17th April 2020 – this is Day 31 of the RMO. Upgraded to the MCO for at least the past 2 weeks. Both Mr Husband and I are still required to go to work since we are part of the Essential Services workforce. We have mixed feelings about it. Part of it is this positive emotion driven by Altruism and at the other hand is the fear of contracting the disease from unknowing, asymptomatic carriers.
The roads are empty except for a few cars. Children and other vulnerable members of the society are keeping themselves inside their homes to avoid risk of contracting the disease. Despite the early fear and panic-buying among citizens, the hype slowly died down and we see people shopping more responsibly.
“There is no emergency in a pandemic”
Truth be told, you could be dying of a heart attack but if I don’t know your COVID status or risk, you would have to wait until I don my PPE fully. Which is part of the reason why we need people to stay indoors. To minimise risk, break the chain. All healthcare services are playing their part to manage this pandemic. We may not be the one working in hospitals but we all have shoes to fill. Medicine is practiced differently in primary care. I can only say for what we are doing at my centre though.
- Appointments are postponed. If patients have demonstrated good control of their disease during previous visits, we would endorse a prescription for at least a month. However we would still see those with horrible personal disease management and pray that they will do well and not go into a DKA or Hypertensive Crisis.
- All coughs, cold & fever are treated like something BIG. We get agitated if a patient penetrates the screening counter for fever and enter the consultation room. This is because these patients are supposedly triaged and seen at the Fever Center. Whereas those at risk of COVID-19 will be seen at the isolation room (bilik wabak).
- HANDWASHING has become a common practice not only among HCW but also patients.
- Seats in the waiting area are spaced out for Social Distancing and reinforced dutifully. In the consultation room, the patient is also sat at a distance and would perform physical examination as necessary.
- Medical officers are not wearing wristwatches and are bringing their personal items in easily disinfected carrier bags.
- I can get to work before time (as always ) . Only perks now, parking is easy to find. I really love that part.
Family life has also taken a different routine.
- Since daycare and formal school is closed, the kids have been shipped to their grandparents house very morning by my husband and I will collect them every evening. Previously, we were sending our kids separately to where they need to go.
- Husband has been the one buying the groceries as operating hours are limited and its much easier for him to get them on his way back from work. In the meantime, I could get house chores or dinner done and have the kids washed up.
- Husband is working EVERYDAY for long hours. Office hours doesn’t mean anything to him anymore. He is in Public Health and whenever a pandemic strikes, they are the ones working behind the scene coordinating and keeping track with the numbers. His task this time is to handle the reten. The states data.
- GrabFood and FoodPanda riders have become our best friends bringing food to house.
I find that I have more cash to spare nearing payday in a weeks time. This is after deducting the necessary monthly payments and all. I am still paying for my loans and childcare services. On top of my moms monthly allowances, donations and what not. It made me think of how my expenditures were prior to this. It made me wonder what I spent my money on despite my efforts of being frugal.
I realized it’s in the little things that later add up to become more. It is those little ringgits that make all the difference.
- I either bring pre-packed food from home, fast, buy a bun or rely on food donations for lunch.
- I have also cut down on my DOTERRA LRP purchases. I still enjoy the products but nowadays I buy only as needed. I controlled my urges to buy another diffuser or just so my to achieve a 100PV order to get my commission. It is because if I calculate back my expenditures, I feel that there is no need for me to spend RM600 per month to get RM300 back in return, when the ‘rasa untung‘ part can still be attained if I spend only RM250 for the month.
- The bookstore, POPULAR is closed. That means I save at least a few hundred ringgit from my casual stroll in the store to buy books or magazines that keep on adding onto my TBR list.
- My free Friday afternoons are spent resting/studying in the clinic as opposed to outings at the nearest shopping mall. There alone, I am saving from the trips I go to Watson, Popular (again) and a fancy lunch.
- Visits to Family Mart has also been interrupted as I fear coming across a roadblock just to get a Sando or my Bubble MIlk Tea. So far I have managed to visit FM once in this 1 month of MCO and its because it is coincidentally near the place I work. Once instead of the weekly visit.
- Since Mr Husband is buying the groceries, I guess I did in a way save a few hundred ringgit as well because of that. I used to get foodstuff using my money so hey, extra savings there!
We will be celebrating Ramadhan during MCO. This means no bazaar. In a way, I am grateful for that. At least, tak banyak makanan yang terbazir during bazaar and iftar at hotels. We should start observing Ramadhan as how it should be done with humbleness and gratitude by thinking of the poor and unfortunate, more prayers , sedekah and quran reciting.
How has Covid-19 made changes to your life? Were they mostly positive changes or it made life more miserable for you?