How COVID-19 stole Christmas

I recently lost the most vibrant and joyful grandmother you could have ever met to COVID-19. As I keep trying to process it all, I feel obliged to share this to raise awareness and hopefully save some lives.

I know that we are fed up and tired of not living a normal life, tired of quarantine, lockdown, and wearing a mask, of not seeing our family and friends. I myself have been so careless many times as if COVID was not a thing. But trust me, it is.

On Dec 20, she tested positive and began oxygen therapy at home. Although she was 85, we were very optimistic as she was so healthy and active with no pre-existent condition. On Dec 24, we had to admit her to the ICU because her oxygen levels were alarming. On Dec 26, we had a video call with her; we talked and laughed; that was the last time we spoke. Later that day, she underwent invasive mechanical ventilation. On Dec 29, my aunties and cousin also tested positive (they all lived together). On Jan 4, her lungs couldn’t handle it anymore, and she died of respiratory failure.

This has been a complete nightmare. The whole process was too much: not being able to visit her or say goodbye, without someone giving her the anointing of the sick, without a funeral, without a proper burial. Now we all are terrified and brokenhearted. I don’t want to touch a thing. I don’t want to go outside. I have to get on a plane in a few days, and I don’t even know how to do it.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is, please, please take care of yourself and your family. We will never know how she got infected, and we will have to make peace with it. So I suppose the slightest oversight could turn your world upside down. Be cautious, and at the slightest symptom, isolate, and get tested. I’m not a doctor, but if you can get tested a couple of times, do it. Today, your results can be negative, and in a couple of days, positive, even if it’s PCR. If you do test positive, keep track of your oxygen saturation. It is crucial. Again, I am not a doctor, and I can only speak from our experience. Talk to your doctor.

I am very grateful to God and to my family for staying together in these difficult times and to all who joined us in prayer. God bless you all. We are confident she is now in a better and very happy place.

Stay safe — Sthef



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