This is not going to be any review nor anything to do with award travel but more to do with the current novel Coronavirus(nCoV) and the state of things it has caused.
For once in years, I have all the time I want in the world but only within the confinement of the 4 walls of my quarantine room. Today is day 5 post exposure (another 9 more days to go) and thankfully I am still fine. I have yet to get the result of my swab test and I believe (and hope) it should be negative.
Why hope? Is it because I am worried about the virus itself? Well, no. What I fear, is the fear itself. From all the photos sent to me via Whatsapp, I was shaking my head non-stop looking at the long queue, the supply-grabbing and even condoms are not spared! (hahahah – wonder why).
Would I have done the same? I admit that I did stock some can and frozen food – for the main reason that if I get quarantined or admitted (and quarantine I got indeed), I need about 2 weeks of supply for my family in my absence. I don’t need 1year worth of toilet paper and certainly not 20 boxes of condoms!
When I closed my clinic on February 6 after sending my staff off, I sat there thinking what will happen next. I suspected that the Dorscon level may be escalated to orange and with that, the irrational fear of the general public which I hoped I am wrong (unfortunately, I am not wrong so far).
I was also concerned if what CHC and I did was correct – how will my patients react with the statement released. I was more afraid of the general reaction, panic and potential fallout more than myself being possibly infected by patient 29.
The nCoV is certainly an urgent issue as much is still unknown about it. As I am typing this, medical experts, epidemiologists and public health experts worldwide are still combing through all the data that they can get to learn more about the virus. While we are slowly getting facts coming in from authoritative body, unfortunately we are getting more myths and lies spreading at a rate much faster than the spread of the nCoV itself. This is doing more harm to general public than the virus itself. Many conspiracy theorists are having a field day coming up with all sorts of absurd conspiracy theory. What is even uglier is the stories of xenophobic and racism experience Asians are facing worldwide.
The nCoV is not an issue of race nor religion, no different from past epidemics and pandemics such as the 2009 H1N1 influenza, SARS and all the predecessor pandemics. It can happen in China for nCoV, other virus can emerge in any other countries too. This is a shared global problem, no different from global warming.
I remember back in 2009, there were many fears that it will be a repeat of the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic but thankfully it did not. Every year, influenza sickens and kills more than what nCoV had done so far but most seems not to be bothered about it. I believe that the nCoV may be here to stay (this is entirely my personal opinion) but that does not mean we will be living in an apocalyptic world (well, it didn’t happen in 2009). Right now, the question in everyone’s mind is if there is a community spread locally. That is a question that MOH is trying to establish right now. I do not think we should become panicky and hysterical but certainly we should play our part to be vigilant such as maintaining a good personal hygiene (e.g. regular hand washing), be socially responsible, not to be panicky and certainly stop forwarding unproven stories. As a medical professional, I try my best to address my patient’s concern with my best ability (although I do not have all the information given that this is an entirely new virus) and I am sure most of the other medical professionals are doing likewise for their patients too.
As said, what I fear right now is getting the infection, but the irrational fear displayed so far. Let’s all hope that more good news will come out with regards to the nCoV infection.
For me, I shall continue testing my ability to endure these 4 walls around me and not being able to leave my room till 17 February. Then, its time for me to look for more miles! 🙂