I almost gave my loved ones Covid-19, here is my reflection
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Me and my inner demons after finding out a close friend could have Covid-19 (Photo: Gettyimages)
Here is a Covid-19 fear I recently went through just before going back to phase 2 high alert. But before I go there, let me first lay out some disclaimers.
All in all, I've done almost everything "right", be it wearing masks; Hand disinfection; Limiting the number of people I met per day according to regulations; TraceTogether-ing everywhere I go (when I go out); Filter out how necessary a social gathering or meeting is and vaccinate. I am also fortunate to work in a company that has been committed to working from home since the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020, which enables me - recognized privilege - to work for the majority of this Covid-19 situation in a stay safe bubble.
The various clusters that emerged after brief deceptive peacetime - from the Changi Airport / Jewel Cluster, the Dorm Cluster, the Tan Tock Seng Hospital Cluster, the School Children Cluster, the KTV Cluster to the Jurong Fishery Port Cluster - however, they are all strong memories that we simply must not abandon our guards. A tiny spark can lead to a big fire, and most of us can be that little spark.
So back to my story when a spark reminded me how big the fire could be.
Here's what happened last week.
- On Tuesday, a friend of mine went to his hairdresser to get a planned cut.
- My mother came to my home for dinner on Wednesday. After dinner, the friend mentioned above (we call him Mr. Wednesday because I'm a Neil Gaiman fan, but I'm digressing) came to pick up his shopping booty (we shared). He stayed for about an hour and a half while we chatted about home and life.
- On Thursday evening I visited my goddaughter (and by default my best friend and her family) for about four hours in the evening.
- On Saturday I cycled for three hours in East Coast Park before having dinner with four friends at the Food Village. Dinner lasted about an hour and a half before we made our happy way home.
- I was supposed to visit my parents on Sunday, but I was tired and decided to stay at home with my husband.
- Monday 19th July came and I went for my second Covid vaccination. Later that evening I was informed that a quarantine order had been served on Mr Wednesday because of his colleague hairdresser who turned out to be Covid-positive.
While I understand that there may be preventive measures to narrow down the possible touchpoints of the then burgeoning KTV cluster, this has raised a whole can of guilt and questions, especially who could I have influenced if I got infected?
The long list of loved ones who may have been affected due to my negligence, from my own parents, husband, goddaughter to my best friends AND their families, actually chilled me to the bone. I immediately sent messages informing those I had contact with over the past week and after that I could have just sat back and waited for more messages.
I now have time to be angry (in my head) (Photo: Gettyimages)
At this point, it's easy to get angry and blame - natural emotions we need to recognize but not respond to - with Mr. Wednesday, with KTV guests, with hostesses, with the government, and even the world.
But in essence, who was the main character connecting all the dots to my loved ones? Me.
Once you understand your role in a possible diffusion, however insignificant it may feel, it is hard to blame other people (foreign workers, hostesses, horny men) for diffusion in the community.
Mr. Wednesday made a responsible and dutiful decision not to wait for the quarantine order guys to reach him and procured the Covid-19 self-test kits the same day he informed me.
According to the MOH website, Antigen Rapid Test (ART) self-test kits are available over the counter for people who fear they have COVID-19 and want to calm down. The self-test kit looks for SARS-CoV-2, a virus that causes COVID-19. It is a quick screening tool to help identify potential infection early on. The test is easy and safe to perform, takes less than 20 minutes, and is sold at Guardian, Unity, and Watsons pharmacies.
The five self-test kits that received preliminary approval for sale from the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) on June 16, 2021 are as follows:
Rapid Antigen Test Kits (ART) (clockwise: Abbott PanBio Covid-19 Antigen Self-Test, Quidel QuickVue OTC-Covid-19 Test for Home, SD Biosensor Sars-CoV-2 Antigen Self-Test Nasal, and SD Biosensor Standard Q Covid -19 Ag home test) (Images: Watsons, QuickVue, SD Biosensor)
1) Abbott PanBio Covid-19 antigen self-test
2) Quidel QuickVue OTC Covid-19 test at home
3) SD Biosensor Sars-CoV-2 Antigen Self-Test Nasal
4) SD Biosensor Standard Q Covid-19 Ag home test
5) BD Veritor COVID-19 Home Test
Get the ABBOTT PANBIO Covid-19 Antigen Rapid Self Test (ART) Kit here
Get a box with 10 Panbio ART kits here
Get QUIDEL Quickvue At Home OTC Covid-19 Antigen Rapid Self Test (ART) Kits 2s here
Have the ART kits delivered directly to your home here
Fortunately, Mr. Wednesday's result from ART was negative, and I took a cautious breath, at least until he ran the standard PCR test.
My conclusion from this whole situation is that we just have to take as much personal responsibility as possible in order to contain the spread of the virus. It is possible by the time the cows get home arguing about self-governance versus compliance or individual responsibility versus enforcement, but in these - here it comes - unprecedented times, a little more individual responsibility and awareness are the extra shields we can put up to keep our loved ones safe.
I'm starting by rethinking my social commitments with a new filter and buying a couple of ART kits for the home as this is our way of life until Covid-19 can be completely eradicated (or lived with). We all have to go into firefights and avoid being a spark for a while, even as we complain through all of that.
Lawrence Wong explains COVID-19 measures as of July 22nd
SINGAPORE - Secretary of the Treasury and Co-Chair of the Multi-Ministerial Task Force, Lawrence Wong, outlines some of the COVID-19 measures that will be in place from July 22nd to August 18th. (Video courtesy of Mediacorp) Similar story: COVID: Singapore bans dinner from July 22nd, social groups limit back to April 2nd
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