“I am tested positive for Covid-19”. This was the message of my eldest sister after she received the result of her swab test. She works in a bank and she got the virus from one of her colleagues. Upon knowing her condition, I became anxious and worried for her and her family especially for my young nephews. I was also worried for myself and especially for my 70-year-old father that we might get infected by the virus since we had a direct contact with her. Add to this, our houses are very close with each other. Because I was too worried, I started to overthink and imagine hospitals in their full capacity, suffering and dying patients, and worse, ashes being brought in an urn. I was really frightened while thinking of those possibilities.
We isolated my sister in my brother’s house which has enough space so that she would not have any contact with other members of the family. My youngest sister, who is a nurse, closely monitored her although the case was considered only mild. Her husband tested negative of Covid-19 and my nephews showed no signs or symptoms either. As precautionary measures, our family decided not to have any physical contact with each other—we cancelled two birthday celebrations, our family dinner every Sunday, and the saddest part was telling my nephews not to go to our house and go near my father. It pained me to see them without their mother and the need to restrict and deprive them entry to our house. Aside from her own condition, my sister was also worried that she might have infected other people, our neighbors and especially us—her family.
Covid can cause one’s heart and mind clouded by fear and anxiety. How disappointing when I realized that I failed to put my trust in the Lord. That night, as we prayed the Oratio Imperata for Protection Against Covid-19, I was enlightened by the petitions “we ask you now to look upon us with love and by your healing hand, dispel the fear of sickness and death, restore our hope, and strengthen our faith.”
With the grace of God, after fourteen days of quarantine, my sister is now free of Covid-19. Full of joy and gratitude to God, she was able to return home and be with her family. Now that I am in the seminary to continue my formation, our community prays for our respective families that they may be protected from the harm of contracting the virus.
Yes, Covid-19 struck home! It may have taken away family celebrations and gatherings, but it has also given us more reasons to celebrate life. It may have generated fear and anxiety but it has also given us courage and a firmer grip in our faith in God.
Sem. Ericson Austria is from the Diocese of Malolos, and a graduate of Electronics and Communications Engineering prior to his entrance to Holy Apostles Senior Seminary. Sem. Ericson is in his second year of seminary formation.