COVID Blues: Family matters

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Having a relative as a frontliner is stressful.

Imagine fretting over the safety of your sister, mother, brother, wife or husband who is battling an unseen yet deadly enemy.  Imagine what it would be like to worry if said sister, mother, brother, wife or husband could have contracted the virus, or get upset over reports of exposure to yet another death, or get anxious over a cold, a sore throat, a fever that just won’t go away.

Now imagine having those worries magnified seven times.

Department of Education’s Public School District Supervisor May Pasaporte Bautista has not only one, or two, but seven members of the family who had been or are currently in the front lines in the fight against COVID-19.

DEPED District Supervisor May Pasaporte Bautista. | Photo by Banjo C. Hinolan
DEPED District Supervisor May Pasaporte Bautista. | Photo by Banjo C. Hinolan

The magnificent seven are her sister, chief nurse Rachel Pasaporte – Calva; brother, nurse Jerome Pasaporte; another brother, Medical Technologist Alberto Pasaporte, Jr., nieces Grace Pasaporte, another niece, Rona Pasaporte-Pomperada; and Doc May’s two kids, Hobart Jr., and Sara Mae.

As of this writing, Hobart Jr., a post-graduate intern set to take his medical board in September, had just been pulled out from active duty. 

The six others, on the other hand, are still deep in the medical trenches, up to their elbows in the fight against an invisible enemy.

One of those who are closest to the line of fire is Doc May’s youngest brother, Jerome, who works in a hospital in San Francisco.

He has been assigned to take care of confirmed cases in a hospital in California.

“He has told me that if anything happens to him, he should be cremated.  I tried to convince him that nothing will happen to him, to just put his truth in the Lord,” she tells DNX.

Jerome, one of the siblings closest to Doc May, has admitted his fears to his older sister. 

“Of course he is afraid, he is afraid that he might be infected,” she says, adding that she too, feels that worry, that anxiety on the inevitable especially since her brother has seen the virus up close and personal through his patients, three of whom “are fighting for their lives”.

Still for Doc May, if would take more than a pandemic to dampen her spirits.

“We should live the most out of life… treat every day like it is our last day,” she says, adding, “I know God answers prayers, and we should seek his guidance and protection everyday.”

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