Mary Silverio from the Dominican Republic shares with us how she and her entire immediate family came face to face with the virus and, how her faith, family and the love of the church were fundamental during that time.

My name is Mary Silverio, my husband is Rolfy Vilorio and our children are Indiana and Joel. My husband and I grew up in the Church of the Nazarene. I would like to share our testimony as a family of our experience faced with the COVID-19 pandemic which is currently affecting us.

When I first heard about the virus, like many Dominicans I believed that it would not affect our country because of our hot climate. However, when we heard of the first cases, we took greater care. My husband is a doctor and had to be in direct contact with infected persons. We followed all the precautionary measures but we became infected.

I remember that my husband was given a rapid test at the medical center where he works, following the protocol and also because two of the doctors had tested positive for the virus. However, his result came back negative. That was a Thursday in May. Just three days later, on Sunday, my husband told me he felt very sick. He had been on a 24 hour shift. That night, my mother-in-law had to come and pick him up to seek medical attention. Thanks to God and the quick attention he received at that time, he was able to improve. To tell the truth, at that moment I was very worried because I suspected that he could have been infected and, if he was, it was almost certain that we all would have been too. To be sure, we requested a PCR (Polymerase chain reaction) test for the virus.

Two days later, I checked the results of the test and I saw that the result was “detected”. At that point, I broke down and began to shake and cry. I told my husband the news and he calmed me down, he said we would come through this okay. Then, I started to have symptoms and both my children and I took the test. As I suspected, we all tested positive for the virus.

The first days were very difficult. The rules are quite strict. The most difficult part was keeping the house well cleaned and sanitized because the pain you feel in your body is awful.

Thank God none of us developed complications and we were all treated at home. I think the best part of it all was that the children were practically asymptomatic.

During this time, we received calls and messages like we had never imagined, as well as support from everyone around us. That part was also very important and we are eternally grateful to God that he surrounded us with true friends and that our close relatives were always ready to help us.

We took medication according to the expert’s instructions and two weeks later, we did a second test to see if we had beat the virus however, that was not the case. My husband and I still had the virus but the children’s result was “not detected”. A reason to thank God – although we still had the virus, the kids no longer did. I won’t deny that I felt a bit sad at that moment, but God helped me and I was always receiving messages of encouragement.

Throughout all this time, we never left the house. People brought us food and left it nearby, then we would go out to pick it up to avoid having contact and infecting anyone else.

The situation in the country was getting worse, cases were rising and it was quite difficult to get tested. We managed to get an appointment after trying for several days and, thanks to God, with the third test we confirmed that we were now free of COVID-19. This was seven weeks after the first test. Praise the Lord for that. God has been very good!

I have reflected a lot during this time of isolation. I have learned many things and God has helped me. I experienced feelings of frustration and despair yet, in the midst of it all, I have felt the support of my family, church and friends who were always right there willing to help us.

COVID-19 is real and anyone can become infected. Please, let us be cautious. Let us take care of ourselves and our loved ones. Let us obey the instructions of our earthly authorities and not leave our homes unless it is necessary. It is our responsibility to take care of ourselves and our loved ones so that, with God’s help and according to His will, we can soon make it out of this crisis.

Mary Silverio is a member of the Alcarrizos Church of the Nazarene, where she is the NYI president. She is also an accountant in the country’s ministries office.