I know I am NOT invincible. I was so active going out but was very cautious of the crowd.

I said to myself that one day I would get the virus as Omicron started spreading like wildfire across the world.

In the United States, the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) soared to a million cases in just a single day.

In the Philippines, the virus infected more than 26,400 on Jan. 8, breaking all previous daily numbers since the outbreak in 2020.

There are fears the number of infections could top 50,000 a day but the health department could not possibly monitor all cases because it has limited testing capacity. It has not done tests beyond 80,000 a day.

The health department could not capture all data since it was only counting tests done by RT-PCR. Many people have bought DIY home-based antigen test kits and those turning positive are no longer reporting to the government.

We really have a serious crisis that could overwhelm the healthcare system as many doctors, nurses, and other allied health workers are also getting sick.

At some point, undermanned hospitals will be flooded with Covid-19 patients and there could be rioting on the streets as food and other essentials will be short of supply, with factories grinding to a halt because most of the workers are infected.

The scenario is scary but the people have to be thankful Omicron is not as bad as Delta, which had sent many to hospitals. Some of them ended up in the morgues. The unlucky ones just die quietly in their homes for lack of funds to go to the nearest hospital.

Omicron has flu-like symptoms and depending on one’s body, it is less severe than other coronavirus variants.

Omicron is milder than Delta but it is a mild strain. It could still land people in hospitals but data from other countries showed that the mortality rate was low.

Thank God for that. I am immuno-compromised. I feared the virus would get me when it first surfaced two years ago.

I was more concerned when Delta came and saw in the news the number of deaths in India last year. Covid-19 cases peaked to 26,300 in September but I was relieved when infections went down leading to Christmas 2021.

That was when cases started to rise exponentially. A group of university professors calculated that the cases would reach 8,000 on Jan. 7, but a day before, the infections breached 17,000. The actual cases exceeded the projections.

There was not one in my circle of friends who contracted the virus. For others, it was the second time, but it was milder this time with no symptoms at all.

On the evening of New Year’s Day, while I was preparing to sleep, I began to have colds and I started sneezing.

I thought it was just an allergy as I occasionally had bouts with colds due to the sudden change of weather.

The next morning, I thought my colds were gone but by midmorning, I began to sneeze again and my nose was stuffed. My eyes were burning but I had no fever and cough. I was closely watching my sense of taste and smell but they were okay.

On Monday, I already had a horrible voice but finished my script for a “Short Take” episode for Jan. 9. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to do the voiceover and spiels because of my voice.

Ed Lingao advised me to take an antigen test but I was afraid I could not do it properly. I
skipped my 8 p.m. cable TV and radio talk show program on Monday, and went to bed early.

On Tuesday, things got better. Except for the sniffles, I was okay.

In the olden days, sipon lang ito o baka tra-trangkasuhin lang ako. But the fear of Omicron was there because the virus has different symptoms compared with Delta and other variants.

On Wednesday, I had no more colds. So, at the back of my mind, hindi nga siguro Covid-19 ito, baka sipon lang.

From Saturday until I got better on Wednesday, I did not take any medication for colds or flu. Nakaubos lang ng tissue sa kasisinga.

An angel sent a “botica” of multivitamins and zinc to strengthen my body, which I began to take on Sunday, a day after I got my RT-PCR test results.

On Thursday, Cignal TV sent someone to get my swab. I was confident the test would turn out negative because I only had colds. It was common during this time of the year.

But I was totally wrong. When I got the results on Saturday, I was very much POSITIVE.

I have no more symptoms but I have to complete 10 days of isolation. Good for me, I have more time to write opinion pieces.

Covid-19 is real. In the past, I only heard stories about it. Then, I was shocked when friends, like Melo Acuña, died only a few days after he was admitted for Covid-19 last year. Now, I got it.

I wanted to advise people to take special precautions. The virus, Omicron, is so contagious. Don’t ignore a simple cold, it could progress into something more serious.

Everyone will certainly have a date with Covid-19 and let’s pray it will be with a milder variant. If everyone gets the virus, the world will get natural immunity and that could be the end of this 21st century scourge.