A time to praise

By Farah G. Decano



THERE are so many negativities surrounding us about the management of the pandemic in the country. Perhaps, a little praise is due when it is due.

My mother, brother and I had ourselves jabbed yesterday with AstraZeneca at the Dagupan City Astrodome.  I commend the Health Office of the Dagupan City Government and the Department of Health for a well job done yesterday. The vaccination process was orderly, the site was convenient and comfortable even on a very hot afternoon, and the doctors, nurses and other staffs present were respectful. Oh yeah, my vaccinator was such an expert that I hardly felt the needle pierce my left arm.

I am amazed by the amount of care provided by these government offices.   I thought that, after our vaccination, they would have considered their tasks as completed.  But, no. They asked us to stay and had our blood pressure checked before they allowed us to leave.  They even provided us with paracetamols and anti-allergy tablets in case we feel the side-effects of the vaccine.  We were provided with health cards and called our attention to the hotline numbers indicated therein, in case anything happens to us.

Today, I woke up feeling like I have grown roots overnight! My body seemed heavy and attached to the bed that I could hardly pull my body up. I had a similar body malaise after climbing the Half Dome in Yosemite California. It was an eight-hour grueling climb to the top, by the way.  My brother experienced chills last night while my mother suffered mild chest heaviness. We suspect the chest heaviness was due to the fact that she easily gets tired nowadays because of her advanced age.

A few hours after waking up, my seeming body pains drastically diminished. My elderly mother was up and about and complained of nothing.  Interestingly, the biggest and most muscular of us all, my brother, seemed most affected.  He felt like sleeping all day.  Drowsiness is one of the known effects of AstraZeneca.

“Report your experiences,” directed my doctor sister. “They provided you a link to the DOH, didn’t they?” she asked.  Of course, we were informed about the communication lines to the DOH. But do we need to inform the department about these side effects which are already known and are considered as given?  She said that these vaccines are new and we must help provide data for our government for future studies and actions.

So yeah, I will obey my sister.  It is my duty as a citizen of the Philippines and member of the present times to inform the authorities of these experiences for the benefit of the generations to come.

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I am glad that the Dagupan Doctors Villaflor Memorial Hospital started offering medical and laboratory home services since last year. My elderly mother was among the first ones to avail of these during the lockdown. She has become a regular caller, so to speak, since then. Berlie Bauzon, who is in charge of the home services, has been very patient with her.  The latter answers late night calls and facilitates the services my mother needs such as ecg and blood extraction with the inclusion of an emergency doctor, the very charming, Dr. Von Guilid.  They are now fast becoming my mother’s favorite persons. There is a different kind of calm that she feels whenever a doctor attend to her.  These home medical and laboratory services save her from possible community contamination which is rampant in hospitals.  May Villaflor Hospital’s tribe increase!

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