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Doctor Says People Should Have Pandemic Mindset: ‘No Such Thing As Sipon Or Ubo Lang’
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  • “Everyone is at risk. No one is safe.” This should be the mindset of everyone after more than a year of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic that shows no signs of ending soon even with vaccines already available.

    “It’s not anymore just about you or your family but the whole community,” says Dr. Maria Cristina I. Alberto who specializes in Pediatric Medicine. At the clinic where she works as Chief Clinician, she says they have as many as 20 to 30 confirmed COVID-19 patients in a day.

    Dr. Alberto, a strong advocate of home care, has also been doing teleconsult since March 2020 for families, including those with members who have contracted Covid-19.

    ‘Doc, di naman ako lumalabas’

    Dr. Alberto shares that many people still have the mindset that because they have not been going out, it is highly unlikely for them to get COVID even if they are already showing symptoms.

    “More than 95 % of patients with cough and colds who would consult and claim that they don’t go out or have not had any exposure will turn out to be positive,” she shares. “Kaya lagi ko sinasabi sa FB post ko, now that the world is facing a pandemic, there is no such thing as sipon lang, trankaso lang, or ubo lang.”

    When the very first symptoms show, whether one has had a RT-PCR test on not, the mindset we should have is to ‘isolate’, advises Dr. Alberto. “Dapat accepting ka na baka nga possible, ‘I have COVID already,’ she says.


    Once these mindsets are in place, then the behavior follows as well. Dr. Alberto points out how simple behaviors like eating healthy can have an impact to how our body may respond — and recover — if and when we get infected with the coronavirus.

    How to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19

    Here, Dr. Alberto gives more tips on how families can be proactive in protecting themselves and their loved ones from getting COVID-19.

    Get yourself vaccinated

    More than having devices like oximeters and blood pressure monitors available in the home is to get vaccinated. “Dapat preventive and proactive ang [attitude lagi.],” says Dr. Alberto.

    She adds that once a person is vaccinated, he/she will either not get infected or it will be mild. She stresses that a vaccine, which can kill the virus in the body, can prevent the virus from further mutation. “It’s the passing of the virus from one person to another that’s causing significant change in the mutation,” she says.

    Get vaccinated for other preventable diseases

    Adults can get pneumonia or flu shots while infants and toddlers should follow the required vaccine schedules for Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR), influenza, polio, etc. Dr. Alberto notes, “Some researches suggest that antibodies from these vaccines may possibly cross-prevent children from getting COVID kaya dapat wag i-miss yung bakuna nila.”

    Observe a healthy diet and lifestyle

    “Alam natin that people who are obese are seven times more likely to have severe COVID and die from it compared to the healthier ones,” points out Dr. Alberto. Simple behaviors like stocking up on junk food in the house or consumption of unhealthy foods can be related to how one will recover from COVID, she warns.

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    Have needed medical devices in the home

    Blood pressure monitors and oximeters are common devices needed in monitoring patients with COVID and it’s good to have them in the home even if no one has contracted the virus. Dr. Ignacio Alberto says that these are not just for COVID but for other illnesses as well like hypertension monitoring and they are much cheaper now.

    Avoid having visitors

    Dr. Alberto has had stories of how some of her patients have caught colds or cough from visiting relatives. This is especially dangerous for those with infants or pregnant women whose health may be easily compromised should they get COVID.

    “Kahit pa relatives yan or grandparents, huwag mag accept ng visitors,” she reiterates. “This is not the right time for socialization.”

    Again, isolate

    “Basta may symptoms whether or not may PCR swab test, kailangan mag-isolate agad and then after that get a swab test done ASAP.”

    In enumerating these tips, the classic saying that “prevention is better than cure” still holds true, especially during this time of pandemic.

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