A Vaccine EduTalk

It took me 1 night to get my slides together and another 1 night to polish my speech throughout the slide show. I was preparing for a 1 hour talk although it really came down to only 30 minutes on that day. The outline of my talk included an overview of the PICK policy which is Malaysia’s mass vaccination programme, the nature of the COVID-19 disease and a touch on the vaccine. Highlighting more of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine since that is the one we are getting for Phase 1.

I will be part of the Vaccinator Team for Phase 1. Which means I will be among the first few who will be vaccinated TODAY. It will be an opportunity for the team to go through the system, walk with the flow and see where our potential pitfalls are. As a patient myself, I think it matters where we sit and how long we wait. It is those little logistics that will contribute to the success or failure of the activity carried out. Of course, having a fantastic leadership is important too. I will update on how it goes in my other blog post later.

On a less informal initiative, I recorded a video of myself in a non moving car talking about the same thing. Only, it is presented in the Sarawakian Malay dialect. Hoping to educate my relatives, family and friends who is more well versed in the language. Not really the general public of Sarawak. Ha ha.

The vaccine is not compulsary.

As we are also aware that there no data on the safety of it onto certain populations especially the pregnant and lactating mothers and children. Those with severe allergies are also not advisable to get the vaccine.

The aim is to get at least 70% population coverage by next year for the herd immunity to work.

My take on this is as a social responsibility to protect those who cannot protect themselves and those who do not have loved ones to do it for them.

Malaysia starts COVID vaccines in crucial week for Asian jabs - Nikkei Asia
Prime Minister of Malaysia taking his vaccine shot. I admire the stability of this senior nurses hand – I wouldn’t be able to do the same.. her technique is clinical ART!!

A Chinese New Year weekend

2021 is host to a very quiet Chinese New Year celebration. I miss going to the mall where the loud loud songs of CNY blast through the speakers. What more the lion dances and bright red decorations at the foyer. The good thing is that majority of people are obeying the SOPs and the PKPs. Only a few noisy vessels here and there. Sometimes even I get confused as to what they are fighting for in the first place. They oppose everything.

I don’t celebrate CNY but a few of my neighbours does. In continuation of my Xmas lights effort end of last year, I decided to proceed with Minci’s Solar Project for this CNY. I ordered more solar items from China through Shopee and bought a variation of decoration lights. Solar lanterns, included. My vision was for a festive scene out of Mulan. My packages came from China in 2 – 3 boxes at different intervals as they were from different vendors. I think I spent nearly RM600 for all of them. It was one of those purchases where you buy bit by bit, not realizing the bills were stacking up. Thankfully, the quality were appropriate for its price. I mean you gotta give China credit for its technology man. People have got to stop looking at them as great copiers – their technology is getting more awesome.

It was easier said than done as my main challenge for putting up the lights were my height. It was a pain to put up the sticky hooks securely at its place. Then, having to stretch my arms and neck to see where best the lights would go. The ladder was damn heavy too. It took me two days to kind of figure out how to hang up my lawn decorations. Charging the lights were easy as there were plenty of sun. After all, we are coming into the dry season. I am a bit worried though as we are at around this time last year when we had to ration our water and rely on the tanks provided near the surau.

I finally completed my task a week before CNY. I am positive I heard a kid on his bike passing by my house yelled, “cantiknya rumah tu, ada lampu”. I hope those who are celebrating are just as excited as I am seeing the bright lanterns glowing at night. I have included this scene in my upcoming Youtube video. I am trying to produce at least 10 YT videos in a year using the content structure that I have come up with to get at least 10 minutes showtime. This is of course a work in progress. I don’t know how millennials make it look so easy capturing and uploading a vlog frequently. I feel like a dinosaur. A mini, not so extinct dinosaur. But hey, humans can learn new things right.

It looked prettier LIVE

I have already bought enough lights for the Ramadhan and Eid season – anticipating an also Covid19 version of festivities, for who knows, we would still be stuck like this in the future. In fact, I am also planning to extend this project into planning a Covid-19 friendly gathering with my friends and family if the SOP permits soon.

How did you spend your Chinese New Year weekend? Did something interesting?

Opening vlog for 2021

I am not a Youtuber but it surely involves a lot of work behind the scenes. Especially those who are keen to put out good content. In fact, everyone has their own personal styles in doing a Youtube video and compete for a spot in the algorithm. If you’re lucky, you get discovered and earn a subscriber. Otherwise, you’re just another person with the camera syok sendiri on the platform.

When it comes to vlogs, I enjoy the silent ones more. Less chatting, sometimes with subtitles and interesting background music. I am okay with the occasional voices/conversation in the clips but not those really boisterous ones. My favourites so far are Hagreendal and Ji Hyun from South Korea. I have yet to discover Malaysian vloggers that don’t talk so much. Do let me know if there is one.

Anyway, because I love the silent part of the vlogs – I am creating my channel based on that notion. As an introvert showing off my face is not really my thing either. So I tend to shoot myself from the chin under or just my surroundings without myself. I am aiming to keep my videos between 10 – 12 mins for each upload. Ever since I joined Youtube in 2011, I managed to create only 19 videos including this new one. Ha ha ha. No fret. Ali Abdal shot 77 videos before he was finally able to monetize from his content. So maybe I need to get to 100 before I get a reasonable amount of exposure (likes and follows) on social media?

The video above took me nearly a month to collect mini clips and footage. Editing the clips to make it as one continuous video took me another 6 – 8 hours on an app in Google Playstore. Obviously, viewing the end product is satisfying but to shoot another video is no easy feat either. Despite that, I am slowly creating materials for my 2nd vlog centering on the new norm. The plan is, each of my YT video will have 4 subthemes at a length of 2 -3 minutes. Sounds easy, huh? In real life, it’s not.

Content ada but to make the audience hooked and interested to go through the video is another thing. We will see how it goes.

Liar liar

This needs to be documented. Of patients who lie.

As healthcare workers that becomes the first point of contact for patients, it is of paramount importance that we should be informed of risky health points. Nowadays, Covid-19 is one of them. Every time a patient walks into our primary care facility, it has become a norm to ask if they have been in contact with those who are Covid-19 patients or suspected of Covid-19. It is a simple yes or no so that we could decide whether we need to attend the patient wearing the full astronaut PPE or the basic PPE. It’s a cost and personal health issue.

When a patient fails to declare this, it will put me, my family and other patients that I see, at a risk of getting Covid-19. You need only one HCW at a facility to get it before the whole centre shuts down. So honestly, I don’t want that to happen. While I may remain healthy and asymptomatic, others may not be that lucky.

Last week I was in charge of Fever Counter. This means we see all patients who present with fever, upper respiratory tract infections, those who come for other ailments but with the said symptoms, those who come from high risk areas with/without symptoms and whoever that fits the bill. I was dismayed by two separate encounters. But I will share only one story today. And of how thankful I am for gut instincts especially with this 1st family.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

She was a lady in her 50s who had underlying non communicable diseases. Unfortunately, she defaulted her appointments at our facility and bought the meds at her nearby pharmacy. She presented with undocumented temperature and URTI symptoms and mentioned a short trip to pick up her son from a high risk area because PKP was due soon. Her son, according to her, was well with no symptoms. I asked the lady to come back in 2 days time to repeat another set of bloods because her counts were a bit low and I was more suspicious of dengue.

The next time she came, she brought over this son. To be honest, we wouldn’t have known this if I hadn’t ask her back ‘how old was her son and why did she had to fetch him?”. That’s when she pointed to the young lad beside her and said,” this is my son “. Suddenly bells just started buzzing in my head. There was a knot in my stomach that signaled me something is wrong somewhere.

I reconfirmed with the son, a young man in his 20s, of where he stayed in this ‘high risk area’ and his answer was totally different from what the mother told me a few days back. He had already declared earlier with the nurse that he had no contact with any Covid-19 cases but I asked him again ” Is there anything else you need to tell me, that I need to know?”. He said NO. That restless, suspicious feeling lingered. So, I directed him to the Covid-19 tent to wait for his turn and had his mother did the same too. I referred the case to my MALE COLLEAGUE who is in charge of any case who may need a swab test. I had to BOLD the male part because in this part of the city, patients still think that male docs are better than females, chinese docs are the smartest of all, docs serving the suburbs or rural areas graduated from the jungles and other prejudiced thoughts.

Guess what, the young man revealed that he went back to his hometown here because his housemates there all have Covid-19. When my colleague asked, why didn’t he said this earlier, he said “no one specifically asked me about it”

Well. That is just BULL *&%^*!! Did he expect a question like “what kind of house do you live in? do you share it with other people? is the housemate in Room 1 well? how about room2? room 3? ”

He and his mother ended up having a sample taken and well.. as you’d guess, they were both tested positive for Covid-19. I am concerned for the mother because she is at risk of deteriorating whilst the selfish son may survived this episode due to his young body.

I was disappointed with the young man’s attitude towards this pandemic. Undeniably, some patients do fare better than others but shouldn’t that trigger you to protect those at risk from harm?

A not so long distance relationship

My husband’s specialist placement is in Johor, a state that has its weekends on a Friday and Saturday. They don’t even have a public holiday on the 1st of January to celebrate New Year. My husband was unaware of that including myself. I am sure most Malaysians are not aware of it too. He nearly did not turn up for work that day!

Johor is very expensive to live in. It was quite difficult to find a studio that’ll fit his budget and at an appropriate distance to his workplace. I have kind of decided not to follow him there as it would be a hassle to move between states and bring the kids with us. After all, we already have a home and good social support here. We are just a few hours drive away if he misses us. Indeed, the husband has been coming home on a weekly basis to see us. So, it ain’t really a legit long distance relationship (LDR).

Photo by Krivec Ales on Pexels.com

In Johor, he has been putting himself up in budget hotel rooms switching in between his options of about 3-4 hotels. These rooms price range are at RM30 – RM50 per night. It is convenient for him so far since these hotels are not only air-conditioned, they have FREE WIFI, breakfast options (if the husband wants too) and are usually at good locations near malls or restaurants. He only books them for 4 nights as he’s usually at our gate by Thursday evening. That will amount to roughly between RM150 – RM200 per week. Sometimes he gets cashback on his app or vouchers from Agoda (being a platinum member and all) and his expenditures can drop to as low as RM100 per week. Which is way cheaper than renting a room or studio for the month. Unlike me, he doesn’t need a lot of accessories to life. He is a nomad by heart. He is fine with having a roof on his head and food in his belly at a bare minimum. He needs that humble abode to only rest, eat, shower and sleep. I am not quite sure how long he will be able to live like that because this placement is not for just a few months. It may take up to years therefore I am curious as to how his living strategies and preference will change.

As of now my routine at home is still pretty much relaxed. My son’s school has not been fully opened yet for face to face teaching due to the rise in Covid-19 cases. So, there is no rush in the morning to get everyone to school although I still send my youngest to daycare. The son on the other hand is dropped off at the grandmothers’ house together with his cousins where I will pick him up after work. I just need to prepare for breakfast and dinner at home. Lunch is sorted for the kids at daycare and at grandma’s house.

When the husband returns home, I find that he is more alert of what’s in the fridge and our pantry. He has been very helpful in getting the dry groceries nowadays (thank god, jimat duit sis) Also, the things that needs fixing like the toilet flush and all. Other than that, everything else is just fine. As for my part, I am less lazy to prepare breakfast for the kids, getting more obsessive with house cleaning and organizing, fairly motivated to get more study stuff done promptly as opposed to last minute work. I feel that I could do better though. I am still waiting for my transfer to a different health facility soon.