Zack and Albert (not their real names) appreciate life even more after recovering from Covid-19.
Albert was one of the lucky ones who was quarantined at home – as the ambulance from the Health Ministry didn’t come to pick him up.
Zack, meanwhile, praised the frontliners at Hospital Kuala Krai in Kelantan who made his stay there comfortable.
“My wife and I tested positive. We were given a choice of home quarantine as we were the only ones at home,” said Zack, who is in his 50s.
“However, as we are staying in a teachers’ quarters with many children around, we opted for the hospital.”
“It was a wise decision. I had Stage 3 Covid-19 and later came down with pneumonia. The twice-daily check by the doctors and medical assistants helped catch it. I was given prompt treatment.”
Zack said if he had stayed at home, he would have probably received treatment days later.
“I was in the hospital for more than a week. I honestly feel for the frontliners as they are overworked, yet have to put up a brave front and be cheerful when dealing with patients who can be rude or grumpy.”
Zack, who reckoned he got the coronavirus during a bus ride from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Bharu, said staying positive during his ordeal helped him.
“If there is one advice I have for those who get Covid-19, it is to think happy thoughts,” he said.
“It is not easy staying in a hospital or being quarantined at home – I’m going crazy as I will only get to cut the pink bracelet on Sunday.
“But one thing I notice while in the hospital, there are many pessimistic patients. I had to tell off a few of them while I was there.
“Yes, Covid-19 is deadly, but the mortality rate in Malaysia is very low (0.4 per cent).
“Even then, most of those who died had existing conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart condition or a combination of ailments.
“I, too, am not 100 per cent healthy but I was lucky. So, if you are admitted to the hospital, don’t fret. Stay positive.”
Separately, Albert was bracing for the worst when he tested positive. But he is thankful he took precautions the moment he felt sick.
“I immediately quarantined myself in my spare bedroom. I told my wife and mother to look after our young son as I didn’t want to be near him,” said Albert.
“The following morning, I went for my Covid-19 test and kept to myself until I received the result two days later.
“I was told an ambulance from the Health Ministry would come to pick me up but it never came.
“I later found out from a doctor friend of mine it could be because I had Level 1 Covid-19.”
Albert said he went crazy not being able to see his son for two weeks but was glad he took early precaution as neither his wife nor his mother tested positive.
“The first thing I did when I decided to isolate myself was to make sure I had my laptop and phone chargers with me,” added Albert.
“I also made sure I had Astro Go working as I didn’t want to miss any football matches!
“I have finally tested negative and on Tuesday cut the bracelet. I went for a walk after being cooped up for so long. I never appreciated my neighbourhood more!
He added the key was staying positive and knowing his family was safe.
Anyway, today is the 319th day since the start of the original MCO and this is the 33rd weekly edition of ‘The MCO Diaries’.
IT GETS WORSE EACH WEEK
Malaysia reached several unwanted records this week.
On Monday, we reached 700 deaths. Yesterday, that number had climbed to 733 fatalities.
We also surpassed 200,000 cases when a record 5,725 new infections were reported yesterday. As it stands, Malaysia now has 203,933 cases.
A week ago, we had 176,180, meaning there have been 27,753 new cases.
The good news is that recoveries shot up to 157,722 from 132,706 a week ago.
Elsewhere, the United States recorded 25 million cases as at last Saturday. Up till yesterday evening, it had 26.3 million cases with 443,769 deaths.
Worldwide we now have 102.1 million cases and 2.2 million deaths.
A reminder of why personalities like Ebit Irawan Ibrahim Lew is helping the underprivileged get devices for online learning.
CHILDHOOD MEMORIES REVISITED
Growing up in Seremban – the land of great food and people – there was no shortage of interesting delicacies you could find on almost every street corner.
One thing I always enjoyed was tau fu fah with ginger sugar.
The spicy sugary taste gave the sweet fluffy texture of the soya bean pudding a nice kick.
When I moved to the Klang Valley aeons ago, there were several places where you could still find the combination.
Sadly, in recent times, I’ve been unable to find anyone selling it now – it is usually plain syrup or gula Melaka.
Imagine my delight on Thursday when I found a stall in USJ 1 which did indeed have ginger sugar. I bought the last four bowls!
It brought back some good memories.
THIS WEEK’S TRUE STORY
A CUP OF JOE
Miss your regular cup of coffee from Espresso Lab? Fret not, you can order a box of steep-bru coffee for only RM25.
There are 10 sachets in each box with each giving you coffee as black as Darth Vader’s outfit.
THE COFFEE SONG
Here’s a number from Frank Sinatra singing about the joys of java from Brazil. I wasn’t a fan of coffee until I was in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and can attest, Brazilian coffee converted me to a lover of the drink.