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COVID-19 Survivor John Rex de Guzman Shares His Story

COVID-19 Survivor John Rex de Guzman Shares His Story

Cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines are steadily increasing everyday. So it is important for everyone to know that COVID-19 is a real disease and the threat of illness is not something to be taken lightly.

We recently got in touch with John Rex de Guzman, a COVID-19 survivor. This is his story.

When did you start experiencing symptoms?

Morning of July 13, 2020, I could not taste my coffee. I immediately called the Department of Health (DOH) hotline to ask for some advice but I was told to observe the symptoms for few more days. Later on, I tried to smell my cologne and a scented candle but could not smell them. I didn’t have fever, nor cough, or colds, but few days prior to that, Friday, I started to experience body pains. I ignored it and thought I was just tired because of work.

That Monday I started to experience headaches as well. So that afternoon, I rushed to Makati Medical Center to have myself tested. However, many people were in line waiting to get tested. I waited for six hours but still could not be accommodated. I went back early the following day, July 14 to get tested. The results were out July 16 and it was positive.

Home Care Tips for Mild COVID-19 Symptoms

When the symptoms appeared, were you worried that it was COVID-19?

Yes, because I have been reading up on the symptoms of COVID-19 and I was pretty much aware of what to watch out for. Also, that week, a co-worker manifested symptoms but she did not get herself tested right away. But I was a close contact so I considered myself as a “suspect” even without her test results yet. Later, she turned out positive too.

Where do you think you got the infection from?

I think it was in the workplace. I had lunch in our pantry together with the co-worker who manifested symptoms that same day. Though we were spaced apart while eating, our pantry is an enclosed space and we were not wearing masks that time.

What symptoms did you experience and were you hospitalized?

I experienced very mild symptoms – body pains, headache, chills at night, loss of sense of taste and smell and body malaise. The doctor prescribed me an immune booster, and paracetamol for headache if needed. I was advised to take more fluids and have enough rest, and to isolate myself. I was living by myself at that time so I did not need to go to a quarantine facility.

Were you worried that it might get worse?

Yes, of course. I was worried that I would develop cough that would lead to pneuomonia and other more serious symptoms so I was taking plenty of fruits, herbal tea, and vitamins. I was doing some light exercise also that time.

How long did it take for you to recover?

I was advised to take another test exactly 2 weeks after. So I went back to MMC July 28, 2020 for my second test. Results were out the following day and it was already negative.

covid-19 survivor

Have you experienced any lingering symptoms?

Sense of smell and taste did not come back instantly. If I remember correctly, I had my sense of taste and smell back after 2 months. And even when I had them back, I was experiencing some weird things like smelling things that are not there, usually burnt smell, and also I was having an altered sense of smell like my cologne would smell like chemical. I researched about it and found out that parosmia and panthosmia are common among COVID-19 survivors. Also, I have experienced brain fog or confusion for weeks after I tested negative.

Do you think that people need to take COVID-19 more seriously?

Yes. It is sad that some people downplay COVID-19 by saying that it is just flu. We do not know yet the long-term effects of COVID-19 and further research is still being done. We heard of people having sudden heart attacks or perfectly healthy individuals succumbing to pneumonia or other complications. This is a novel virus and experts are still facing a blank wall. But one thing is for sure, this virus knows no master.

Here’s How to Avoid COVID-19 at Work

What message do you want to share about your experience?

I may be lucky to experience a mild case of COVID-19, but others may not be as lucky. We have to take COVID-19 seriously. The enemy is invisible and experts are still learning more about the virus. Even if vaccines are available, let us not let our guards down. Let us continue to observe health protocols: be in well-ventilated spaces, wear masks and face shields and wear them properly, observe at least one-meter physical distancing, and limit interaction to less than 30 minutes. Let us wash our hands often, and boost our immune system.

If you know someone who got infected with CCOVID-19, give them support: message them, send them healthy food, encourage them, send them your thoughts and prayers. Do not embarrass them nor discriminate against them. Stigma has no place in a pandemic.

If you were a close contact or starting to experience COVID-19 related symptoms, have yourself tested and consult a doctor right away.

Learn more about the Coronavirus and other related news here.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated Apr 28, 2021
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel