CDN DIGITAL 2ND ANNIVERSARY FEATURE

Asthma and COVID fears: Looking back at a challenging year

By: Dennis Singson - Editor/CDN Digital | February 04,2021 - 08:00 AM
Delta Dyrecka Letigio, multimedia reporter, wears a face mask and face shield in one of her coverages at City Hall. | Delta Dyrecka Letigio

Delta Dyrecka Letigio, multimedia reporter, wears a face mask and face shield in one of her coverages at City Hall. | Delta Dyrecka Letigio

(As CDN Digital turns two this month, we give you, readers, a glimpse of the people behind the news of one of Cebu’s leading online news portals.)

CEBU CITY, Philippines — She suffers from asthma every now and then and has that constant fear of catching the virus as she goes on field and bringing it home to her family.

And she remembers the start of the pandemic in Cebu last year because she was suffering from a bad asthma season.

“I remember that I suffered through a bad asthma season when the news broke out right after Sinulog 2020,” said Delta Dyrecka Letigio, multimedia reporter of CDN Digital, as she looked back on when the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic began last year.

She also remembered the shock she felt when her belief was disproven that Cebu City, the urban center of the region, with billions on its coffers could handle any kind of epidemic.

“Yet as weeks passed, it dawned on me that the city was being turned upside down. I can remember clearly as Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella stood at the border of Talisay City and Cebu City on March 28, 2020, counting backward from 10 as he sealed the gates of the city,” said Letigio, who covers the Cebu City Hall beat.

“I felt the shiver down my spine as my fellow reporters and I walked through a surreal Colon Street as empty as if people never existed with only a single homeless person scouring the sidewalk (for food). My job as a reporter forever changed then,” she said.

In just a year, the pandemic swept the world with countless lives lost, businesses slowly closing down, and people losing jobs.

“My laptop records that I wrote the word, COVID-19, 1,789 times in the past months. Muckrack’s website records that I have written over 200 articles on or surrounding the topic,” Letigio said.

The virus has changed everyone’s lives and for Letigio, she remembered the struggles and the fear.

“The struggle of writing news without being able to go on field, walking kilometers to take pictures of people during the quarantine, and the constant fear of bringing home the virus to my family,” she said.

She said she could not stop feeling afraid when she wrote about the death count daily of Cebu City last year, which then was then horrendously rising. 

“By the time Cebu City was released from the enhanced community quarantine on September 1, 2020, and fieldwork slowly returned to normal, the city has changed for me,” she said.

She remembered then that people aside from wearing masks and shields had this constant fight to return to normalcy while maintaining the new health protocols.

“Five months into the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), taxi drivers began questioning the existence of the virus, and devotees of Sto. Niño risked their lives to attend the Mass despite expected crowding,” she said.

As it turned out, Cebu City residents still have not learned their lesson as cases again are rising with 800 cases recorded in less than 30 days into 2021.

Meanwhile, Morexette Marie B. Erram, another multimedia reporter, said that in the past year she was like everyone else barely surviving.

“Spreading awareness that there’s still more work to be done while being mindful of my own privileges helped me survive — both in my professional and personal life,” Erram said.

As CDN Digital turns two this month, Letigio hopes that CDND’s readers will heed concerned agencies and government’s warnings against the virus.

“As we bring day-to-day updates not only on the COVID cases, but also of other worthy issues in Cebu, I pray that our readers continue to believe in and act on the truth,” she said.

“After all, CDN Digital is not only building communities at random, it is building informed communities equipped with the right information to make better decisions,” she said.

— — — — —

Delta Dyrecka Letigio and Morexette Marie B. Erram are the multimedia reporters of CDN Digital.

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TAGS: asthma, Cebu City Hall beat, COVID-19, Delta Dyrecka Letigio, Morexette Marie B. Erram, pandemic

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