As a crisis expert, Dr. Ted Esguerra is used to being in the frontlines of emergency response and rescue.
Now, amid the public health emergency brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Doc Ted, who co-anchors DZMM’s disaster preparedness program Red Alert, finds himself in the thick of the crisis. But this time, he is a patient battling the disease.
In a series of posts on his Facebook page, Doc Ted has opened up about his COVID-19 journey. He is keeping the faith, turning to humor and just staying “positive” despite his positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
“Friends, I am positive for COVID 19… But I’m OK and in a POSITIVE Mood,” wrote Esguerra, who once served as EMS doctor to the first-ever Philippine expedition team to Mt. Everest, on Facebook on March 29 when he was still under home quarantine.
“I just stayed in the terrace watching a patch of heaven (view has lots of buildings as obstructions. Tsk, urban jungle) and simply accepting God’s Will in my life,” he continued.
“I just thank the Almighty for my T Helper cells, T killer cells, B Cells, Macrophages and those thousands of wellness greetings you posted on my wall. God will reward you for such kindness. You lifted up my soul.”
He urged followers not to be alarmed over his condition, even joking that they should be more worried if the “positive result” came from a “pregnancy test”.
“While in my quarantine, I was not alone reading your messages for my well-being. But don’t dismay, guys. God has His ways. I live and die under His Will,” Doc Ted said.
“Don’t worry about me. I don’t want you to be alarmed. Ganito na lang: MAS MATAKOT KAYO KUNG POSITIVE AKO SA PREGNANCY TEST ha ha ha… Tawa lang to boost immune system up,” he further advised.
“When you believe in the healing, comforting power of the Almighty, no misery should befall thee… Hooyah!”
In another Facebook post, Doc Ted shared about getting teary-eyed after becoming the one being attended to and ferried in an ambulance dispatched by the Manila emergency operations center.
“While getting out of the house and going to the ambulance, my neighbors were shouting: KAYA MO YAN, DOC,” he shared while also praising the good local governance and community collaboration. “I saw a community helping me move my way to the Manila DRRM (Disaster Risk Reduction and Management) ambulance and chanting that I can make it through.”
“I was crying from inside seeing DRRM staff, ambulance guys, EMS volunteers and paid personnel doing their job diligently and maintaining the line against the disease,” he added.
Given how important pre-hospital care in this time of COVID-19, Esguerra lamented how the law to improve the emergency medical services and trauma care in the country has not yet been passed.
“Despite the fact that EMS Law is still in limbo in this country rigged with accidents and disasters, EMS Law is somewhat pushed aside,” he said.
He vowed to fight for the passage of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) law after he finishes his own battle with COVID-19.
“After all these troubles and I will live over this, I will RALLY BEHIND THE APPROVAL OF THE EMS LAW in this country. I will put my energy there… Will gather friends and enemies, heaven and earth as my last hurrah just to have it approved,” he said.
“Mabuhay po kayong mga ambulance guys, EMS personnel, DRRM staff and all frontliners in the harsh streets of Metro Manila. Hooyah!”
In a post Tuesday, he offered a glimpse of what confinement is like for a COVID-19 patient.
He showed his “plastic bubble room with ventilation and HEPA filtration system.”
“It’s lonely as it seems… But I was reminded by the story I learned about Daniel in the den. God was with Daniel. Don’t be sad, weary world… For the realization of God’s Mercy and Benevolence is in times when we are at our greatest lows, when we are desperately sick and when our arrogance is shattered by the Almighty’s forgiving and healing power,” he wrote.
In an ABS-CBN report, Doc Ted said he got himself tested last week after experiencing such symptoms as severe body pains and fever.
“Sumakit ‘yung katawan ko pero kakaiba siya. Ang hirap matulog. ‘Pag pumihit ka, ang sakit. So Wednesday, nagpa-check ako. Doon ako sa St. Luke’s,” he was quoted as saying.
He was already in self-quarantine when he received his positive result on Sunday. He said in the interview that he wasn’t sure how he contracted the virus because he adhered to government protocol including disinfecting his house. However, he had also admitted that he remained “on the field” and offered rides to medical frontliners, including his wife, a doctor for a government hospital.
His family is still waiting for their COVID-19 test results, the report further said.
As of March 30, the Department of Health (DOH) said that a total of 1,546 patients tested positive for COVID-19 with 78 deaths and 42 recoveries.
Meanwhile, Doc Ted continues to open up about his experience through daily posts, offering not just an idea of what a COVID-19 patient goes through, but also hope and inspiration despite the COVID-19 situation in the country.
As of Thursday, he is in isolation due to pneumonia but morale is still high.
He wrote, “I felt so much better despite the slightly progressing pneumonia. But by God’s grace, my body will fight it out.”