Garvic and Rubi Garcia shared tips on how to manage home quarantine in the October 11 episode of the Department of Health’s (DOH) Survivors Speak Series. The couple and their family were infected with COVID-19 but were supported by the local health system during the whole ordeal.

According to Garvic, 55, what greatly helped was the information available from the DOH and the World Health Organization (WHO) on how they can best manage the illness and implement infection control within the household.

“They [DOH and WHO] said ‘do not panic’, and we never really panicked,” recalled Garvic, saying that the accuracy of the data minimized anxiety and enabled them to think the minute one of them started to experience flu-like symptoms.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire agreed that updating oneself with precise facts about COVID-19 is crucial during a health crisis. “Kritikal po na tayo ay makakuha ng tamang mga detalye ukol sa sakit na COVID-19, kung paanong gagaling mula dito, at paanong mananatiling protektado,” said Usec. Singh-Vergeire.

In Garvic’s recollection, the transmission started when a visitor coming from a household with an undiagnosed case of COVID-19 visited their home. Immediately, the family took it upon themselves to practice stricter health standards such as physical distancing, wearing of masks, and regular hand hygiene. Unfortunately, members of the family contracted the disease.

Upon learning the situation, the Garcia family members assumed that everyone in the family who was displaying similar symptoms was affected, and started isolating themselves.

Garvic’s flu progressed into severe pneumonia, prompting him to confine himself to a hospital. Rubi, 60, along with the other members of the family, remained in home quarantine with the local government unit through their village’s administration constantly checking in on them during their home quarantine.

In his Facebook post, Garvic dubbed his wife as a superwoman due to her tenacity in managing the recovery of two separate households while she herself was recovering from the virus.

“I am not a superwoman, I am a woman with a super God,” said Rubi, recounting how her faith helped her cope with the situation and made her strong for the family. She recounted remaining faithful in starting every day with a devotion.

“Important yung spiritual healing na hindi ka magpa-panic that God is in control. Kung sa mind natin, sa heart natin na God is in control, automatic, it follows sa physical natin mabilis tayo gumaling,” stressed Rubi.

Despite her responsibilities, Rubi did not forget to look after herself as well and practiced minimum health standards. She regularly monitored her temperature, took paracetamol when necessary, and boosted her immunity with supplements.

Garvic, on the other hand, was the only one who was confined in the hospital. After his transfer to a regular room after three days at the emergency room, he continued his pastoral mission by delivering morning devotions. This practice helped him maintain healthy mental well-being despite being connected to an oxygen supply and intravenous line.

At first, Garvic did not want to check in the hospital, fearing that his health might further deteriorate, which could lead to death. Keeping a close watch on the country’s recovery rate helped him overcome his fear and agree to treat his severe pneumonia at the hospital.

Usec. Singh-Vergeire agreed with his realizations, “Ngayon po, mataas na po ang recovery rate natin, ibig sabihin po sa kabuuang bilang ng mga nagkasakit, karamihan sa kanila ay magaling na. Ito po ay importanteng maintindihan ng ating mga kababayan dahil ipinapakita nito na ang COVID-19 ay hindi isang automatic death sentence.”

The health official also added that reporting the rising cases of recoveries will remind the public that there are a lot of people recovering from the illness given proper treatment, adequate support, and their compliance with minimum health standards.

Garvic also lauded the frontliners who remained professional in managing his treatment from COVID-19 and severe pneumonia. Building on this, Usec. Singh-Vergeire reminded the public that they too can rely on our healthcare providers and BHERTs, especially during this pandemic.

Nandiyan po ang ating mga healthcare providers at experts na maaari nating makausap through telemedicine or our BHERTS upang tulungan tayong makakuha ng tamang mga impormasyon na makakatulong kung sakaling tayo ay mag-positibo o nakararanas ng sintomas ng COVID-19,” emphasized Usec. Singh-Vergeire.