Michael V chronicles battle with COVID-19
One important takeaway from Michael V’s revelation that he had tested positive for COVID-19 is that one can never be too cautious in these times.
Despite his meticulous adherence to health protocols, the comedian still got infected with the coronavirus.
“For the past few months, ever since this pandemic started, we’ve been very strict about safety. We practice social distancing. We put on PPEs (personal protective equipment) every time we go out. Actually, we barely go out. We kept it all minimal,” he related in the latest episode of his YouTube vlog, “#BitoyStory.”
Michael V started monitoring himself from the early onset of flu-like symptoms last July 10: He noticed that he had been coughing and that his voice was getting hoarse while filming in his home studio.
Suspecting that he may have contracted the virus, Michael V kept a video diary to document whether his symptoms would progress. “I isolated myself immediately. I took medicine and had myself checked by a doctor online,” he related. “I felt better the following day. My temperature, at its highest, was 37.1 degrees Celsius, so it wasn’t high.”
The flu-like symptoms persisted, however. And the most telling sign was a “weird sensation” that crept in his nasal area, three days after he started his COVID-19 diary. He had read that one of the most common symptoms of the illness was loss of smell or taste.
True enough, he had trouble sensing even the strongest of scents. “I grabbed some of my perfume, alcohol, eucalyptus … It was weird because I couldn’t smell anything,” the GMA 7 actor-director said.
On the fifth day, July 15, he trooped to St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City to have himself tested, because it was “the most responsible thing to do.”
Accompanied by his wife, Carol Bunaga, Michael V filmed his experience in the testing facility, where he was swabbed and waited for five hours. The procedure cost him P12,000.
“I still have slight body pains, but it’s not affecting my movement. I just feel paranoid about the loss of smell. If there are viruses in my nasal area, then that means they’re close to my brain. People always tell me, ‘Mataba ang utak mo.’ And that’s hard because the viruses may feast on my brain,” jested Michael V, who still managed to crack jokes despite his worries.
He remains cooped up in his studio, away from his wife and children, who are staying at a different unit within their house. As an additional precaution, his meals are left near his door. He eats only from one thermal food container and uses only one set of cutlery.“I have lost my sense of taste,” he said while eating a bowl of soup on Day 6. “Too bad because it looks delicious. You know what you’re eating is good, but you can’t smell or taste it.”
But more than the physical manifestations of the virus, what really frustrates Michael V is the lack of contact with his loved ones. While he appears calm in his vlog, he couldn’t help but cry when thinking about his family.
“I’m worried, not just for myself, but for my family … It’s sad thinking about the fact that they’re just there in the other rooms, but I can’t hug or kiss them. I feel bad,” Michael V said, tearing up. “You just try to look at it from a different perspective. Tomorrow is another day.”
On the eighth day, July 18, he finally received an e-mail confirming that he was indeed positive for COVID-19. He then decided to postpone his vlogs to focus on his recovery.
“With your prayers and God’s help, we will get through this,” the 50-year-old artist said.
Michael V likewise urged his followers to listen to their bodies.
“This isn’t a joke. Don’t just ignore whatever it is you’re feeling,” he said. “Let’s continue following safety protocols, because we don’t know who’s a (virus) carrier … or if you’re a carrier.”
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