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COVID19 Statistics: Gains a Face

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

What started as a casual, random check of my Facebook wall marked this day with deep sorrow.

The many statistics of COVID19 deaths all over the world and in my own country - the Philippines - hit me with painful reality.

Dr. Ephraim Neal Orteza, fondly called "Bimboy" succumbed to COVID19 a few days ago.

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I knew him - talked to him in church decades ago. We casually greeted each other in their home, where I and his younger brothers would get together for Bible study and prayer.

Bimboy served selflessly as a medical doctor and pediatrician at a hospital in Paranaque in Metropolitan Manila.

Every so often I would check the news for updates on COVID cases and deaths in my country, even checking the list of Filipino doctors who died serving their countrymen.

But today was different. The doctor who died was someone I knew personally. Someone dearly loved by my close friends. He was 64.

Today the grim COVID statistics became personal.

I cried alone for Bimboy and his family who could not even have closure on his death.

Only one family member (Bimboy has wife and children and several siblings with their own families) could be at his cremation.

I wish that there was no social distancing so I could tell a friend personally of my sorrow and be hugged. All I could do was email my sister and share my sorrow.

And I am sharing my sorrow with you all through blog...hoping to ease the pain.

Death will come to all of us, I said to myself today.

It may come through COVID or some other way.

COVID could hit any one in my family - my parents, brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces. That's beyond my control.

The virus can even take my life.

These are all possibilities, I told myself, that could happen. I pray and hope that it won't.

I asked God that when any of these possibilities will turn real, I will be ready and accepting.

For now I will enjoy life - knowing how short it is and precious!
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