This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow) among human cells (pink). This virus was isolated from a patient in the U.S. (they have added Color to the image to better show the virus and its environment.)
(Image: © NIAID-RML)
For the past month and a half, I have been glued on Twitter to read the latest updates on the fight against Coronavirus disease COVID-19 or otherwise known as #coronavirus on Twitter. I have been meaning to compile a lot of helpful tips but saw that Alistair Miles, a Malaria researcher at the University of Oxford and Wellcome Sanger Institute compiled a helpful list. His advice on coping with COVID-19 is very helpful. In his twitter post, he shares “I’ve gleaned from folks who’ve worked in or studied other epidemics. Please take seriously and pass on to family and friends.”

1. Many countries like UK are currently in containment phase. But likely at some point infection will start spreading via local transmission. At that point, top priority is to slow the spread, and what we do as individuals and communities will be critical.

2. Fortunately risk of serious illness is low, especially for children. But risk is higher for elderly and people with existing health conditions. Everything we can do to slow the spread will help protect people at higher risk, and less people overall will get infected.

3. There are practical things everyone can do to reduce the risk of getting infected. These need practice, so start doing them now. You may still get infected, but it is worth really trying to avoid infection, because the more we slow spread the better. Slow the spread, buy time.

4. Stop touching your face. Especially stop touching your eyes, nose or mouth. This is much much harder than it sounds, and takes practice. But if you start practising now, you will quickly get a lot better at it.

5. Wash your hands often. Wash with soap and water for 20 seconds, or rub hands with alcohol hand gel. Especially wash hands before eating or touching food.

6. If you or a friend or family member takes any prescription medication, make sure you have a good supply, e.g., at least 4 weeks worth.

7. Don’t panic buy enough food to survive a zombie apocalypse. But do buy a few extra provisions. Do it a bit at a time, add a few extra things in when you normally go shopping. Have 2 weeks worth of provisions, including some chocolate or other treats. Don’t forget about pets.

8. When local transmission does start, keep your distance from people, at least 2 metres. Especially people showing symptoms, but some people may carry the virus and transmit without symptoms, so generally keep some distance where you can. Stop shaking hands etc.

9. While a mask seems like a good idea, it can give a false sense of security. There isn’t a lot of good evidence that shows a mask to reliably prevent infection when worn by the public. But they are useful to put on a sick person to reduce their spreading of the virus.

10. If you or a loved one becomes sick, follow the practices of the day. Call ahead before going to a Doctor, fever clinic or hospital and get advice on what to do. Think through now how to take care of sick family members while trying not to get infected.

11. Talk things through with friends and family. Be prepared that some people will be very willing to talk about it, others may be reluctant or frightened. But general advice is that it’s a good way to prepare emotionally for life not as usual.

12. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like this will be over quickly. The new coronavirus may be with us into next year. It might even become a seasonal infection, returning each winter. This is probably going to be a marathon, not a sprint.

13. If you end up stuck at home for a couple of weeks, don’t forget about skype/facetime/google hangouts/etc., a great way to catch up, check in and hang out with friends and family.

14. If you manage a business or organisation, cross-train key staff at work so one person’s absence won’t derail our organisation’s ability to function.

He suggests further reading from these sites: So you think you’re about to be in a pandemic? and Past Time to Tell the Public: “It Will Probably Go Pandemic, and We Should All Prepare Now”

Alistair also shared who to follow on Twitter:

I would like to add that there is also a lot of misinformation going on about cures. Read World Health Organization Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth busters

I will update the list here once I find something useful.

To avoid unnecessary panic and anxiety, refrain from relying on social media. Check for Philippine updates on the following websites:

Momblogger, my online name is more popular than this blog. I never imagined that blogging would open doors to a new life, a new career , a new normal as a social media practitioner. This blog post is a throwback. Six years ago, the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) selected me, Mom Blogger as “the Best Blog”. My past recognition was mostly about this blog’s grief journey so this award is memorable.


Tired with my hectic day yesterday, I sipped fruit tea at the gym’s lounge. I didn’t realize I fell asleep until a phone call from Noel awakened me.   He prodded me to check my email, and I told him I will do it once I reach home. Maybe he could not contain his excitement because he then told me I received an award from the PUP Mabini Media Awards. Still dazed from my catnap , I asked “Are you sure it’s me?”

Noel said : “Yes, mom blogger… check the email”

best blog Mabini Media Awards

I checked my email and indeed it was true but I still remained skeptical . I was only addressed as “Mom Blogger” on the letter. Maybe because I am known for my social media name more than my real name.

In 2013, the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, through the College of Communication, launched its first media recognition called the PUP Mabini Media Awards. With over 40 categories in five media flat forms – television, radio, print, advertising and online media –the award giving body commends outstanding programs and individuals in the said fields.

We are proud to announce that from more than 12,000 voters, you won the Best Blog

In this view, may we invite you to the awarding ceremonies on February 13, 2014, 2:00 p.m. at the PUP Bulwagang Balagtas, NALLRC. The awarding ceremonies coincide with the 3rd Young Communicators’ Congress of the College of Communication.

I sent an SMS to Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) Dean Edna T. Bernabe to verify if indeed the award was true . I finally got a confirmation at around midnight today.

PUP Mabini Media Awards

I didn’t realize the Awarding ceremonies and the 3rd Young Communicators’ Congress would be this huge and grand. I nearly teared as I walked down the aisle because of the awesome music. I recorded my reaction in my Bubbly Audio post.

I was told by the Dean that the students decided on the nominees. The selection of winners came from the voice of some 12, 436 students of PUP who voted by their Student Information System (SIS) account. I am grateful to the PUP students for recognizing my work on social media. My role as mom blogger is to nuture not only my family but the community so that the future citizens will have a better future. This fourth award is such a big honor because I did not have to solicit and ask friends to vote for me (unlike other nominations where popularity voting counts). The last honor given to me was seven years ago as “Winner, Best Website, Blogs Category- 10th Philippine Web Awards- November 23, 2007”.

PUP Mabini media awards best blog

Thank you so much , PUP community.

best blog for PUP Mabini Media Awards

The other winners:

In the new media category, the other winners were : ABS CBN – Best news portal ; Google – Best Search Engine and Facebook- Best Social Media.

Kudos to all the awardees of the 1st PUP Mabini Media Awards.

( I will get the complete list of winners but here are some of the photos I took)

bubble gang Mabini Media Awards
Bubble Gang, Best Comedy show

kim atienza
Kim Atienza for Best Television Educational Program – Matanglawin

eat bulaga
Eat Bulaga, Best Noontime show

Here is the acceptance speech from Ryzza Mae from my Bubbly Post

umagang kay ganda Mabini Media Awards
Umagang Kay Ganda, Best Morning Show

mel tiangco
Mel Tiangco

SOCO,Best TV Public Affairs Program

be careful with my heart
Be Careful with my Heart, Best Television Drama Program

Ryzza mae dizon at the PUP Mabini Media Awards
and a selfie with Ryzza

mabini media awards

42 categories within five media, the winners are as follows.


PUP Mabini Awards for Radio:

Best Radio News Program : Gising Pilipinas!- DZMM
Best Radio Public Service Program: Aksyon Ngayon- DZMM
Best Radio News Commentary Program: Dos Por Dos- DZMM
Best News Program Host: Ricky Rosales
Best Public Service Program Host: Julius Babao
Best Radio News Commentary Program Host: Anthony Taberna
Best FM Radio Program: True Love Conversation (TLC)- 90.7 Love Radio
Best Male Radio Jock: Papa Jack- 90.7 Love Radio
Best Female Radio Jock: Nicole Hyala- 90.7 Love Radio
AM Radio Station of the Year: DZMM- ABS-CBN
FM Radio Station of the Year: 90.7 Love Radio- Manila Broadcasting Company

PUP Mabini Awards for Print:

Best Broadsheet Newspaper: MANILA BULLETIN
Best Tabloid Newspaper: Pilipino Star Ngayon
Best Entertainment Magazine: Yes Magazine- Summit Media
Best Fashion and Lifestyle Magazine: Candy Magazine- Summit Media

PUP Mabini Awards for Print:

Best Blog: Pinoy Mom Blogger
Best Online News Portal:
Best Social Network: Facebook
Best Search Engine:

PUP Mabini Awards for Advertising:

Best Inspirational Advertisement: Hurray for Today- McDonald’s
Best Family- Oriented Advertisement: Kuya- McDonald’s
Best Advocacy Campaign: Choose Philippines- ABS-CBN

PUP Mabini Awards for Television: (News and Public Affairs)

Best Television News Program: TV Patrol- ABS-CBN
Best Television Magazine Program: Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho- GMA
Best Television Public Service Program: Wish Ko Lang- GMA
Best Television Public Affairs Program: Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO)- ABS-CBN
Best Television Documentary Program: I Witness- GMA
Best Television Morning Program: Umagang Kay Ganda- ABS- CBN
Best Television Male News Anchor: Ted Failon of TV Patrol- ABS-CBN
Best Television Female News Anchor: Jessica Soho of State of the Nation- GMA News TV
Best Television Male News Reporter: Jay Taruc- GMA News TV
Best Television Female News Reporter: Gretchen Malalad- ABS-CBN
Best Television Magazine Program Host: Jessica Soho of Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho- GMA
Best Television Public Affairs Program Host: Mel Tiangco of Power House- GMA News TV

PUP Mabini Awards for Television: (Entertainment)

Best Television Drama Program: Be Careful with My Heart- ABS-CBN
Best Television Comedy Program: Bubble Gang- GMA
Best Television Variety Program: Eat Bulaga- GMA and Tape
Best Television Educational Program: Matanglawin- ABS-CBN
Best Television Entertainment Talk Program: Gandang Gabi, Vice- ABS-CBN
Best Television Reality Program: Pilipinas Got Talent- ABS-CBN

PUP Mabini Awards Station of the Year: ABS-CBN

A mother reunites with her deceased child in virtual reality. Below is the English translation of the video.

A tear trickled down my cheek as I watched the grief-stricken mother meet her beloved daughter in Virtual Reality (VR) because I missed my precious child. If only I could hold my Luijoe once again. If only Luijoe was here beside me. If only my dreams were reality. I have held him many times in my dream and in my mind. But if you have experienced VR, it feels so real as if you are really there.

This special TV documentary in South Korea showed the tearful reunion of a grief-stricken mother and her little girl, who died of an incurable disease at the age of seven, in the virtual world.

Jang Ji-sung, the mother of four children, said of the moment she met her deceased daughter, Nayeon. “Maybe it’s a real paradise..I met Nayeon, who called me with a smile, for a very short time, but it’s a very happy time. I think I’ve had the dream I’ve always wanted.”

I am sure the VR made the mother happy because I always want to see my son even if it is just a dream. Would you ever want to see your loved on on virtual reality? It’s been 20 years since my son passed away so I am uncertain if I want to see him in virtual reality.  Dreams will do.

You can watch the video below. It;s poignant so be prepared to tear up. I did not expect to cry. I remind myself that I would not have been a blogger if it I didn’t use the opportunity to share hope. This life is my new normal and I am still grateful to find joy despite the sorrow.


(Here is the English translation from kayyess in YouTube with slight edits on syntax)

Mom: Where are you?

Daughter: Mom! Mom! Mom, where were you?

Mom: I was always..

Daughter: Mom, did you think about me?

Mom: Every day.

Daughter: Mom, I missed you a lot.

Mom: I missed you too. My dear Nayeon, Nayeon. You have been doing well right? I missed you a lot. Nayeon, you are doing well right? My beautiful Nayeon, I really want to hug you in my arms, I really missed you.

Daughter: Mom, am I pretty? I am right?

Mom: You are really really beautiful, my Nayeon. Nayeon… I just want to be able to touch you once more…

Mom: I’d look at the sky and talk and wave to it. If you see a crazy woman waving at the sky, that’s me.

Daughter: Mom I’m cold.

Mom: Why are you cold.

Daughter: Mom, put your hand like this.

Mom: Like this?

Daughter: Mom, it’s nice to hold my hand right?

Mom: Yes, I want to hold it dearly.

Daughter: But if you hold it up like this, we are going up into the sky.

Mom: Really? Aw Nayeon, you are wearing those flip-flops you really like.

Daughter: Mom, are you scared?

Mom: No I am not scared!

Daughter: Tada! I will show you a pretty house.

Mom: Its Twilight!

Daughter: My mom is visiting today! Say hi!

Mom: Hi!!

Daughter: Mom, sit here.

Mom: Here?

Daughter: Hurry!

Mom: Alright alright, I’m sitting!

Daughter: Mom, lets celebrate my birthday!

Mom: Okay, one, two, three, four.

Daughter: Can you put in more candles?

Mom: Okay, six and seven.

Daughter: Wow it’s so pretty!

(Daughter takes a picture, Mom poses)

Sibling: Her face is a little different

Daughter: Lets sing happy birthday

Mom: Happy birthday to dear Nayeon, Happy birthday to you!

Dad: Rice cakes, small round ones, in green, pink, and white that’s filled with melted sugar, Nayeon really wanted to eat them. She said when she’s out of the hospital; she wanted those rice cakes but we weren’t able to do that for her.

Mom: Happy birthday to you!

Daughter: I am gonna make a wish! I wish that my dad would stop smoking.

Mom: Haha yes.

Daughter: I wish my older brother and sister would not fight, and that my younger sister won’t get sick and I wish that my mom won’t cry.

Together: One, two, three, (blows out candles).

Daughter: I love the seaweed soup mom makes the best.

Mom: I remember, you liked that dish I made the best. Still do.

Daughter: Wow, mom the flowers are blooming!

Mom: they are!

(Mom waves)

Mom: She was just over there.

Daughter: Mom, come over here! Mom, here! (Gives flower) Mom you saw me right? I am not sick anymore.

Mom: Yes you can’t be sick anymore, you cant be sick.

Daughter: Mom are you sad? Mom don’t cry anymore.

Mom: I won’t cry, I won’t cry, I won’t miss you but I will love you, love you more and more.

Daughter: Mom, I wrote you a letter. Do you want me to read it?

Mom: Yes.

Daughter: Mom, we are always together, right? Next time we meet, lets play a lot okay? I will cherish and remember you for a long time too.

Mom: Thank you. I love you so much Nayeon, wherever you are, I will come find you, I have some things to do, when I am done, I will come to you. When that day comes, lets get along okay? I love you, Nayeon.

Daughter: Mom, I’m tired. Mom stay beside me. Goodbye mom… I love you mom…

Mom: Me too. Good bye~

Just because everyone else is swooning over each other under the moonlit night or cuddling like lovebirds in every movie theater in town doesn’t mean you can neglect the most important person in your life—yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’re happily single or blissfully in a relationship—you need to love your own body before anything or anyone else.

Imagine the stress you put your body through every single day. Isn’t it time to give it a well-deserved and pampered break on this very special day?

1.Commit to a proper and regular exercise routine.

Everyone knows that engaging in a regular workout sesh is good for the body. Whatever your chosen physical activity may be—whether it’s smashing your way through the tennis courts or exhaling your stress away with Vinyasa yoga flows—exercise boosts your bodily functions and keeps the good vibes coming. Don’t you want to give off some loving energy as well? Go ahead; give those exercise endorphins a warm welcome this month.

2. Eat healthy food.

It may be tempting to go on a binge-eating spree on heart-shaped chocolates or to stuff yourself with romantically pink cupcakes this season of hearts, but as usual, you are what you eat, and what you need to be is healthy. The best way to ensure your body stays in tip-top shape is to be gentle with what you feed it. Resist the urge to upsize your sodas and fries, and lay off on all the sisig and beer. Say no to junk food and cut back on the dessert buffets. Instead, why not replace too-sweet treats with some healthy fruit slices? And to make everything more festive in keeping up with the theme for this Valentine’s Day, dip those fruit slices in delicious dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is actually good for your heart, so it’s literally taking care of your heart this month of love. Fondues are simply the best, aren’t they?

3. Look at yourself in the mirror first thing in the morning and affirm your beauty.

No, we’re not just talking about your physical appearance. Sure, there’s nothing wrong about celebrating what other people find attractive in you, like perhaps your glorious long hair, your deep and soulful eyes, and your smile that’s as bright as the sun. But when you look at yourself in the mirror, strive to not only compliment your good looks but also your inner beauty. What do your friends say about you? Are you funny, confident, smart, trustworthy, or dependable? Are you always available for a quick rant or a shoulder to cry on? Are you the go-to guy for all things techie? Do you know exactly what to say and exactly what to do when someone needs a good laugh or a comforting hug? Find out why your family, friends, and significant other love you so very much, and use those same reasons to love your own self.

4. Soak in all the nature and head outdoors.

Instead of keeping yourself cooped up in your house in front of the computer or being a couch potato all day, why not go out for a change? And no, going out doesn’t mean lining up for movie tickets or vying for a good table in a fancy restaurant. Going out, really going out, means looking for some nature. Take a walk in your local park, take out your old bike that’s rusting in your garage and go for a spin, or jog around your old campus for some much needed sunlight and fresh air. If running is not your thing, you can settle down on a park bench with your favorite book (and secretly watch cute guys or gals passing by). You can even invite your pals or your nieces and nephews and go on a picnic. Make a day of it—pack some lunches and set up some outdoor activities that the whole family will enjoy. Nothing says “love me” better than some peaceful “me time” with the cool and soft breeze caressing your face.

5.Be charitable and give, give, give.

Here’s a little secret to loving your body and yourself, no matter what time of the year it is—random acts of kindness. Giving to charity feeds the mind and the soul, and if your spirit is at peace, then you can be sure your body is, too. Go ahead and sign up for some charitable events in your area, or donate to a worthy cause. You can go on a mission brigade at your local church, or volunteer to spend some quality time with special children in your alma mater’s organization. Using that money for someone else is better than splurging on a designer bag for yourself or pampering yourself with an overpriced spa massage, isn’t it? Trust us—there’s no greater feeling that will surround your heart and body than serving other people without expecting anything in return.

6.Get some good night’s sleep every night.

With all the scheduled appointments that come with the season (you may be booking dates with your family, friends, and coworkers left and right), it’s a well-known fact that sleep is the last thing on our ever-growing to-do list. Some of us may not even have had the chance to recover from the hectic holidays. Still, make it a point to get six to eight hours of sleep every day. No, you are not a genetically enhanced superhuman. You need all the rest you can get, and sleep is your body’s opportunity to recharge and get you pumped for a brand new day ahead. That’s what nighttime is for, ladies and gentlemen—it is not for stalking your ex on Facebook or chatting with your BFF until the sun goes up. For goodness’ sake, hit the sack. Fluff up those pillows, and if you need more motivation to get some proper shut-eye, invest in a good mattress and some quality sheets. Doing so may make you never want to leave your bed again ever. Dream away!

*Images: Push Ups, Yorkshire, Bed, Mirror from Used under Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.

Written by Cathy Dellosa-Lo, as originally posted , Ways to Love Yourself and Your Body This Valentine’s , on the Philippines Online Chronicles