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Monday, January 25, 2021

COVID-19 Case #58502

It was a joyous occasion coming back to Singapore after almost six months. I was scheduled to be quarantined for 14 days before heading home. But it did not turn out the way it supposed to be.

Let's rewind to the eve before my departure. That night I was catching a bad cold and I couldnt sleep well. I kept telling myself it was normal flu. Upon reaching Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, temperature was taken, and I was fine. The flight was not crowded. It was pleasant. I had one row by myself and I comfortably watched Ford v Ferrari during the flight. 

Upon arrival, we were shown the way to bus that would then send us to our stay for the next 14 days. I was checked in to Regent Singapore.

Regent Singapore.

Day 1

I was feeling cold and got myself under the blanket. I turned the aircon off and get a towel to cover the gap under the main door to prevent the cold air from coming in. I told myself it was due to the lack of sleeping.

Day 2 - Saturday

Almost my whole body, up to the neck, was aching. I didnt prepare any medication so I used minyak kayu putih (eucalyptus oil) to keep myself warm. I also drank lots of hot tea. 

Day 4 

As I felt better, I finally switched on the aircon. My work kept me busy all day and I did some light exercise at night. I was no longer feeling cold but the body aches were annoying. I didn't have a good night sleep. However, since I had body aches from time to time when I wasn't feeling well, I didn't really suspect anything.

Day 11

Fast forward to day 11, I finally could step out from my room to do swab test. It was a compulsory test before releasing us to the communities. By the way, there was daily call and check to make sure I was fine and not under any form of stress.

The alleged scam.

Day 12

My wife called in the morning to inform me that she received SMS stating she was in contact of COVID-19 case and should immediately return home and avoid close contact with others. it also mentioned that a MOH officer would call her soon. 

It was such a coincidence that I had my swab test the day before and she received SMS the day after. I thought that even I really was positive, that had nothing to do with her as I was quarantined. I told her it might be a scam. 

Shortly after that, I received call from MOH and a doctor told me the news: I was infected with the virus and swab test came out positive! I was told to pack my belonging and put them outside the hotel. All my luggages and bags were then disinfected. Around 2pm on the same day, I was escorted by the hotel and hospital staff with protective suit to the ambulance and was sent to Alexandra hospital. 

Upon arrival, there was this guy escorting me to my room and chasing away all the people in front. I somehow felt like an important person, LOL. Joke aside, on the very same day, my blood was drawn for serology test. ECG and X-ray were also performed. While waiting for the results, doctor ask me not to worry. 

I was given a set of hospital pijamas. The room was not as comfortable as the hotel room but I felt more secure as I knew the experts are just around the corner. The food was surprisingly better compared to the hotel food (or I  was simply too damn bored after eating the hotel food for many days).

When I was finally alone, I tried to exercise. I could feel breathless after like 10 minutes. Probably that's how the f**kin' virus messed around with the body system. 

The hospital room.

Day 2 in Hospital

Three visits from the nurse and doctors to check on blood pressure, oxygen level and, of course, the temperature. At this point, i started searching more on what the blood test meant and what to expect when I was declared safe

Day 3

The blood test result came back positive, but it's a good positive. It meant I had the antibody now. Nevertheless, I was still required to be quarantined for another seven days after the earlier 14 days.

The recovery center.

Day 4 (or Day 1 at D'Resort)

I was in a van, transported to recovery center. Together with me was an Indian and we fetched a Chinese guy from another hospital before we headed to D'resort, the recovery center. I couldn't help feeling sad when I saw the empty BBQ pits. The silence was eerily disturbing. I mean, it was December, a festive season, and D'resort was supposed to be a happening place for friends and families. 


Day 2

I was required to do heart pressure, oxygen level and temperature check three times a day and the report had to be submitted online. i was provided with a finger clip pulse oximeters and termometer to do the necessary.

By this time, I was better already, i could to my exercise without any breathing difficulty. It's also worth noting that I was not prescribed any medication at all during my stay in the hospital and recovery center. 

Day 5 - Check Out 

Like any other normal person would do, I was worried that the virus was still inside my body and the last thing I wanted to do is unknowingly spreading it. I had asked the doctors several times and they assured me there was no need to do another swab test and I was safe to go. The explanation was long, but the summary was the virus no longer contagious.

I am lucky to survive this saga and I certainly hope that this pandemic will end soon. Some of us were upset because we couldn't travel, couldn't have big gathering,  couldn't eat out or couldn't have the usual lifestyle. But we got to remember, there were also many people out there has lost the source of income and even their lives. I strongly encourage readers not to take the pandemic lightly. Please stick to the health protocols.

Note: This experience was written and shared but do take note that this is not an advice on how to handle coronavirus. Do consult the expert if needed.

I'm back!

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