On Travel: The COVID-19 Outbreak

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The news of COVID-19 became clear to me when I was planning for my Dubai trip last January 2020. It was both a business and pleasure trip for me as I had to meet up with potential OFW clients. OFW means Overseas Filipino Worker, and I was selling real estate properties to them. I have earned my certificate for Real Estate Salesperson just this 2019, and with that, I have connected myself with a prestigious real estate company.

It just so happened that the real estate company and a partner developer was holding a real estate roadshow in Dubai. I show that as an opportunity for me to do business in that beautiful and first-class city. And so, I signed up for the roadshow and connected with all my OFW family and friends who were staying in UAE – Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and Al-Ain. I made schedules with them, and my week-long business/pleasure trip was ironed out.

Two days before my travel, my second-born bought me a bunch of things – masks, hand sanitizer with 90% alcohol, 70% isopropyl alcohol, surgical gloves, multivitamins, and vitamin C supplement with zinc. “Mom, please bring this with you. Wear a mask at the airport. And drink one each of these supplements and the C.” She said.

I was like, “What? My make-up will be ruined by this mask, dear.” I said. Yeah, I know. I am vain, but that made me the top salesperson that I am today. My looks and my charm – the make-up is part of it.

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“Better that your Chanel Foundation and YSL lipstick are ruined, than your health with this corona thing going on, mom. It is deadly, and going out of Wuhan so fast. Cebu is a very open city at its airport. A lot of tourists are there coming from China, and we do not know if they have this disease with them. Please, mommy. Just do as I ask. Do this for me.” My second-born was insisting that I agree. And I did.

And so, my travel day came, and from Davao City, I went to Cebu City. My international flight to Dubai was leaving Cebu, and I was to ride Emirates business class. It was a thirty-minute flight, and I did notice that some were wearing masks and gloves at the airport. I remembered what my daughter said, and I hurriedly put them on.

In Cebu, I also observed the same thing. People were always washing their hands with alcohol or sanitizer. I also did the same as what my daughter said, better safe than sorry.

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I arrived in Dubai and did my business. It was very beautiful there, and people were not wearing masks. So, I took it off. The mask was itchy, too, and I could not talk well with it on. After seven days in that splendid and beautiful country with three signed house and lot reservation agreements, I returned home. Cebu airport was stricter than usual, and so was the Davao airport. Little did I know that in a few short weeks, everything would be locked down in the entire world.

Because of that travel, I opted to have a COVID-19 test kit just to make sure that I did not bring any virus with me. I was just so lucky that my test turned out negative and that I am not a risk to my kids. This virus from China was killing people in Wuhan and Italy so fast. I just could not believe it. My daughter was right. It was scary.

Also, the places I went to in Dubai when I was there – it was shut down. The Gold Souk was a COVID-19-infested place. The whole of Dubai is on lockdown 24 hours at this time. No one can go out, and nobody can also come in. It is the worst right now in there.

I thank God for saving me and for having a smart daughter and a news freak. If not for God’s saving grace and my daughter’s love for me, I wouldn’t know all those safety measures early on.

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