TV host and broadcaster Jing Castañeda and her family experienced firsthand what it was like to be afflicted with COVID-19. The ordeal made her realize that COVID-19 is indeed a very lonely disease.
“My hubby, Nonong Velasco’s older brother, Kenn, died from [COVID-19] after three weeks of fighting it out in the hospital. The day he died, Nonong was confined because his COVID-pneumonia suddenly turned severe,” Castañeda in an exclusive interview with this writer for Lifestyle.INQ.
Castañeda and her husband were torn as they couldn’t tell her husband’s parents that they just lost a son.
“We were also worried about telling our children that all of us were positive with COVID and that their dad will be confined, as they might be worried because of what happened to their Tito Kenn,” she added.
Castañeda was devastated to know they still got infected after they have all been vaccinated.
“Despite the fact that we were all Pfizer-vaccinated, including the [three] yayas, our whole household [eight total] was positive – the others had mild symptoms [for us, the worst was just fever] but Nonong had a bad case with his oxygen level hitting 88 even if he was already using an oxygen tank at home. We were also worried [for our two youngest] who weren’t vaccinated yet,” she revealed.
It was a blessing in disguise that Castañeda was also positive because she was allowed to take care of her husband.
“Otherwise, kung hindi, he would have been alone in the hospital habang kami naman ay mas mag-aalala rin dahil hindi namin siya maalagaan. This was what happened to Kuya Kenn, walang kapamilya na nakapagbantay sa hospital,” she recalled.
(Otherwise, if not, he would have been alone in the hospital while we worry all the more because we can’t take care of him. This was what happened to our brother Kenn, no family member was able to look after him in the hospital.)
“COVID is really a very lonely disease,” she stated. “It’s a mental disease, too, since you really need to be strong. When the doctors told me that if Nonong doesn’t respond to the COVID medicines, they might intubate him and if that happens, [his chances for living is] 50-50,” she said.
Although she was so scared, Castañeda couldn’t show defeat because she does not want her husband to lose hope. They resorted to listening to healing masses, praying the novena, and partaking of community pantries of prayer and love.
“These are what gave us strength and hope. Totoo pala ‘yun na sa ganitong mga pagkakataon, lahat ng santo ay tatawagin mo at talagang si Lord lang ang puwede mong kapitan,” she recalled. (It turns out to be really true that in times like this, you really will call on all the saints, and it really is just the Lord you can hold on to.)
“[And] the Lord uses family and friends to show His love and support for us,” Castañeda said. JB