More than a year after the first COVID-19 case was reported, the disease remains a mystery. Proof: A former congressman from Marikina City yesterday said that his aunt died of the disease despite being asymptomatic.
Miro Quimbo wrote in an online post that his 76-year-old aunt Susan passed after staying in the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) in Quezon City for only two days. Her family didn’t think that she was ill.
“None of us family, [e]specially her very loving kids, could have suspected that she had COVID. She had none of the stated symptoms of the disease. She did not have any fever, no cough, no colds. Nada,” Quimbo wrote in his post, which has been shared almost 1,400 times.
However, their family noticed that Susan became sleepy, and would often have afternoon naps, something that she didn’t do for most of her life.
“It was only when she started snoring heavily that my cousin called my brother-doctor for advice. He asked that a COVID test be done ASAP for precaution but he suspected that my Aunt was having a stroke (which my mom went through two months ago incidentally),” the former lawmaker wrote.
Susan’s COVID test came out positive and she was brought to the emergency room of the NKTI. Her oxygen level had plunged and she was immediately intubated. She died shortly after.
“People who know me are aware that I do not like sharing my pain with others. It’s just not my thing. But I want to tell my Aunt’s story to show how deceptively cunning this disease is. COVID is like a sucker punch,” Quimbo said.
“You only realize it’s there when the pain hits you. Let’s all be very vigilant, friends,” he said.
Quimbo did not disclose how his aunt was infected, and if her family also tested positive for COVID.
The Philippines has the highest number of active COVID cases in Southeast Asia, with 143,726 recorded as of yesterday. So far, 13,435 have died. The Duterte government has already started its vaccination program, but it said that it is facing a difficult time procuring enough jabs for millions of Filipinos.