As the world copes with the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the situation in Malaysia seems to be on the verge of getting worse. The number of new coronavirus cases is reaching all-time highs especially in the state of Selangor. It was just yesterday when the Prime Minister made an official announcement that the Movement Control Order has been extended to February 4. Apart from that, the order is now effective throughout the nation except for Sarawak and that is pretty unnerving.
As for entrepreneur and travel enthusiast, Darren Teoh — he shared with us what it was like to have COVID-19 and his experience in detail throughout the whole process.
“On the 31st Dec, I received a text message from my gym studio owner, telling me that my Muay Thai instructor has been tested positive. I attended his class about 4 days ago (27th Dec). I had a mild cough 2 days after. But I took it lightly as I never thought it could be Covid.
The next day, 1st Jan, I went to Subang Medical Centre for a Covid test in the afternoon. It was RM295 and the queue was pretty long. I waited for about an hour for my turn, the test was pretty simple and comprehensive, mucus samples from my nose and throat were extracted with a long medical cotton bud. That’s it. I was asked to go home and wait for the test result the next day.
Early in the morning, on the 2nd Jan, I received a missed call around 9 am. Nervous and worried, I called back. Yes, it was a call from the hospital. They checked and informed me that I was tested positive, and will be contacting KKM to follow up with me. I was told to get ready to be sent to the quarantine centre the next day.
Worried and nervous, I packed my bag and got myself ready to be sent over by an ambulance. Told my neighbours about it, and they were all very worried. Told them the arrangement by KKM and the management immediately arranged the disinfection service after my departure to the quarantine centre.
Waited for almost 3 days. No call from KKM at all. Unpacked all my stuff, and decided to stay in until my full recovery. My condominium had full disinfection in all the common areas.
Day 4 after I tested positive, my smell and taste were gone. My loss of taste and smell is the most significant symptom I got from Covid. I was pretty lucky as I didn’t have any other symptoms besides getting mild sore throat and loss of taste/smell.
I consumed a lot of vitamin C, I ate a lot of fruits and vegetables, and I did some simple exercise at home. I rested as much as I could during this period. I cooked myself most of the time. I ordered groceries online, sometimes I ordered food with Grab too. I was so fortunate to have friends sending food, fruits and vitamins over. I could feel the love and care pouring over me during this difficult time. Watching Netflix, listening to music, reading, cooking and doing office work is my daily routine. I have not stepped out of my house for the whole self-quarantine time.
Time flies. Day 9 arrived. My taste and smell are back to normal. I feel good. I continued to eat healthily and practise yoga at home. I think I was recovered.
Day 10, to ensure my full recovery, I called to KKM, but the line was always engaged. I WhatsApp to the number given, no reply.
Day 11, I called to Pejabat Kesihatan Titiwangsa. They took my contact, my name and my address. Asking me to WhatsApp them the swab test report, and they will be in touch with me to follow up with my case. According to them, no 2nd test is needed.
2 days passed. No contact from KKM or Pejabat Kesihatan. I declared myself complete recovery, as I don’t have any more symptoms. I arranged for disinfection to my house.
On the 13th Jan, MCO kicked in. Although I am fully recovered, I gotta stay in for another 2 weeks.
My advice: It is very hard to practise social distancing on certain occasions such as the gym. Everyone has to make sure SOP is followed tightly. We have to boost our immune system, drink more water and eat more vitamin C/fruits. There will be many asymptomatic patients with very little or no symptoms like myself. Hence, we have to constantly wear a mask and clean our hands, to ensure the weaker high-risk group of people like old folks and kids are always safe.”
So in Darren’s case, he wasn’t tested again after self-declaring himself free from the virus. Does that mean he’s fully cured? Shouldn’t he get another test just to confirm the situation?
We have been dumbfounded with so many other stories from the public and how they have gone through a completely different experience than Darren’s. What does that mean for us? How would we know if we are completely safe and cured if no second test has been done?
Well, that’s something for us to ponder on. Hopefully, we get the answers from the Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia real soon and they are able to clear the air about this whole official process once and for all.
Apart from that, stay safe. Always make sure you’re being responsible when you’re outside and when you’re being in contact with other people. We shall get through this together.
Pictures by Darren Teoh & Unsplash