The coronavirus disease pandemic has dramatically changed the world. Anxiety, fear, even panic spread worldwide as fast as the virus. Many are concerned for their health and loved ones during this uncertain time. Some manage to find hope in this difficult time. 

It has been said that when things seem dark, hope will keep a person going. This is true in the case of Cynthia Arbado, Senior Records Management Analyst of the National Archives of the Philippines (NAP) who tested positive for Covid-19 in April 2021. Back then little was known about this disease, and about the Covid-19 vaccines. 

According to Arbado, she was afraid and anxious when lockdown was first imposed in the Philippines in March of 2020. She confessed that she was worried not only for her own well-being but also and most importantly for her family. 

“Noong nagkaroon ng lockdown ‘nung March, natakot agad ako. May diabetes ako eh. Maraming palaisipan sa akin, ‘paano yung buhay?’ Nakatatakot!” 

Though fearful, Arbado chose to face each day with a brave heart. She was optimistic as she believed that this was just another battle she needed to overcome. Arbado admitted that as time went by, she became complacent and got used to the new normal. 

But no one was invincible. It was months into the lockdown when Arbado’s fears were realized.  She fell victim to the virus. “It only started with a simple cold,” she recalled. Then came the terrifying news in April 2021 that she had tested positive for Covid-19. 

Filled with anxiety and stress, Arbado said she was more worried for her family “I was thinking of my mother and family,” she confessed. She was afraid of infecting her family. 

Though painful needles were piercing her body and though she suffered sleepless nights, she said that her family remained the foundation of her strength. Eventually her husband also tested positive for COVID-19, and she faced troubles she had never imagined she would have to deal with in her lifetime. 

“We had to be isolated,” Arbado said. For Arbardo, being away from her family was difficult enough. But it would reach the point she felt hopeless. She thought that she had reached a dead end and that she was helpless. 

“I already bid goodbye to my family,” she tearfully added as she admitted how she lost all hope. But her faith in God made her strong. She said that she just surrendered everything to God and she prayed harder everyday until all the hope that she lost was renewed. 

Arbado said that her faith helped her find a reason for what she is undergoing. She said during this crisis, her faith provided her security and solace. Through her faith, Arbado found an ounce of hope that grew stronger each day. Eventually she and her husband recovered. 

Looking back almost a year after being infected with COVID-19, Arbado remains hopeful especially since vaccines against COVID-19 are now available. She said her faith is the greatest gift she could ever ask for, but for those who are suffering through dark times because of the pandemic, Arbado advises that no matter how difficult times might be there is something to look forward to for a much better tomorrow.