What would you do if you have five children, two of them still babies, and you are the only one supporting and taking care of them? What’s worse is when Covid-19 hits you and your predicament goes above the roof.
This is the question now bugging Cyril, who despite being a single mother, was able to raise her children notwithstanding that she was alone in life and even caught covid-19.
Cyril used to be a secretary who was paid above the minimum monthly wage in addition to the alote (allotment) she used to receive from her ex-husband, a seaman. But since the pandemic, the company she works for has temporarily closed and her husband was unable to board the ship again making life hard for her and her children, aged 18, 12, 6, 3 and 1.
She decided to accept laundry from friends and neighbors to support her children who are enrolled in private school. At first, she only received laundry once a day but later on, through word of mouth, her clients grew.
With an income of P500.00 per family, her income grew from the four regular clients and she was able to keep her three children to school, the eldest of whom is now graduating from her Accounting course.
This set -up is comfortable for her because apart from having a heavy-duty washing machine, she can still take good care of her children without leaving their house.
Despite that, she was still careful that the laundry she receives every day is sprayed with disinfectant before putting it to their laundry area to make sure that no virus could enter their home, especially since she has two small children.
One day, feeling like she was getting colds, Cyril begged off from even touching her laundry. Thinking she was having fever, she took paracetamol. But the following day when she lost her taste and smell, that’s when she realized that she had also been hit by Covid-19.
Fearing that she would be quarantined and that no one would take care of her children, she decided to undergo self- quarantine without informing others.
But in the middle of her quarantine, she was unable to rest because there was no one else to cook their food.
She trusted none of her children to interfere in her kitchen, so even though it was difficult for her, she tried to get up every day and prepares her children’s daily meals.
It was even more difficult for her to breast feed her youngest who does not want to drink from the bottle. She always wears personal protective equipment (PPE)even when she was just at home including mask, face shield and surgical gloves.
Although she has yet to recover, another blow came to her life when her mother called her and said that his father is having a heart attack, because she could not go out, she could not do anything for a while.
She didn’t know what to do until her mom called again at the last time and said that her father was gone.
Although she wanted to go to his father, she couldn’t do so either because she might infect her mother who was also unaware of her condition. Later on, she was forced to confess to her mother about her illness.
After feeling better, she decided to take a swab test and by the grace of God, she was tested negative. She also swab-tested his children and they were also negative.
A few weeks ago when she noticed that she always seemed to be palpitating and she seemed to be losing weight, she had another checkup which did not find any illness in he. She sought a second opinion from a well-known doctor of her friend and after undergoing some tests, it was learned that he had hyperthyroidism and the treatment was also expensive.
Because she had just recovered and was not yet comfortable receiving laundry, she thought of asking help from the father of her children, her ex-husband.
But instead of helping her, the husband criticized her for her financial woes, forcing her to just borrow money from friends who did not disappoint and helped her until she was finally able to work again.
Now, she’s receiving laundry again and she is feeling fine because of the continuous treatment of her illness. Although she did not know what to do at first she realized that when you are a mother, it is automatic for you, that you can do everything for your children.