Tom’s Story: I Got COVID Twice

By Marvie C. Paraiso

“I became anxious and depressed,” recalled Benedict Flores, a 45-year-old father of three, when he found out that he tested positive for coronavirus.  

He got hospitalized at the onset of symptoms like fever, LBM, severe headache, and body ache. He vividly remembers as it was on the same day that the country was put on lockdown. After his 5-day confinement in the hospital, he had to isolate himself until the results of his two respiratory specimens came out negative.  

“It was hard because my wife and two kids were with me in the room before I got confined. Worrying about them was the worst part of testing positive. Since recovery took almost a month, I missed them even though I was just in our room.” 

Tom with his wife, Bong, and their three kids — Joshua, Iñigo, and Sofia

Fondly known as Tom by his colleagues, the IT Senior Manager still worked and attended meetings while in quarantine. “(Working) took my mind off my condition for a while, and my coworkers’ kind words of encouragement helped me during isolation.” 

When the Covid-19 vaccine became available, he immediately signed up and availed of the primary series on April 10 and May 10, 2021, regardless of the brand. Six months later, he got his 1st booster shot from their LGU, San Juan City. Around that time, vaccines were limited, so he grabbed the chance as he was under the person-with-comorbidity category due to his diabetes.  

“It’s important for my protection. Because I am protected, my family will be protected as well. They are my priority—di magkasakit, di maiuwi sa bahay, di maspread sa office at sa ibang tao.” 

When asked what he felt after taking the shots, Tom shared that although he did not feel anything unusual aside from a headache, he felt more confident because he had this mentality that he was now protected against COVID-19.  

Then on the 9th of January this year, he was rushed to ER and was scheduled for an endoscopy. As SOP of hospitals in the new normal, an RT-PCR Test was required before confinement. He tested positive again.  

But this time, it’s different, he said. Although he felt headaches, colds, and body aches, the symptoms were milder and only lasted two days. Compared to what he experienced during his first time, he now felt more at peace because he and his family had their respective vaccine shots and knew how to handle it. 

When asked if he had any inhibitions on taking the booster, Tom was firm: “Since talagang gusto kong maging protected, walang pumasok sa’king ganun kasi alam kong tested naman sya at lagi naman akong nagsesearch kung ano ang maganda—safe siya (booster) at malaki ang tulong.” In fact, Tom had already taken his second booster on May 24 at our Integrity Onelife Gym.  

NLEX Corp, in partnership with Caloocan LGU, encourages and supports a second booster for all employees to fortify everyone’s defenses against the virus. 


Marvie C. Paraiso, Human Resources and Administration. Marvie can usually be found looking at the skies with earphones in her ears and wandering off in her wonderland. She loves stories that tinker with her curious mind and make her belly chuckle. She enjoys the sound of music, raindrops, and laughter and the thrill of adventures and the sceneries of a long tiring trip—actually, she relishes it more than the journey’s end.

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