Many already consider those who are classified as Person Under Monitoring (PUI) as COVID-19 positive.

Even patients and health workers who take care of the patients are discriminated.

There are also those who are afraid to come out in the open or will not be willing to tell the truth when such symptoms of COVID-19 occur, putting not just himself in danger but others as well.

With this, one might ask if coming out in the open can help a person or endanger him?

Looking at things happening nowadays, stories abound about persons under monitoring (PUMs).

One of them is Ricky Aragua Jr., 20, resident of Poblacion, Sugbongcogon, Misamis Oriental. He was one of the more than 300 persons from Davao de Oro who came home and became a PUM.

Ricky was home at Sugbongcogon, Misamis Oriental, last March 18. Prior to his arrival, he was already quarantined in Davao for five days.

As a PUM without any symptoms, he shared how he survived the 14-day quarantine.

Upon their arrival from abroad, Ricky and his co-workers were immediately led to the town gymnasium where the Mayor Mildred Lagbas-Mondigo and Municipal Health Officer Dr. Rollyn Rey Jary Mondejar greeted them. At this point, all the workers underwent COVID-19 briefing with emphasis on the do’s and don’ts .

Admittedly, all of them were afraid, uncertain of the days they might go through along the way.

As Ricky underwent his self-quarantine, everything had changed; the normal things he is used to have are now gone. He faces the new normal, staying at home.

Each day for 14 days, he constantly receives a visit from the Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERT) that did him a daily checkup. He also received assistance from the municipality of Sugbongcogon and his barangay to help him and his family surpass the current challenge in their lives.

Despite the inconvenience brought about by this pandemic, Ricky remained hopeful and determined that the self-quarantine would eventually eventually end especially that he is not showing any symptoms of the dreaded virus.

His willingness and obedience to the advice of the BHERT, Municipal Health Officer and Municipal Mayor helped him a lot, keeping him and his family safe.

With everything was complete, Ricky and the more than 300 co-workers had successfully completed their self-quarantine.

Ricky said “I am thankful for the help and works that our frontliners had given to me. What the BHERTS, Municipal Health Officer and our Mayor had done for me, I will forever be grateful. I know I am not a frontliner, I cannot do anything to help solve this COVID-19 crisis that our municipality and country are facing.”

“hat I can only do to help is to stay at home and obey the regulations. I just hope that if there are those who are like me, who had a travel history to places that had COVID-19 issues, never be afraid to tell our BHERT and health officer. Be honest to them and obey all their advice. By doing this, we are not only helping ourselves and our family, but them as well. I would like to send a message to all, stay at home. This is the least we can do to help our frontliners conquer and defeat COVID-19,” Ricky said.

PUMs and PUIs should not be afraid of nor be discriminated by others for they themselves are trying hard to surpass the crisis that they are having. The same also goes to all the frontliners who are giving their best to stop and contain the virus through utmost dedication and heroism.

Our lives, our future during this pandemic crisis will now depend on all of us.

We need to work together if we want to flatten the curve of the COVID 19. Strive to beat the odds.

We, Filipinos will find a way to survive this pandemic crisis. Let us heal as one. (Jan Albert Araña, PIA 10)