How a front-liner battling Covid-19 raises positivity via Tiktok

By Lade Jean Kabagani

April 7, 2020, 2:59 pm

<p>Nico Centillas Torreon <em>(Contributed photo)</em></p>

Nico Centillas Torreon (Contributed photo)

MANILA— Nico Centillas Torreon, a 28-year-old nurse assistant at St. Luke's Hospital in Taguig City, has been fighting the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) since March 27.

One of his recent TikTok videos with the caption, "Virus ka lang, tiktoker 'to, umalis ka na sa katawan ko (You're only a virus, I am a Tiktok user, get out of my body)" went viral on social media.

He got various well-wishes and prayers from netizens, which he said helped him to feel better.

Despite backaches and headaches, Torreon said he still manages to continue making more TikTok videos.

"Nag-Tiktok ako para sa kanila, para mapasaya ko sila at makita nilang okey ako, na kaya ko at lumalaban ako (I create TikTok videos for them, to make them feel happy and to show them that I am doing well, that I can handle this and I'm fighting)," he told the Philippine News Agency.

TikTok is a video-sharing social networking service where users create short dance, lip-sync, comedy, and talent videos.

In one of his videos, Torreon, wearing a hospital gown, grooves to "Fight Song" which he captioned "frontline dance challenge fight for Covid-19."

He said this is his way to uplift himself and his front-liner friends amid the Covid-19 scare.

He said he was grateful to the netizens who watched his TikTok videos, adding that he did not expect to inspire many people.

"Maraming salamat po sa inyo na appreciate ko po 'yung mga suporta niyo sakin at yung prayers niyo para sakin (Thank you very much I really appreciate all of your support and prayers for me)," he said.

He added that he also wanted to encourage other Covid-19 patients to be strong in battling against the dreaded virus.

Covid-19 risks

Prior to the start of the spread of the pandemic in the country, Torreon has been working in the hospital and serving the medical industry for seven years.

It was a thrilling moment for him being one of the medical workers who stood on the front line in the battle against the deadly virus.

He does some hospital errands such as sending patients to X-ray procedures, admitting patients into their rooms and sending specimens for laboratory examinations.

This might be the reason why he got infected with the virus, although he said he has been using personal protective gear in the early days of the pandemic.

"Nagulat ako at umiyak. Hindi ako maka paniwala na nag-positive ako. Nagkulong ako sa kwarto (I was shocked and I cried. I can't believe I would test positive for Covid-19. I locked myself in the room)," he said.

Torreon is the youngest among nine siblings. His family is based in Libona, Bukidnon in Mindanao.

He said at first, he expressed hesitation to tell his family that he already contracted Covid-19, saying "that it would only add up to their worries."

"Ayaw ko silang malungkot (I don't want them to be sad)," he said.

His friend, however, told him that his family has the right to know about his situation, given that the risks of Covid-19 might put him into danger.

After telling his family about his condition, Torreon said they all started crying.

But Torreon stood up and drew courage inside him, as he promised himself and his family that he will fight Covid-19 whatever happens.

Journey to recovery

As of posting, Torreon said he is doing fine. He doesn't have muscle aches and fever anymore, but still suffers from sore throat.

Torreon said after recovery, he wants to go back to the front line to fight Covid-19 not as a patient anymore, but as a front-liner.

This adversity, he said, made him even stronger.

"Ngayon pa ba ako matatakot nakaya ko nga harapin yung virus na nasa katawan ko na? Kaya lalaban ulit ako at tutulong ako muli sa mga kasama ko para harapin ang Covid-19. Hindi ko sila iiwan. Hindi dahil nagka-virus na ko matatakot nalang ako (Why would I be scared now? I will fight the battle again and I will help my colleagues to combat Covid-19. I will not leave them. It doesn't mean that since I got the virus already, I should be scared of having it again.)

He urged the public to stay at home, noting that the danger brought by the virus can be surpassed by practicing social distancing, proper hygiene and a lot of prayers.

"Sa mga pasyenteng may Covid-19 kagaya ko, huwag kayong magpatalo, subukan niyong lumaban kasi kung iisipin niyo yung sakit na yan, mas lalo kayong magkakasakit (To the patients who have Covid-19 like me, don't give up, try to fight and don't think about the disease, that will only make you feel ill)," he said.

Meanwhile, Torreon said the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) can halt the spread of the Covid-19, adding that it will also save many people from being infected by the deadly virus.

"I hope you follow the ECQ rules being imposed. These are all for your own sake. Kung ako nga nahawa na may suot na ngang (If I had been infected while wearing) personal protective equipment, paano na lang kayo (how much more those without PPE?) Kung mahal niyo pa sarili niyo at yung pamilya niyo (if you still love yourself and your family), please stay at home," he said.

Torreon said he doesn't have to worry about his hospital bills and treatment expenses because St. Luke’s Hospital will shoulder it for him.

On the other hand, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) earlier said it will continue to shoulder the hospital expenses and treatment costs of all Covid-19 patients until April 14, whether they are admitted in public or private hospitals.

PhilHealth coverage includes isolation package and referral package for its members and dependents with possible symptoms of the Covid-19.

The government continues to intensify its battle against the Covid-19, while more medical front-liners are taking the risks to treat those who are already infected. (PNA)