Beks Battalion, the group of comedians Lassy Marquez, MC Calaquian and Chad Kinis, has put vlogging on hold following a “COVID-19 outbreak” in their home.
On his own YouTube channel, Chad explained that the vlogging trio Beks Battalion, as well as the affiliated vlog Beks Friends, have been inactive and not posting any content after some of them tested positive for COVID-19.
The comedians and other friends have been living in one house since the pandemic to be able to sustain their channel — a source of income especially after the shutdown of comedy bars.
Chad said that while they initially wanted to quarantine “in silence,” they decided to address the questions and speculations online they were breaking up.
“Maraming taong naghahanap. Maraming nagtataka. Inakala po nila na naghihiwalay tayo. May lumalabas na issue na akala nila nag-away kami, nag-watak-watak na kami. Hindi po yun totoo,” Chad said.
“For now, di po kami talaga magkakasama sa bahay ng mga Beks Batallion. Kaya po kami magkakahiwalay ng bahay kasi kailangan po mag-quarantine ng bawat isa po sa amin. Nagkaroon po ng COVID outbreak dito sa bahay,” he added.
Chad lamented that despite adhering to health protocols at home, they still got infected. The first to get COVID was their friend Tonton Soriano, whom they suspected got it during an errand run.
According to Tonton, he had a mild case that he dismissed it as a common headache. “Ang naririnig natin kapag nagka-COVID ka raw, sobrang sakit ng ulo mo, wala kang panlasa, masakit ang lalamunan mo. Ganun ‘yung mga sinasabi nila, hindi ka makahinga.
“Ang naramdaman ko lang kasi ay sakit ng ulo. Sumakit lang ‘yung ulo ko, parang normal, na mawawala ‘yan, iinom mo lang ng gamot, mawawala na. Totoo naman, nawala naman agad. So hindi ko naisip na COVID pala ‘yun.”
For Chad, it was mistake not to have treated it as a symptom. “Siguro ang mali lang po namin doon ay hindi namin napa-check agad si Tonton. Nawala siguro sa isip namin na baka sintomas ‘yan.”
It was Chad who was next to feel symptoms — fever and congested nose — after borrowing Tonton’s lip balm. He took a swab test and the result confirmed his suspicion — he was COVID-positive.
As consequence, the rest of the housemates underwent RT-PCR tests. All tested negative, but an antibody test indicated that Tonton already had COVID. He said, “Dun lang namin na-confirm na sa akin pala galing.”
However, there was another exposure to COVID-19 so some of them decided to temporarily leave the house to quarantine elsewhere. MC subsequently tested positive in a swab test.
“Nung nag-quarantine na naman kami, several days papa-check ng RT-PCR. At ‘yun na nga po. Nag-check ulit si Kuya MC at Kuya Lassy. Negative po si Kuya Lassy, pero nag-positive si Kuya MC,” Chad said.
He and Tonton have since recovered but it has been a hard lesson for all of them.
“Kung meron po talaga maramdaman kaagad, kahit simpleng-simpleng sintomas po, sana po ‘wag kayo matulad or magaya sa amin na iniisip namin na baka wala lang yan kasi wala naman masyadong nararamdaman,” Chad said.
“It will serve as a lesson, lalo kaming nagdodoble ingat. So, don’t be afraid to take swabs, ipa-check niyo ang sarili nyo. Kung may nararamdaman po kayo, ‘wag niyo balewalain.”
Chad, nevertheless, turned emotional as he shared how much their situation affected them.
“It’s been a month and this March has been really, really… we are all affected, the work, lahat tayo.
“Ang lungkot kasi di tayo magkakasama sa bahay, magkakahiwalay tayo kasi kelangan magpagaling lahat. Pero siguro okay na magkakahiwalay tayo ngayon para pagmakakasama tayo ulit, okay na, kasi this is a family here.
“It’s very hard; we have to support each other. This is a big lesson for us. Maybe it’s the Lord’s plan din that, OK, experience niyo itong COVID so you can like tell everybody that it’s real, andito pa rin siya, ‘wag tayo magpakampante.”