When the pandemic first started, there was worldwide panic. But after so long, for many people, the Coronavirus has become part of the norm. However, that means that there are people taking the threat less seriously.
Dato Sri Alvin Ang (洪志勇) recently shared his personal experience of Covid-19 on Facebook. He hopes his message will at least encourage others to be more vigilant and not take Covid-19 so lightly.
The chairman of the NGO Yayasan Warisan Seni Budaya ASEAN (東盟文化傳藝推廣基金會) explained he felt the need to share after watching Covid numbers rise. Ang said that for the past year, he’s been holed up at home. He has only gone out for necessities and the like. Earlier in April, a friend invited him out for a drink at the bar after a dinner party. Ang explained he had fallen prey to the mentality of ‘luckiness’.
“I believe that many people started (leaving the house) because they have gone through various (Movement Control Orders),” he wrote. “They feel suffocated and (it doesn’t help that) there may be a lot of ‘super lucky’ people around them.” Ang highlights people who encounter the virus but are fine after being quarantined for 10 days are sometimes labelled as ‘heroes’. “They boast that the diagnosis is no big deal, and at most, it’s a vacation at home for 10 days,” Ang stated. These sort of remarks make people underestimate the virus and relax their guard.
For Ang however, the situation turned out to be very different. After returning home, Ang reported feeling fine, however his friend had a fever. It was soon discovered that his friend had contracted the virus. Immediately, Ang entered self-quarantine before getting a test the next day. His results came back as positive. He notified those who had come into contact with him and arranged for his family members to be tested. He also contacted the New Coronary Pneumonia Assessment Center (CAC) for further testing and for an isolation band. Then he started his 10-day quarantine at home.
For the first few days, Ang said he experienced little to no symptoms. He did feel tired and could sleep for 14 to 15 hours a day. However, on the 5th day, he began to lose his sense of taste and appetite. Even then, Ang was of the mindset that Covid-19 wasn’t a big deal. This lasted until the 10th day, when he took off the bracelet. The virus’ symptoms then hit fast and hard. Ang reported coughing badly and said he had difficulty breathing. His lungs felt constricted and he was sweating heavily. The attack lasted for about 10 minutes before he recovered.
His condition worsened the following day, to the point where he found it difficult to speak. Ang began to panic. He contacted nearby private hospitals but they were all full. Thankfully, he remembered he had a contact from CAC, a doctor he had seen when he went there. The Malay doctor was quick to get an ambulance for him. She made sure to continue messaging him as she knew he was having difficulty breathing.
He was taken to the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital and discovered his blood oxygen index had fallen to dangerous levels. He was later transferred to the Sungai Buloh Hospital at noon the next day. After being treated, he was moved to an isolation center in Sungai Buloh. While he was there, Ang started thinking about his experience. He realised he was considerably lucky as he was already at the 3rd, nearing 4th stage of the virus. “You almost had to write me a eulogy,” he said. Miraculously, he had survived the symptoms at home long enough to get help. There were others who were not as fortunate.
He was finally allowed to go home after more than 20 days. Ang continued his isolation at home for another week before returning to work. He thanked the hospital staff for looking after him and asked everyone to do their part to lessen their work load. “Remember not to speak while eating, put on a mask after eating and comply with social distancing,” he reminded. “I hope everyone will start (with) themselves and (continue) to influence those around them. Comply with the SOPs and don’t (travel),” Ang wrote. “The frontliners also have parents and kids.”
Hopefully Ang’s message will help everyone be more cautious. Let’s ensure everyone stays safe.