.

At first, I was assigned to the ER. It was very difficult at the start because most of the regular nurses at that hospital were in quarantine. The number of patients for admission just keeps on coming.

During our first month, we were truly battered, and the hardest part of our job was saying no to patients who are calling with hopes of a vacant room.

Eight to ten hours of wearing a PPE is an experience that you will never forget. You have to endure hunger, thirst, and holding your bladder. Our job is not a joke. Many patients who went to our ER told us that they resorted to tuob (Steam inhalation) even though they have comorbidities.

I can't count how many deaths I have witnessed, but in the latter part of my assignment, I got transferred to the ICU. In this area, patients are in the most severe stages of Covid-19.

Most of the patients are intubated or needs constant monitoring.

There have been many challenges along the way. Seeing your patients recover melts your heart, especially when they are going out of the unit.

What broke my heart is despite our sacrifices and effort to contain the virus and treating them, we were labeled as the bad guys because of the Philhealth scandal.

I would like to let everyone know that we did not earn a single dime from that company.

The year 2020 has been a rollercoaster ride. I hope 2021 would be a different year for all of us.