The past few days were a blur of excitement and exhaustion, but the important thing is I’m finally home after spending a full 11 days in quarantine.
I can’t deny I’ll miss some aspects of it—the all-day air conditioning and having so many options for food deliveries in the city proper, for sure—but it’s nice to enjoy the comforts of my own room, even if I kind of have to tiptoe around the house for now.
Officially, it’s Day 16 after I got swabbed, so my doctor reassures me the worst of it is over. I also got a quantitative COVID-19 antibody test that determined I’m not acutely ill anymore and no longer contagious, although I did “not mount a protective response” a.k.a. I didn’t develop enough antibodies to be immune.
As much as it’s great to hear “not acutely ill,” I still do have a few lingering symptoms, mainly exhaustion and shortness of breath, and I still don’t have my senses of smell and taste back in full strength.
Yesterday, when I finally arrived home (and got attacked by three chow-chows), I had to straighten up my room a little. The last laundry I did before I checked in was sprawled all over my bed, there were packages to open, plants to water, and a thin layer of dust that accumulated over the 11 days I was away.
Even just minor cleaning up—not even sweeping the floor or anything (though I need to)—significantly drained me of energy like I was doing HIIT. I got breathless enough to need to sit down, and I checked my oxymeter just to be sure. My levels had plummeted, hovering between 89 to 92 for a few minutes until I was able to regulate my breathing a little.
Sitting up for a while also kind of exhausts me, so I have yet to return to my main workstation and have settled for my laptop and a breakfast tray on my bed. This way, I can easily recline if I feel like I’m getting too winded.
Although my results officially say I’m not contagious anymore, I still prefer not to leave things up to chance, at least until the weekend. I’m mostly isolated in my own room, though I can spend a few minutes in certain areas of the house as long as I stay away from the kitchen and dining room, and I wear a mask. Toilet and shower are still shared between my brother and me, but I literally have to Lysol after myself. I’ve also requested to take meals in my own room and insisted on washing my own (designated) utensils.
My first full day at home was spent catching up on e-mails, doing light tasks, and attending two virtual meetings, basically trying to get back on track with work. Despite having been relatively productive over my isolation period, there were still a lot of things I missed out on because my physical and mental energy just wouldn’t let me get through everything at my usual speed.
Slowing down is both a gift and a frustration, I’ll admit. But I think last weekend’s mental breakdown helped flush that out of my system, so now I’m a little more lenient about managing things. I probably would be blowing a couple of deadlines, but I’m moving forward one task at a time, and I think that’s achievement enough.
Heck, I survived COVID-19. That’s achievement.
Cebu vs. COVID-19 Resources:
Numbers and details change often, so I’m linking to pages instead where you can check for updated information.
- COVID-19 | Department of Health
- Cebu City Emergency Operations Center
- Cluster Clinics for Influenza-Like Illness (ILI)
- COVID-19 Walk-In & Drive Through Testing at VSMMC
- Bayanihan Cebu Swabbing Center
- Philippine Red Cross RT-PCR Swab Test | Saliva Test
- CLIA Quantitative COVID-19 Antibody Test at MHAM Diagnostics