Okay, so we’re all very well acquainted with COVID-19 by now. So acquainted that I dare say we’ve become rather comfortable with it living among us. That’s the case for some people, at least because what I’m continuing to see is just people being careless all around.
Why do I say this? Well…
I went to a wedding a few months back. It was a beautiful wedding, of course. But what happened afterward wasn’t as pretty.
You see, there happened to be someone who was COVID-19 positive at the wedding and didn’t tell anyone until after the wedding was well over. The people who hosted the wedding also failed to call the guests who attended to inform them of the incident.
My family and I only found out because we called them first. Before hanging up the phone, they casually threw in the “Oh hey also, we already tested ourselves but maybe y’all might want to get checked too because someone had COVID-19 and came to our wedding. Stay safe, bye!”
Not kidding, it took us about 10 minutes before we actually registered what was said and started freaking out.
So my question is, how responsible do you have to be to make sure other people are safe too and not just you?
Et Tu, Malaysians?
The thing is, this hasn’t only just happened to me. It might as well be a universal experience at this point.
When I relayed this story to a bunch of my friends, I was surprised that their responses were mostly “Oh my God, yeah! My auntie had COVID-19 and still went to a gathering!” and “My mum’s friend had COVID-19 and still went out too!” Almost every person I told it to had a similar story to share.
Like, hello? What is this behaviour? Whatever happened to “We can fight this disease together”?
Does your idea of “fighting it together” mean that we all get infected and suffer through it as a whole or what? Because that seems to be where it’s going.
Let me ask you, what made you think that it was a good idea for you to go outside and mingle when you’re sick? Did it ever occur to you that you’d be spreading a virus around to the unsuspecting public? Just because you aren’t that sick or that your symptoms are mild or you’re lucky enough to be asymptomatic, doesn’t mean that other people are like you!
And if you happen to have spread it to a person that’s high risk, what happens then? That won’t sit well with your conscience at all, huh? Assuming you have one.
And just because your whole family (and friend group) are vaccinated doesn’t make it okay for you to go “I can mingle with them, they’re vaccinated even though I’m sick!” No. How in the world does that make it okay?
Fake Certs Still Doesn’t Mean You’re Safe
My question of “how COVID-19 irresponsible are you?” extends to our healthcare workers as well. Because surprise surprise, there are doctors out there who value money much more than their patients’ well-being.
Of course, I’m talking about the fake vaccine certificates that have been handed out to the public in exchange for money up to RM650. Can you imagine paying that much instead of just getting the vaccine for free? The motive for the whole operation was to promote the service to those who did not want to be vaccinated, but would like a digital certificate to be reflected in their MySejahtera.
I don’t know how much of a bad person you have to be to not only encourage the endangerment of the lives of your clients but also those around them. How could a doctor who was supposed to advocate for the life of others be swayed by a couple of extra dough?
And what about the people paying for the fake certificates? Do you think just because it says you’re fully vaccinated, you’re magically immune to the disease now? Sorry to burst your bubble, but it doesn’t work like that.
Doesn’t it also just really make you paranoid now when you go outside because literally anyone could be owners to fake vaccination certificates and you just won’t know. How scary is that?
What About You?
Now if you find yourself as angry as I am about these acts of irresponsibility, I would like you to also take a look at your own behaviour. It’s very easy to throw insults at people but then don’t realise that we’re also doing the same thing.
So if you ever find yourself in a situation where you were exposed to COVID-19, what do you do? Let me help you out.
(Voluntary) House Arrest
The first thing to do is to put yourself under house arrest. You’ve just found out that the person you were seeing has COVID-19 and it’s still new so you haven’t shown any symptoms yet. Yeah, it’s a hassle but if it lessens the possibility of other people getting infected in the event you’re also COVID-19 positive, why not just do it?
On the off chance that you are also infected but aren’t sure, but you’re showing symptoms, along with staying at home, you should only do a self-test on the third or fourth day of self-quarantine. The first and second days are called the incubation period and the virus is still manifesting inside your body so if you take the test, it will show up as negative, even with the symptoms.
If you’re self-testing, please ensure that the test you have bought is MDA-certified. There was news and complaints that some test kits that were bought had shown negative COVID-19 results even when they tested positive on the PCR test. So make sure you check your test kits before you buy them by the bulk.
If You’re Positive
If the self-test kits and PCR tests that you’ve done come out positive, what you absolutely must do besides staying home is to tell your close contacts about your status. Please don’t keep the news to yourself. If you’ve helped spread the disease, take responsibility by telling the people around you. After all, you don’t want to be the reason other people get sick, do you?
Better Safe Than Sorry
So what’s the takeaway from all this? That you should be more responsible?
Yeah, most definitely.
And you should always take extra precautions when you’re outside. You can never be too careful. When you’re doing groceries, hanging out with friends, in a gathering with your family or even at work, please make sure you keep your SOPs.
It should be drilled in your head now. Just because that person’s a close friend or family to you doesn’t mean you have to pull your safety walls down. They’ll understand. They want to be healthy too, don’t they? It doesn’t matter that they call you paranoid, at least you’re safe and that you’re making sure the people around you are as well.
If you’re dealing with someone who thinks that the whole COVID-19 thing is a conspiracy or that taking the vaccine would kill them or worse, have the government track their every move, here are some ways you can talk them out of it: