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Mom Describes How COVID-19 Began For Her Kids: 'Nilagnat At Nosebleed Ang Kambal'
PHOTO BY courtesy of Tal Cuaresma
  • Not all of us have the privilege to work from home, so parents do everything they can to keep their families safe from COVID-19. But according to a recent report, a rising trend in infections see whole families and groups of people getting sick due to workplace exposure or attending family gatherings. No matter how careful we are, sometimes the inevitable still happens.

    In our Facebook community, Smart Parenting Village, one mom named Tal Cuaresma, 32, shared that their whole family got infected with the virus — including her 3-year-old twin girls, Ysabelle and Gabrielle. It started when her husband, Ayie Cuaresma, 31, a customer service associate, exhibited flu-like symptoms in June 2020.

    “Super ingat namin — lagi siyang (Ayie) naka-PPE (personal protective equipment), face mask, and face shield. Nagdidisinfect kami lagi ng sasakyan and bahay, pag-uwi niya diretso CR at maliligo, iiwan niya ang gamit niya sa labas. Kaya lang tinamaan pa rin,” the mom shares.

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    Exhibiting symptoms one by one

    Tal with her husband Ayie, and her twins, Gabrielle and Ysabelle, before they got sick.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Tal Cuaresma

    In an interview with SmartParenting.com.ph, Tal shares that the moment Ayie was ordered to take a swab test by the doctor last June 26, he decided not to come home and immediately went on self-quarantine at the designated facility appointed by their company.

    But a day before his results came out, one of Tal’s twins started showing COVID-19 symptoms: she had mild fever, a nosebleed, and diarrhea. The day after, the other twin also contracted a high fever and a nosebleed.

    “Sinasabi ng twins ko na may sipon sila, pero ‘pag i-che-check ‘yung nose nila, walang sipon pero super sticky ng booger nila,” Tal shares. “Irritable ‘yung isa, ayaw mag-milk pero gusto niya water ng water and fruits.”

    Tal and her 59-year-old mother, who was living with them, also felt unwell. “My mother had fever then sore throat for a day, plus mild cough,” she says.

    “I had loss of smell and taste, headache, mild fever, and watery poop for a day. Pero I’m not sure kung dahil ba na-te-tense lang ako sa kambal or part talaga ng COVID ko. I also had cough,” the mom adds.

    Four days after Ayie had his swab test, Tal and her twins, plus her 59-year-old mother, also took the test. All of their results came back positive. As soon as they knew, Tal reported their status to their barangay and went on home quarantine. The twins were strictly monitored by their pediatrician and an infectious disease doctor.

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    Fighting the disease

    Tal tells Smart Parenting that it took a month for their family to recover from the disease. Tal, her mother, and the twins recovered for 24 days while Ayie took had a longer recovery period of one month.

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    Battling the disease was doubly hard because Tal had to be strong for her two kids. “May mga times na hindi ako natutulog, iniisip ko kung nakakahinga ba ng maayos ‘yung twins or kung may lagnat ba sila,” she shares. “Kahit natetense ako kailangan ko kumalma [para sa kanila]. First time namin magkasakit na magkakahiwalay kami. Umiiyak hubby ko kasi wala siya magawa at malayo siya sa’min.”

    Despite losing her sense of taste and smell, she encouraged the family to eat nutritious food. “Imbis na maging malungkot, nag-focus kami kung paano kami lalakas: vitamins, ginger and lemon na pakulo, gargle ng water with salt, eat healthy food and fruits, at inom ng maraming water. Ginawa naming busy ang mga sarili namin para malibang kami,” Tal says.

    They disinfected regularly since they were all sharing a bathroom. “Hiwalay ang utensils namin, lagi naka-mask at hugas kamay bawat hahawakan ang alcohol,” Tal explains.

    Finally, after three swab tests, Ayie’s results came back negative. As for Tal, her mother and her twins, they were no longer required to take a swab test since they did not experience any more symptoms after their 14-day quarantine.

    “On our 24th day without symptoms, dinala kami sa hospital for doctor’s assessment para ma-clear ako, ang twins, and ang mother ko. Naabutan na kami ng new guidelines ng DOH na wala nang re-swab,” Tal says.

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    Life after COVID-19

    Tal and her family take their first family photo after recovering from COVID-19.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Tal Cuaresma

    Ayie is back to work after recovering after COVID-19. But instead of living with fear that they will get sick again, Tal and her family have learned to be more cautious.

    Apart from the safety measures like taking a bath right after going outside and leaving shoes and clothes outside the house, Tal also invested in an air purifier and UV light for their home. All groceries are disinfected as well.

    “Hiwa-hiwalay pa rin kami ng utensils, kanya-kanyang hugas ng plates, disinfect pa rin before and after using the bathroom,” the mom says. “Lagi pa rin kami umiinom ng vitamins at pinakulong luya before matulog.”

    If there’s one thing that the disease has taught them, it’s to be more resilient. “Natutunan ko sa experience na ito maging matatag, wag magpanic kasi kapag nagpanic hindi ka makakapag-isip ng matino. Magpray at magtrust kay Lord na magiging okay ang lahat. Wag mag focus sa lungkot, mas mag focus sa brighter side at sa kung papaano gumaling at lumakas,” Tal says.

    How quickly does COVID-19 spread at home? Click here to understand and learn how to keep it out.

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