COVID-19 PATIENT. Fritzie Marie Cayabyab poses for a selfie on Oct. 8, 2020 after she tested negative for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). She was swab tested again and is now waiting for the result. (Photo courtesy of Fritzie Marie Cayabyab)


DAGUPAN CITY – A 30-year-old front-line worker here draws strength from family and friends while battling the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infection and was well taken care of by the local government and the hospital personnel.


“I am grateful that though I am isolated in that room, my family and friends find ways to reach out to me. They send me food, messages of encouragement, and support. A simple ‘how are you?’ or message of concern means a lot already. I felt I was not alone in this battle,” Fritzie Marie Cayabyab said in an interview on Tuesday.


Cayabyab also attested that the city government of Dagupan and the hospital where she was admitted did their best to attend to the needs of the patients.


“We (patients) have individual separate rooms. They provide meals and vitamins. They check us,” she added. 


Cayabyab has not experienced any type of discrimination even after making her condition public on Facebook. 


Her close contacts were immediately swabbed and she was thankful that none of them tested positive for the virus.


“In the meantime, I try to enjoy this moment to reflect on my life, the decisions I made, about my plans, while I fully recover,” she said.


SURVIVING COVID-19. Cayabyab’s friends and family send her food when she was quarantined in a hospital in the last week of September 2020. One of her friends who has a food business even sent food in individual containers that were distributed to other patients. (Photo courtesy of Fritzie Cayabyab)


Cayabyab, a millennial whose heart is into public service, saw the pandemic as an opportunity to help other people, not just in her line of work but also through other activities in her affiliated organizations.


“I work as an admin(istrative) staff in a government-run hospital that attends to Covid-19 patients not just from the city but from the entire province. I also find time to join other activities that are worthwhile like webinars, training, and philanthropic activities during this pandemic. I am, like most millennials who are into public service, always busy,” she said.


However, Covid-19 disrupted her way of life after she tested positive for the virus on Sept. 27.


“On Sept. 19, I got a clogged nose. I thought it was just a simple cold and I thought it would go away eventually after I rested a bit, but it worsened. Two days after, I could no longer smell, and then I experienced the loss of sense of taste, so I got swabbed and the result was positive,” Cayabyab recalled.


Cayabyab was admitted to the hospital on Sept. 28.


She said her mental health was first affected by Covid-19 when she underwent quarantine.


“The fear of catching the virus is worse already. Even though you are not yet infected, you are already paranoid, stressed, and worried. How much more if you have it already?” she said. “I couldn’t sleep. I have a lot of thoughts like I wanted to do more, I wanted to see my friends, I have a lot of plans because I am young, I am healthy. I even enrolled in law school prior to contracting the virus. But I guess this is God’s way of telling me to slow down.”


During her quarantine days, Cayabyab boldly announced in her Facebook account her journey with Covid-19.


She tested negative for Covid-19 on Oct. 8. 


However, Cayabyab is still under monitoring after she returned to strict isolation as she is experiencing some symptoms of the virus again.


She was subjected to another swab test and awaiting its result as of this posting. (PNA)