When I was inside the ambulance on my way to the quarantine facility, I felt oddly calm compared to the past few days when I was uncertain about my condition. I guess, in a way, I was expecting it too. After all, the possibility of catching the coronavirus never disappeared from my mind. At least now I didn’t have to let my imagination run wild. I can solely focus on recovery.
There weren’t any people when we first got there. The previous patients who stayed there were transferred to a new facility so that new patients like us can occupy their previous space. When a spot opens up in the new facility, we’d be transferred there since it’s where patients who are near recovery stay in.
The first facility where we stayed at was actually a concert arena turned into a quarantine facility where they built mini rooms inside for symptomatic patients. For asymptomatic patients like us, the space where we stayed at was the lobby area of the place. There wasn’t any division among the other patients. It was a big room with a row of banigs on the sides for us patients to sleep on. There were spaces between the banigs but there wasn’t an actual separation between the patients.
Since we were the first patients to arrive in the facility we were able to choose where we wanted to stay. We settled inside an empty janitor’s closet that is isolated from the big room. We were also able to get our own balde and tabo and disinfected it.
There wasn’t much inside the facility we stayed at. It’s all up to the patients to bring their own things. When more patients arrived, I could tell that some of them weren’t prepared for what’s in store. They used their backpacks as pillows, some didn’t even have blankets. Others only brought a few clothes so they had to wash their clothes every day. No one really told the patients what to bring and expect so we all just had to make do of what we brought.
In our case, it was a good thing that my cousin prepared a list of things to bring if ever any of us tested positive. It was a list of things that her mom (my aunt who first tested positive among us) needed when she first arrived in the facility, so we knew what to expect in a way. Because of this, we were able to settle in comfortably compared to the others.
One thing I was most bothered by was the public bathroom. It was so dirty and the drainage was clogged so it was always flooded. There wasn’t a place for showering so we had to take a bath in the regular toilet stall which had very little space. We had to scoop the water on the floor with a dustpan and pour it inside the toilet right after using.
It was concerning because I kept thinking that I might worsen my symptoms in a place like this. I could hear other patients spitting and coughing while doing their business inside the stalls. It was so unsanitary but we all had no choice. I’d wake up at 6 am to take a bath just so I can avoid other patients as much as possible.
As for the food, the nurses made sure to give us our meals three times a day. They’d leave the food on a table and only when they’ve left we could go and get it. There were times when they’d give our meals late so we had to eat our own snacks for the mean time. They didn’t give us any vitamins or medicine which made us question the purpose of our stay.
Life inside the facility became even more difficult as more patients arrived. Most of the people who came are families too though there was this one girl who came right after us. I think she was around my age and she was all alone.
I don’t know if I should consider her lucky for not infecting her family like we all did or if I should feel bad for her for being alone with a room full of sick strangers. But anyway, she approached me from time to time but I couldn’t really engage in full conversation since maintaining distance is still a responsible thing to do.
On the last day of our first week, the nurses announced that the first ones to arrive will be transferred to the new facility. For some reason, the girl wasn’t included in the list. I was the only one whom she was talking to but we had to leave her behind. I felt so bad for her. It was then that we found out that the people who were transferred with us have family members in the new facility who requested to have them transferred earlier.
The new facility was a 100x better than the first one. This time, it was a pension house where two people stayed in one room, and each room has its own bathroom. They provided us with a pillow, a blanket, vitamins and other bathroom essentials.
I shared a room with my cousin which had two beds but was separated by a divider so we each had our own space. We finally got to sleep on a bed with a mattress and bathe to our heart’s content. I’ve never felt so thankful to bathing and sleeping comfortably until I experienced what we went through in the first facility.
Though it was harder to entertain ourselves due to the lack of phone reception and internet, I would still say that our stay became quite relaxing from there. All I did was eat, sleep, bathe and read until the day that we had to take the rapid test to see if we’ve developed antibodies.
Of course, there were still a lot of things I couldn’t quite mention in this entry, especially the things that went on emotionally and mentally but I think this is enough for now.
My dear readers, if you’re still reading this, thank you for your well wishes. I’m sorry that I didn’t reply to your comments. I just wasn’t feeling well mentally during that time. I just wanted to shut everything out.
Still, I want you to know that I read your kind comments and I appreciate each and every one of them. I’ll be updating you soon with our current condition. Thank you for being supportive all this time. It honestly means a lot to me.