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Audrey Tan-Zubiri narrates her family’s experiences in facing the effects of the novel coronavirus, encouraging everyone to find the courage and hope no matter how dire circumstances are.

It’s been over five months since the reality of COVID-19 hit home for us and yet everything from those days is as fresh in my mind as if they were yesterday. When I say home, I mean almost literally home as COVID hit patient number 142, my husband, Miguel.

Fortunately, my family and I are all well now. Or as well as can be expected under these circumstances. Like everyone, we experienced (and continue to do so) the effects of COVID in all aspects of our lives—from our children’s education to our businesses and of course, the health of my husband.

In the beginning, we did not even realize the gravity of this virus and the effects it would bring upon all of us. We thought it would just be just a few months and everything would be alright once again. But just the same, we took things seriously.

Everything began when there was a reported exposure in the Senate. Upon discovery, Miguel immediately went into self-quarantine in our bedroom while the children and I kept ourselves in a separate part of the house. It did not take long for Migs to begin experiencing symptoms such as a fever, body aches, and an itchy throat.

The first thing the children and I did was to pray the rosary. I made sure to comfort and reassure the children that their father would get well. What was important was for me to remain strong for my family. However, at that time, I felt so unsure and did not know what to expect or what would happen. It seemed like every day brought different and contrasting ideas and opinions. The news was full of negativity and did little to assuage our fears. If anything, it just added to our stress.

It is times like these when you realize how important it is to have people to talk to who can give you comfort and peace. We are lucky that the chaplain in my daughter’s school is a close family friend. He invited us to a Zoom family rosary together with three or four other families from the school and together, we prayed for Migs’ healing.

From a handful of families, our little Zoom group grew and we now have anywhere from 40 to a hundred families praying together every night. It was this group that served as my biggest support system during the time I felt most alone and fearful. It also helped the children to see their peers praying at the same time. The sense of community in the middle of an enhanced quarantine was priceless.

In the beginning, I joined because we were praying for Migs, but since then, we have gone on to pray for various members of our community and their loved ones. When we pray together, for each other and for everyone, we share in each other’s pain and suffering, but we also share in their celebrations of life and the joys of recoveries.

Read the full story written by Audrey Tan-Zubiri in Lifestyle Asia’s September 2020 issue titled, “Have Courage.”

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