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  • Marimilha Grace Pacheco

My COVID-19 Experience

We were a family of five - my granny (79), my father (58), my mother (48), my brother (21), and I (24), living peacefully in our small world. But our lives suddenly took a U-turn in July 2020 when we contracted the virus. This came in as a shock and none of us were ready for it. Fear is the first thing that gripped our hearts– fear of losing the ones we loved followed by the guilt of being the reason to transmit the virus to others. I remember each one of us was trying to look stronger on the outside for one another but on the inside, a storm was raging and the fear was growing. From the news we heard or the people we met till then, no one had a story to tell that would give us hope but rather was one of death and despair.

Since my dad tested positive first and had mild symptoms, he was admitted to the MPT hospital. Our test results came positive 2 days later followed by a call from the COVID center instructing us to be ready with our essentials for the ambulance. We were not informed where they are taking us so we grew even more anxious about what will happen. We didn’t trust the government or its facilities at the moment because the news and everything was just terrifying.

But to our surprise, we were taken to the Colva residency hotel, assigned as a quarantine center. It had modest rooms and a beautiful beach view. They had doctors and nurses coming in for regular check-ups. They provided us with fresh and healthy meals as well as the required medicines and vitamins. Throughout the 10 day quarantine period, our family, friends, pastor, and church continuously checked in and supported us through their love and prayers.

A year has passed by and I feel so blessed to have gotten this second chance at life. Although my COVID – 19 story began with fear, it didn’t end with the same emotion. Instead, it personally helped me to be more positive, taught me to always hope for the best, and definitely blessed me with resiliency. Through this experience, my family came even closer to each other as our bond grew even stronger. I consider this experience to be a testimony for I believe my God protected me and my family through this virus. So now, this is my life’s philosophy that I believe and stand by, “Life is not forever, so be quick to love and forgive. Cherish every day and work towards overcoming fears that don’t allow you to live fully because not living is scarier than dying”.

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