This dreaded corona virus that is afflicting people worldwide reminds me of an illness that struck me during my third year high school. I can’t remember exactly how it started; I just found myself plagued with cough and colds, severe joint pains, a cracking headache, high fever, and other painful abnormalities that resulted in my loss of appetite, frequent chills, and nausea.

Not having money for hospitalization, my mother just confined me at home, merely using the home remedies that she knew for my treatment. She claimed it was just an ordinary illness and could be easily cured, based perhaps on her numerous experiences as a mother of ten children who were orphaned by their father when the youngest—that’s me—was just a year old.

As days passed by, my condition worsened. The home remedies seemingly were not working. I had grown so weak, dehydrated, and emaciated. Speculations had it that I was suffering from what is locally known as tipdas. But the rashes that surfaced on my skin were not red, as is commonly seen on people with that disease, but black in color, making the elders in our neighbourhood conclude I did have tipdas nga itum which, they said, is a killer tipdas.

The pains continued to rage inside out that, after days of being bedridden and unable to eat well and sleep, many of my body parts stopped functioning normally. In fact, I started to feel bad about my arms and legs not obeying my orders anymore. I could not move them a bit. Life in me seemed to have been cornered to my chest and head; meaning, the only living parts of me were my heart and brain—the rest were stone cold.

It climaxed in one sunny afternoon. I was lying on my back, not sleeping and, for sure, not dreaming. I was alone in the room, and my mother was in the kitchen for her chores. Suddenly, a very strong energy from beneath passed through me, taking my senses with it all the way to the space just above our roof, outside, and there stayed immobile for seconds while I was up there watching the scenes below.

From that viewpoint, I could see the houses in our neighbourhood bathed by the sunlight in that lazy afternoon. I could also see the chickens and other animals walking around in their normal mobility. I could not see myself nor the force that was suspending me there, but I was fully aware that my senses were intact, though I was out of my body then.

Surprisingly, the force that was holding me suddenly let go, and I literally fell into my body with great impact such that my arms and legs raised into the air. For a moment, the fall traumatized me into panic I quickly shouted mama’s name for help. She rushed into the room and asked what happened, but I was too shocked to narrate it.

That was the turning point of my fast recovery. But I never told anyone about that experience lest I be accused of losing my mind. I just did so when I was already an adult and could understand many things. One thing is clear to me now: in that instance, the Author of life was at work and in full control.