Tag: pandemic

Truth and the Covid-19 Pandemic

Truth and the Covid-19 Pandemic

Truth and the Covid-19 Pandemic

If there is any blessings arising from this Covid-19 pandemic, it is that it is showing us the importance of truth.This is because we cannot fight this pandemic with denials, lies and distortion of truth. Doing so only makes the situation worse for everyone.

There have been many reports of patients who have history of close contact with known Covid-19 patients denying this very important aspect of their medical history when they go and see their doctors. This resulted in triage error, thus sending them to doctors who are not properly attired and protected. Later, when they are tested positive, they finally admitted but by then it is already too late. Scores of healthcare personnel would have to be quarantined for at least 2 weeks. Sometimes, an entire clinic or department had to be closed down. At a time when we are already short of all kinds of healthcare resources, including skilled personnel, this is nothing short of a disaster.

Another important tool to fight this pandemic is accurate and truthful information. Unfortunately, there have been wide and indiscriminate dissemination of fake news and suspicious information disguised as coming from authentic authorities or experts. This means we will waste valuable time trying to sieve through what can be trusted and what are lies. Accurate information can help us understand the disease better, and make it easier for us to protect ourselves. Fake news are harmful, often giving false sense of security or trigger outright fear or panic.

Lastly, truth is not a privileged but a necessity in healthcare. One may distort reality and still succeed in politics or even business, but it is disastrous and even deathly when applied in healthcare. Little wonder that we now see our politicians, who are used to distorting realities, having a difficult time trying to cope with this pandemic. Their method is useless in this fight.Let the scientists and doctors take the driver’s seat in this fight, and the politicians humbly taking the backseat.

Universal Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic

Universal Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic

Starting out in Wuhan, China, at the end of 2019, the Covid-19 virus has spread like wildfire all across the globe within just a few months. It is causing tremendous amount of destruction and disruption to our “normal” lifestyle. There are death and suffering everywhere it goes.

However, looking from a more spiritual perspective, this pandemic may be just the prescription humanity needed right now to reset our views and attitudes towards the world and towards each other, for it teaches us a few very fundamental and essential lessons about life.

  1. Accept reality, instead of resisting or fighting it
  2. Humanity must come together as one family
  3. Actions motivated by fear are destructive for everyone

Accept reality, instead of resisting or fighting it

This is examplified by countries that refuse to acknowledge the global nature of this virus, and by leaders who refuse to face the truth or speak the truth, thus causing the situation to become worse rapidly due to inaction or inappropriate actions. The best example of this is Donald Trump and the way he trivialized it until it became too late to act. Precious early opportunities to contain the spread were missed because of this refusal to acknowledge reality.

Humanity must come together as one family

Precious early opportunities were also missed in China in the early stage of the outbreak in Wuhan, also due to the refusal of their leaders to acknowledge it. However, when the outbreak became apparent, the Chinese government went all out to contain it and prevent its spread. During this time, the rest of the world simply watch and do nothing to help. Our attitude seems to be — it’s your problem, not mine. We should have learned from the Ebola outbreak that early concerted global effort can successfully contain a serious outbreak and prevent it from spreading further.

In addition, when a lockdown was ordered in Wuhan, many of their inhabitants willfully “escaped” the lockdown and travelled overseas, thus spreading the virus to other countries, such as Singapore, Malaysia, the Phillipines, Thailand, etc. This created new clusters elsewhere, making it even harder to be contained, and effectively exporting the virus to the rest of the world. This selfish attitude is the actual cause of the pandemic.

However, this selfish attitude is not exclusive only to the Chinese in Wuhan. We see this selfish attitude in other countries and communities as well. In South Korea, the virus appears to have been well contained until participants in a religious congregation started spreading it elsewhere within and without the country. To date, many of the participants have still refused to come forward voluntarily to be tested. Similar challenges were seen in Malaysia.

In order to successful fight this pandemic, human beings must consciously and intentionally come together as one big family to think and care for each other, instead of acting through selfish impulses.

Actions motivated by fear are destructive for everyone

As we can see from the above, the Covid-19 virus is not the real enemy. The real enemy is fear. Fear and actions motivated by fear are the actual causes of this pandemic.

Fear is seen in many forms. Selfishness is one that we have discussed. Another equally destructive one is denial. The outbreak has shown us many examples of how people in denial of having the Covid-19 infection actually put themselves and their loved ones at risk, as well as their community and the healthcare frontliners working to save them. Everyone of us stand to lose when denial is at work.

This Covid-19 pandemic clearly shows us the negative consequences of actions motivated by fear.

On the other hand, we also see examples of positive consequences of actions motivated by love. We see healthcare workers facing the virus head on, putting themselves and their loved ones at risk so that we and our loved ones can stay safe. They are the real superheroes in our lives.

How do I know if I have Covid-19 infection?

How do I know if I have Covid-19 infection?

With the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, it is understandable if you are concern and wonder if you have the infection and not know about it, since some people may be asymptomatic. On the other hand, your healthcare facilities can easily get overwhelmed with unnecessary screening and testings.

So, what should you do if you are not sure whether you may have the Covid-19 infection or not? Well, here is a simple and quick method to assess your risk by yourself. It is not foolproof but it can be used as a first step to assessing your own risk of getting the infection.

Are you at risk of having the Covid-19 infection?

If, after doing the self assessment above, you think you may have the Covid-19 infection, here is what you need to do next.

Covid-19 “Lockdown” in Malaysia

Covid-19 “Lockdown” in Malaysia

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced many countries to take drastic actions to slow down its spread. The Malaysian government has announced a Movement Control Order, beginning from 18 March 2020 to 31 March 2020.

Below is a summary of the order:

The main purpose of this order is to restrict human movements and interactions. The rationale is that by reducing human movements and interactions, we can slow down the spread of the Covid-19 viruses. This will buy time for the local healthcare agencies to track down, quarantine and treat those with the viruses. Without this step, our local healthcare workers and resources are just overwhelmed by the rapidly increasing numbers.

This is undeniably a drastic step, and will definitely affect our economy negatively, but it is a necessity to avert an even more serious situation if not done. Therefore, it is in the interest of all Malaysians to come together as one to fight this Covid-19 contagion.

Here are some simple personal protection measures to consider:

  1. Avoid crowd – This is by far the best way to slow down the spread of the virus., thus the rationale for the implementation of the Movement Control Order. So, avoid panic buying. It is in such crowded places that the viruses can easily spread.
  2. Practice Social Distancing. Give a space of at least 1 meter between yourself and another. Actually, the further the better.
  3. Wash your hands frequently. Since the virus is spread through water droplets in the air, it can land on just about any surfaces. Most important to notice are door knobs, table tops, hand shakes, close contact with another. Frequent hand washing will eliminate the virus from your hands.
  4. Avoid touching your mouth, eyes and nose, as these moist areas are most vulnerable to the entry of the virus into the body.
  5. Wear mask appropriately. Surgical masks are made to prevent the wearer from spreading viruses and bacterias to others. So, if you are feeling unwell or if you are afraid that you might be carrying the virus without showing any symptoms, then wear a mask to prevent spreading to others. Also, the type of masks used is important. Only 3-ply surgical masks, N95 and N99 masks are known to be effective in filtering the virus. The rest are questionable. (Click here for a demo on face masks)

Finally, the Covid-19 infection is most serious to the elderly with underlying illnesses. Therefore, be considerate of the elderly at home and elsewhere. Keep them safe.

Movement Control Order 2020 Covid-19

Frequently Asked Questions on Movement Control Order (Malay version)

Frequently Asked Questions on Movement Control Order (English version)