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John Estrada shares thoughts on COVID vaccine rollout

/ 12:30 AM February 16, 2021

As the country awaits its own COVID vaccine rollout set this month, actor John Estrada is encouraging people to”do your research, too.”

“Google it. COVID-19-related information is free, anyway. I really pray that the vaccines will not have adverse side effects on those who will take them. The public should also be made aware of these side effects before they are given these vaccines,” John said.

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“It’s really mean to say, ‘Mauna na muna sila and let’s wait and see if they’d survive it.’ How can anyone say something so awful? Every single human life is worth saving,” he added.

On whether or not he was open to having his family vaccinated soon, John said: “Honestly, my wife (Priscilla Meirelles) and I talked about this and she is still really scared. She did some research on the vaccines. She said it takes eight to 10 years to create a fully developed vaccine. Our scientists only worked on these ones for months.”

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John said that what he and Priscilla planned to do was to “really boost our immune system. That’s the best we can do right now—take care of ourselves, so we don’t have to queue for those vaccines just yet.”

He said he was aware that many felt depressed and experienced anxiety attacks especially during the early days of quarantine. “As for me, I was busy doing a teleserye then, ‘Babawiin Ko ang Lahat’ for GMA 7. We had to drop everything and go home. No more taping until further notice,” he recalled “And yes, I’ve felt those moments, but I already knew how to handle them.”

Never use the word “depression” lightly when you are around this actor “unless you know what really happens to someone who has gone through it.”

“Whenever my kids use the word ‘depressed’ to mean they are sad about something, I really tell them off. I say they cannot use that word lightly because they have no idea about what a person who experienced it has gone through. I did, some 20 years ago. I hit rock bottom,” John told Inquirer Entertainment.

John has four children, namely, Ina, Kaila, Yuan and Moira, with ex-wife, actress Janice de Belen. He also has a daughter named Anechka with his current wife Priscilla (a former Brazilian model and beauty queen).

“The only reason I’m disclosing this to you now is that I already know how to properly handle the condition. I thank God I survived it. It was no joke,” said the actor, noting that a lot of people have already lost their lives while battling with depression.

In his case, John said he kept himself busy at home. “I told myself to just live my life one day at a time. That’s actually what I learned from battling depression before—to savor every experience, every memory because life is really too short.”

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Whenever he had “episodes,” John said he would have inner monologues, too. “I would say, ‘I will not entertain this!’ ‘I will keep myself busy!’ If I have to clean my car or my room, I’d do it,” he explained. “I also tell my kids that boredom is also part of life. It’s OK to be bored once in a while. One should just embrace it. Don’t tell people you’re depressed just because you’re bored, especially because other people are having pandemic experiences that are far worse.”

John also said it was good that he didn’t have to console or give emotional support to his closest family and friends at the time of the strictest implementation of the lockdown. “We had a lot of Zoom meetings. Some of them even organized ‘house parties’ via Zoom. Once in a while, I chat with my golf buddies since we weren’t allowed to play at that time.”

“All of us had the same mindset, that this, too, shall pass. We knew that the situation wasn’t permanent. We just did what we could do with the limited personal space we had. We kept reminding ourselves to be patient, to be still, because we have no control over the situation,” he added.

These days, John is busy with the promotions of the sitcom “John en Ellen” (opposite Ellen Adarna) as its line producer for TV5. But each night, John said he would often pray, “to ask Him to take care of my family—that’s No. 1. Second, that He takes care of me so I could continue to care for other people. My third prayer is for the world. I hope we can finally see the day when we can all go back to the ‘old normal’ If the vaccines will help make this possible, then I pray that it will happen the soonest. We all want our old lives back.”

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