Humanity at its best: Strangers unite by volunteering to vaccinate bedridden patients

A humbling experience – that was how three volunteers described the National Cancer Society of Malaysia’s (NCSM) house-to-house Covid-19 vaccination programme.

Dr Subahsini Navaratnasingam, Hiew Chin Yee and Claryssa Tang were part of NCSM’s team last Sunday. Together, they visited 11 homes and vaccinated 15 bedridden patients.

The house-to-house vaccination programme began in July. To date, NCSM has administered nearly 3,600 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and two Pahang districts – Bentong and Temerloh.

Dr Subahsini said she learnt about the programme in a chat group for doctors.

“Someone dropped a message saying NCSM needed help with the programme. This is my second time volunteering,” said Dr Subahsini, who practices at Clinic Selva in Taman Kinrara, Puchong, Selangor.

“I wish I could do more, but my mother takes care of the kids on weekdays. I need to give her a break on weekends.

“Visiting these patients makes me grateful for my health and how lucky I am to be doing this.”

It was a sentiment echoed by Hiew and Tang.

Hiew, an admin support staff who has been working from home since March 2020, said a friend introduced her to the programme.

“We have to be mindful of the standard operating procedures. Because they’re elderly and bedridden, you have to be more respectful of their situation,” said Hiew.

“I’ve kept to myself most of the time since working from home, and this is an opportunity to go out and help. It’s very heart-warming to see so many caregivers spend their time with the families.

“It’s overwhelming because I don’t think I would be able to do what they do or provide that level of care and love.”

Tang, a medical student at Monash University, said being a volunteer has opened her eyes to the harsh realities of life.

“It’s difficult to see some of the living conditions, but also heart-warming to see how the caregivers take care of their patients,” said Tang.

“It makes me feel so blessed, and it is a privilege to be helping them.

“Like Hiew, I feel awkward when the patients or family members thank us. I tell them they don’t need to do that. We are grateful for the opportunity to help vaccinate them.”

NCSM’s project executive Dr Charlie Tan Jia Hwong said the house-to-house vaccination programme is carried out by several teams four times a week, Thursdays through Sundays.

Anyone interested in being a volunteer, can contact NCSM or fill out a form.

To be a volunteer driver for the programme, you can contact the Rotary Club of Central Damansara president Veeneth Menon (+60167224224).

If you’re wondering, today is Day 543 since the beginning of the original Movement Control Order, and this is the 65th week of ‘The MCO Diaries’.

NEW COVID-19 WEBSITE FOR ACCURATE DATA. RECORD NUMBER OF DEATHS FOR THE WEEK

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin on Monday said the high number of deaths in states with high vaccination rates was due to a backlog.

He explained that the authorities needed time to confirm that the deaths were due to Covid-19.

Whatever it is, the death toll stands at 19,827 with 2,306 fatalities in the last seven days, the most over a seven-day period, and the first time it has exceeded 2,000 since the weekly version of ‘The MCO Diaries’.

Yesterday, there was also a discrepancy on the new website launched by Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin. It stated that 1,657,483 people had recovered from Covid-19 after another 24,855 patients were cured on Thursday (the numbers are only updated the following day).

However, on Wednesday, the total number of recoveries was 1,632,631. If you add the 24,855, that should bring the total to 1,657,486.

A health ministry official clarified that the current figure on the new website is correct.

The only explanation for the discrepancy is that there were mistakes made.

As of yesterday, the total recovery is 1,678,959 figure, which means 150,287 persons have beaten the coronavirus in the last seven days.

The good news is that means we have had more recoveries than new cases for the second week running.

We had 135,568 new cases, making it 1,940,950 infections. We may reach two million cases on Monday.

Worldwide, there are 224.1 million cases and 4.6 million fatalities.

KNOWLEDGE IS IMPORTANT

Got this via WhatsApp. So true.

WE DID IT, NOW FOR A BIGGER CHALLENGE

A month ago, public relations practitioner Julia Nicholas suggested we start a walking/jogging group after reading an article on this news website.

So, we formed a WhatsApp group called ‘3-5km 30-Day Challenge’ on Aug 10 and began walking or jogging the following day. I’m happy to report that we have completed the challenge and are eyeing bigger things.

Several have signed up for the virtual Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon (KLSCM), under the 10km category.

There was a piece of good news as one of our members, Sachina Dominic, went for a check-up with her cardiologist and was told her heart was in great shape.

Personally, it was good for me too, as since I did most of my walking indoors and in front of the television, I managed to clear much of the backlog of recorded programmes on my Astro box.

IMAGINE HOW MUCH MONEY WE COULD HAVE SAVED

I read this article: ‘What if walking around on your wood floors powered your home?’ a couple of days ago.

It is a pity we don’t have this in Malaysia. Imagine how much money our walking group could have saved!

MUAY THAI CLASSES WITH ‘THE JENERAL’

If anyone is interested in Muay Thai, here is a chance to get a professional fighter – Shareh ‘The Jeneral’ Nasrullah – to be your coach.

Sign up for one session (RM70), three lessons (RM150) or six classes in a month for only RM300.

Contact Shareh at +60116184 0763.

EVEN SPIDER-MAN IS AFFECTED

Cinemas were allowed to open from Thursday, but the government didn’t release the complete SOPs, so the operators opted to remain closed. Meanwhile, gyms are still shuttered.

With gyms still closed, even Spider-Man is affected!

I’M TAKING A WALK

It’s incredible how easy it is to find a John Prine song to fit a topic of ‘The MCO Diaries’. But then again, the prolific singer-songwriter was a great storyteller who wrote about everyday events.

Enjoy this slow number on your next walk.

Until next week, stay safe.

https://youtu.be/TZv4R6VBqp4