Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp
Aksyon Demokratiko vice presidential candidate Dr. Willie Ong admitted yesterday that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and shared some valuable lessons he learned about its highly transmissible Omicron variant. “I have COVID, Day 2. Nagla-live ako dahil sa tingin ko, may lesson din naman at maituro ko sa inyo, habang ‘yung hindi pa tinatamaan, makaingat pa ng konti. Iba ‘yung inaral ko sa COVID, iba ‘yung na-experience mo mismo. Iba ‘yung libro, iba ‘yung aktwal,” Ong said in live post in his Facebook page. According to the 58-year-old cardiologist and internist, the first thing he learned about the Omicron variant was that it is not as benign as some experts have painted it to be. “Ang Omicron ay hindi po mild. Kalokohan ‘yung binabasa nyo sa Google, sa internet. Mas matindi ito kaysa flu. Ito ang pinakamatindi kong sakit. Masakit sa ulo. May sipon sya pero matindi ‘yung ubo. May plema na ako, wala na rin akong boses,” Ong said. Ong said he also experiences post-nasal drip, and difficulty in sleeping among others. While he still has his sense of smell and taste, he sometimes has no appetite. And the symptoms come in waves, he said, describing how he seemed to recover one moment, only for the symptoms to return a er a few moments, thus gradually sapping the strength of the patient. “Alas siyete ng umaga, sakit ng katawan, sakit ng ulo, laging pawis. Tapos mamayang konti, lalakas ka, parang okay, tapos mamayang konti, ayan na naman, mabigat na naman. So, may wave na parang sipa siya nang sipa. Kaya naiintindihan ko kung bakit may namamatay, kasi sipa nang sipa ‘yung sakit,” Ong said. He also warned that wearing face masks, even the more effective N95 that he always wears, is not enough to prevent the transmission of Omicron. “Maingat talaga ako. Lagi akong naka-N95. Pero kasi ‘yung mga kasama ko hindi naka-N95. Naaamoy mo ‘yung mga katabi mo, so, lulusot pa rin siya. Sa pag-aaral, kahit nakaN95 ka, pag ‘yung kasama mo walang mask, may lulusot pa rin,” Ong said. “Kung gusto nyong umiwas, iwas kayo sa tao talaga. Kung gusto nyo, mag-double mask kayo,” he added. When stricken with the virus, Ong advised victims to isolate themselves, drink lots of water and take over-thecounter drugs to treat the various symptoms like Paracetamol for fever, expectorants for coughs, among others, as well as vitamins. “Any brand is okay,” he pointed out. Ong also advised patients to eat as much as possible even if they have no appetite for added energy and to refrain from getting stressed to preserve their mental health and immune system. And since he got infected, Ong has started taking Molnupiravir, the antiviral drug that he recommended to Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna to purchase for COVID patients in Manila.