Lovely Abella’s important life realizations after COVID-19 scare
For Lovely Abella, being an asymptomatic COVID-19 patient doesn’t make the experience any less alarming or terrifying.
“I was traumatized and didn’t feel secure. I also had trouble sleeping. It was something that has never happened to me before,” Lovely related in a recent video press conference for the long-running GMA 7 gag show “Bubble Gang,” which is set to air new episodes this Aug. 21. While the actress didn’t have any of the disease’s common signs like cough, fever or body aches, she knew that she could still end up spreading the coronavirus. This made her worry for loved ones, including her fiancé, Benj Manalo, and Crisha, her daughter from a previous relationship.
“I was asymptomatic and we’re usually the carriers… I went through a phase where I was depressed, really. And I was just crying all the time, because I was so scared for my child. I wasn’t sure if I was doing the right thing. I kept on thinking of ways of how to prevent myself from infecting them,” she related.The dancer-comedian wasn’t sure how she contracted the virus. But when their house help started losing her sense of smell and taste—possible indicators of COVID19—Lovely and Benj decided to have all three undergo swab tests. But as it turned out, the house help tested negative, and it was Lovely who was actually positive. And so, she promptly isolated herself and took the necessary precautions.
“We made sure that I ate from a different plate, used my own cutlery and drank from my own glass,” related Lovely, who also temporarily stopped overseeing the online operations of her makeup line, Lovely Cosmetics. “Benj took over and did the work.”
Lovely had already finished her 14-day quarantine, and, mercifully, didn’t develop any symptoms. “After that, we asked our doctor, (Benj’s sister, Myki Manalo) if I still need to get a swab test. We were told that there’s no need as I didn’t have symptoms within the 14 days [of quarantine],” she related.
But she’s not about to take any chances. “She said that it was up to us if we still want to get a swab test. And we plan to—just to be sure. It’s kind of expensive so we’re still working on that,” she said, laughing. “But we’re all OK now.”
Lovely and Benj have also become more meticulous about cleanliness and boosting their immune system. “We see to it that we disinfect everything that enters our home. We now have UV lights and an air purifier,” she related. “I work out often and I take Vitamin C, ginger and turmeric.”
“By God’s grace, I’m OK now,” added Lovely, who started out as a bit player and prankster in the defunct comedy show “Bitoy’s Funniest Videos” and a dancer for Willie Revillame’s variety shows. Now, she’s known for being a mainstay on “Bubble Gang” and for playing a supporting role in the hit film “Hello, Love, Goodbye.”
Her COVID-19 scare brought about some important life realizations. “You really appreciate the people who are there for you. These days, you really need someone to talk to,” she said, adding that buying expensive things is just that … a luxury.
“There’s no need for those; you can’t use them,” she stressed. “What we need is to save up so that we will always be ready for occasions like these, for unexpected happenings.”
As with most celebrities, the flow of projects considerably slowed down for Lovely. But she has been adapting, slowly, but surely. “Good thing, I have an online selling business, so I’m still earning money, somehow. I can still raise my family and give support to my parents,” she said.
And while there has been offers here and there, Lovely is wary of accepting them, even if swab testing will be provided. “I don’t want to go outside. I don’t even talk to other people. I just want to be careful,” she said.
Luckily, “Bubble Gang” is resuming production via work-from-home setups. “We’re a one-man team. I ordered some costumes, because shooting sketches is better when you look the part,” she said. “There’s no physical banter, but we have Zoom. And the energy is still there.” INQ
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