As of today, March 18, there are 202 confirmed cases of Coronavirus, with 17 dead. That’s a whopping 8.4% of those confirmed who died, double the global death rate of 3.5%.
17 is not yet that bad. While there are no new cases and deaths in China, the rest of the world is still a meh. Just yesterday, 475 people died in Italy, 147 in Iran and 105 in Spain.
The Philippines is relatively following the Expanded Community Quarantine issued by the government last March 16, 2020.
The bustling streets of the Ortigas Center CBD is unusually empty:
With establishments following the correct social distancing policies issued by the Department of Health.
Social distancing inside Chowking, a popular fast food chain
Social distancing inside the bank
Personally, we have reverted to enjoying some quiet family time at home. Today, I have cooked pork chops to share with the extended family.
Death is an Eye Opener
What is particularly saddening about the situation is that out of the 17 who died, our family personally knew of 2. That’s how close the community is, when you actually knew those who died personally.
One was the middle aged woman who was a client of my parents-in-law. She is famously recorded as the first local death recorded for COVID-19 infection. She was well off, and could afford the best care. And yet, she succumbed to the virus and passed away last March 11.
Another was actually a family friend whom I always see when I traveled.
But no matter how loved and well off he was, he still died of the virus. It was pretty fast. After flying back from overseas last March 5, he displayed symptoms by March 9 and had complications afterwards, passing away on March 17.
Getting the symptoms and then dying from it seems very fast. Coronavirus it seems is a great equalizer. COVID-19 does not pick its victims. Whether rich or poor, whether or not you can afford the best hospital care, you can still die from it, and very quickly as well.
The saddest part of this is, the people who died passed away alone, quarantined away from their own families. Those who passed are relegated to being a Patient number and their bodies were cremated immediately after by the DOH.
Regardless of their worldly achievements, all deaths were treated the same — in isolation, cremated and without any fanfare regardless of the patient’s worldly achievements.
While I still maintain my stance of staying calm, keeping social distance and respecting the Expanded Community Lockdown, having someone you know die, well, the fact that only 3.5% die offers zero comfort to the family that lost a member to the virus.
My thoughts and prayers to everyone who lost a family member due to the COVID-19.