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  • Writer's pictureIlona Andrew

The pain of losing someone to Covid-19

13 Nov 2021

By Ilona Andrew

Losing your loved ones forever is always a painful process, but nothing beats losing them to Covid-19.

This is what a 26-year-old Sabahan who only wanted to be known as ‘Lisa’ described when she lost both her parents to the coronavirus early this year.

Part of her blamed herself because she was the one who first tested positive for the virus, and to this day she never found out who or where she got it from.

“I only had mild symptoms like cough and fever before I tested positive for Covid-19. I recovered within a week or two, but my parents suffered complications and were intubated.

“I didn’t know what to think that time, but I remember praying so hard to God to spare my parents and I was pretty confident that they both would recover well.

“Unfortunately, my dad was the first to go after being in the ICU for merely one week and two days later, my mum strung along,” she told Nabalu News, recently.

“They left me without saying goodbye and just like that, I am orphaned,” she added, also revealing that her father just retired as a civil servant before he passed, while her mother had turned 52 a month before.

What made it harder for Lisa is that she was not allowed to get physically close to their remains and that their funerals were bleak and gloomy as no friends and family were allowed to be there due to the Covid-19 restrictions.

The only child who hailed from Kota Kinabalu said it was the first time that she felt such loneliness. To this day, she disclosed that she still regularly cries herself to sleep.

“At one point, I wanted to kill myself at the thoughts of reuniting with my parents in the afterlife. I could not bear the pain and I would not wish it on anybody else.

“I quit my job impulsively and stayed at home most of the time, laying in my parents’ bed or sniffing on their clothes while imagining they were hugging me. It was just really agonizing.

“Luckily, my cousins, aunts and uncles as well as my friends were always there for me to give me emotional, moral and spiritual support,” she said.

Lisa also revealed that she is currently receiving psychiatric treatment after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to the incident.

“I was once a very bubbly person, but this incident has really taken a toll on me. It’s like everything I love was snatched away from me in the blink of an eye.

“To cope with this horrendous sadness, I made friends with people online who went through the same experience as me via a support group on Facebook. They are really nice,” she explained, sobs heard from the other end of the line.

Now working as a part time online tutor, Lisa also works hard to raise awareness about the importance of getting vaccinated as well as complying with the Covid-19 preventive measures using her social media platform.

She admitted that from time to time she would unintentionally turn into a ‘keyboard warrior’ when encountering ‘anti-vaxxers’ online who try to influence others to not take the jab.

She added that it was only because she doesn’t want everyone else to experience what she and those with the same fate had experienced.

“It’s hard to stay ‘professional’ with hard-headed people who think the vaccines don’t work or that Covid-19 is a conspiracy theory, but I know resorting to anger in trying to educate these people would only drive them away.

“Outside, when I see people pulling their mask down to their chin, I would not hesitate to reprimand but this always leads to them looking at me as if I was their greatest foe.

“It’s okay, what I do could save their lives. No one wants Covid to take more lives and leave more children parentless,” she said.

To conclude, Lisa also urged members of the public to continue abiding by the SOP and practice healthy lifestyle to minimise the probability of being infected by the deadly virus.

“I know we are entering the endemic phase right now and I am happy about it, but please remain vigilant. Covid has killed so many people, so many dreams, don’t let it be yours,” she advised.

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