C19 is already in the family

At the moment, my mom, my sister and her two kids and husband is positive of Covid19.

My niece (her baby) is negative. My dad and my brothers are also negative. Only my dad has been vaccinated so far.

These results are based on the PCR test they did at a nearby private GP. It started with my brother in law, K having symptoms and was subsequently told that a colleague at work was tested positive. He had to get his tests done as they shared the pantry at work. Once K was tested positive, his close contacts were screened. Naturally that would be my sister and kids. My parents came into the picture because they went to my sisters house for a weekend visit. Takde road block, maka orang tua pun redah je lah kan..

The diagnosis

Their test results were notified to the nearest health district office. The headache then begins. Who is going to take care of the baby girl. Her parents and siblings are all tested positive except for her. Some sort of isolation needs to be done to minimise exposure. My sister couldn’t leave her to our dad, the grandfather because to be honest, we were not convinced that he could care for an ex-prem baby. Not even with the help of our brothers. I couldn’t help either. I was in a different state – 2 hours away. Even if I could take the baby, as a frontliner, I still need to work.

The quarantine plan

The district health officers got in touch with my sister in 2 days. That is considered quick given the surge in cases recently. During that time, everyone was in my sisters house including my mom. With the negative baby. DRAMA broke out between my parents which resulted in my mom also at my sister’s house instead of being able to quarantine herself in the comfort of her own home. My blood boils every time I think about it. Some relationships are just not meant to last till jannah. Anyway, long story cut short – my mom, K and the eldest son were picked up by the ambulance and sent to MAEPS, Serdang.

The baby gets to stay with my sister at home. My other nephew who was initially negative-turned-positive is also on home quarantine (HQ). The baby is planned for repeated swabs and my sister is taking the best precaution as a covid positive mom handling a covid negative baby. It was challenging. She was advised not to breastfeed directly but use a bottle instead. Thankfully, she had really cool and caring neighbours. They would send her hot meals, desserts, fruits and what not at the gate. They even gave her grocery supplies. Alhamdulilah.

Current update

It’s been nearly a week since they are quarantined at MAEPS and HQ. Early this morning, I received news that my mother has been transferred to a tertiary centre. She is not doing very well. Amidst this news, family DRAMA is still happening. But out of respect for the older people in the family, us younger ones have to keep our mouth shut. My sister tried to speak up but mom ended up merajuk with her words. Mom got so offended that she put my brother’s name as next of kin should the hospital need to contact family members. That role has always been my sister’s role.

My brother in law, K is still having persistent headaches. So we are not sure if he could be discharged in the next few days or remain at MAEPS for observation. My nephew is doing well so far – he has the best chances of being discharged early.

I created a whatsapp group to ease communication between us siblings. I have no idea what to expect but I anticipate that it will come to a time where we would have to make difficult decisions. For Mom. And Dad.

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?

Easily Kesian. Forgive them.

I thought I am a woman with a high ego. Only to find that later I will lower it down upon a Cold War with the husband or in the face of a confrontation with anybody, if it is for a greater good. contoh paling simple. Patient kata aku salah. aku tak salah. tapi aku minta maaf jugak. At that moment, I can feel my EGO sliding down to the ground, carik longkang, menyusur masuk sungai, pergi laut dan terapung sorang2.

Two things caught my attention this week on Facebook.

One of Azizan Osman and his 1 MILLION motivation speech. To be honest, I don’t mind him making money as a motivator for entrepreneur. It is in a way macam having someone to resurrect your inner ability and power to achieve more. Some argue that he doesn’t even own a business and yet is earning millions. Modal air liur je, they say. Well, looking at his from an introvert point of view, that air liur is his gift. So is his self esteem and confidence. And he is using that in a way that could earn him a living. My only problem is of him having to put out all this false credentials and title. You want a phd title, you work for it. Tu yang jadi masalahnya.

Similarly kalau Ebit Lew tetiba tak reti baca Quran rupanya, yang tuh pun aku akan marah.

In response to Azizan’s 1 MILLION story, I came across a screenshot of this guy on Twitter posting tweets of questions and answers, mostly with elements of body shaming. That is just a vile way of retaliating. Gemuk2 jangan mainlah. That is not nice. Consequently of courselah I rasa kesian kat Azizan Osman. Attacking someone based on how they look is just not professional.

Easily kesian. Forgive him.

The second thing that caught my attention was about Kluster Sivagangga. We all know already the index case, Nezar Mohamed Sabur Batcha has COVID-19, has been on trial, found guilty and issued punishments accordingly. On the news today, over 200 individuals affected by the ‘cluster’ will file a case against the Nasi Kandar owner, as advised by ‘a lawyer’ – to serve as a lesson for everybody else to not flunk the quarantine.

“Tuntutan saman ini dibuat berdasarkan nasihat peguam bagi memberi pengajaran kepada semua orang supaya tidak sewenang-wenangnya melanggar arahan kuarantin sehingga menyebabkan virus Covid-19 merebak,” katanya.

Question being..
“Peguam mana tu”

The man dah mengaku bersalah – has Covid 19, will be jailed and fined RM12K. I cannot help feeling kesian for this index case man. It’s like sudah jatuh ditimpa tangga. The motive behind this saman thing was said to stem from victims being shunned by outsiders and failed businesses. I can understand the business part but the psychological aspect – seriously, you would feel better when you win the saman a.k.a duit? People will welcome you in their homes and premises once they know you won some money?

Oh. lUpa. in some parts of the country – Cash is King.

The Nasi Kandar man’s decision to not quarantine himself is likely because of poor understanding of Covid-19 or the ‘tak apa’ attitude – the kind of attitude you see in patients in the clinic who refuses insulin or high blood pressure medications. He is already paying a hefty price for his ignorance. Ingat sedap duduk penjara? Kena denda? Aku pun tak cukup duit nak bayar denda RM12K.

I really hope that those who are greatly affected will reach an amicable decision with the Nasi Kandar owner. There is no denying that what he did was wrong but his intentions may not be malicious to begin with, more like ignorance. Perhaps selfish is the word.

Maybe the 200 people are similarly selfish. Elok sangat lah tuh. fuhh.. 200 people.. kena screen betul2 tu. Kang ada yang menunggang saman. At times like this, nak nasihat BERSABAR pun no use .. since they are already really pissed off.

Eating at Seoul Garden Mahkota Parade – the new norm

The lunch at Seoul Garden a few weekends ago was probably our first outside meal as a family since Covid-19 set its contagious foot in Malaysia. As both parents and medical doctors, we were a bit apprehensive in bringing our kids out in public. However, with the dropping number of cases and Malaysians trying their best to adopt the new norm – we felt it was s.a.f.e

We really need to give ourselves a pat in the back because, despite a small population of idiots who do not wish to follow the new norm, most of us are willing to go forth with a new way of living. So, tahniah.

In malls, people wait in queues like in Kidzania. Each premise has a different number of patrons allowed to be in store at one time. Temperature is checked at the entrance and you fill in your details in the register book accordingly. All of us wore masks including Ninie until it was time to eat.

At Seoul Garden, each group that came in will be limited to 2 hours of mealtime. Food will be plated by the servers at the buffet stand and technically everyone has to socially distance themselves. A few customers stepped out upon hearing the ‘new rule’ lamenting “rugilah makan mcm ni”. I thought it was acceptable and very considerate to everyone especially at times like this where you have to be wasadtiah sikit dengan kehidupan.

We enjoyed a good portion of the bulgogi meat with a bit of carb (rice) on the side. Sipped a bit of soup. Had cups of juice, carbonated drinks, tea and finished it off with a half mug of hot chocolate. Ninie had ice cream!

After the meal, we walked a bit around the mall but did no shopping and headed home. It was a short family outing day well spent.

Ramadhan 2020 in the midst of Covid-19

Muslims are unable to perform congregational prayers especially Terawih in this holy month. I am sure other religious practices such as Sunday Mass are equally prohibited for the time being. As for myself, I have been performing Terawih ever since I became a mother – so this is a norm for me. But lately, I banyak tersasar. The mental drain and physical lethargy gets overwhelming towards the evening. I tend to sleep early at night.

There is no Ramadhan bazaar. There are only online options which is a bit limited and risky as in you need to find a reliable seller that sells tasty food as opposed to newbies who just wants to test the water. I miss legit taufu fa and apam balik crispy. I miss ayam percik, nasi kerabu, laksam and nasi dagang. I can’t seem to find sellers that sell less spicy popia sira, kuih bongkol (at least that is how Sarawakians spell it) and delish air kathira.

I ordered online food for Iftar yesterday since I was Working From Home (WFH) from Jaykam Katering Enterprise. I couldn’t really order online on days I work because the runner/rider’s timing might not coincide with mine. I do not want to trouble them in case I don’t reach home on time. Unless they can deliver to the clinic before 5PM. I tried the menu from this seller because I was craving for asam pedas tetel and paru goreng. Ee wanted Laksa Penang as well. On top of that, I tried their Jus Delima (pomegranate juice). The food was very spicy for my Sarawakian taste buds. Even my Malaccan husband had difficulty to tolerate it because he has a low threshold too. I bought other dishes too and I spent RM44 from this seller alone including runner service fee.

I also bought desserts from another vendor but since the food is disappointing, it is best not to leave a review.

My firstborn Ee has managed to fast for one whole day which is an achievement. It has been a few years of ‘half-day’ that we think, as parents it is time to take it up a notch. Thankfully, due to COVID-19 he does not have to endure school in Ramadhan as it is closed. The hot weather and tight schedule might put him off. Yes, it may defeat the purpose of fasting but I’d like my kid to observe fasting as something fun and memorable as a child. Not of pain and punishing.

As for the little one, she has more vocabulary than ever and often copycat her brothers words. She will commence her daycare session probably this Friday with necessary measures, of course. I hope she will be OK.