The Outbreak

The new coronavirus (now named as COVID-19) outbreak occurred around end of last year, and it has been going on until now. It was believed to have started from a market in Wuhan, China which sold exotic wildlife that ended up on a diner table. The Chinese government has declared emergency and lockdown a few cities, WHO was notified, travel bans were in placed by some countries, and everyone has been working relentlessly to contain the virus from spreading and to search for cure.

And with the social media craze, we started to see all sorts of fake news emerged, irresponsible comments, wrong information shared and so on, making the matter worse. The most significant one would be how everyone is putting the blame on Chinese, and everyone started to stay away from them. There were those who blamed the Chinese government for hiding the truth. Here in Singapore, there were those who blame the Singapore government for acting slowly. Soon, people started to panic, hoarding face masks and sanitizers, which eventually ended up as people rushing to supermarket and started hoarding food supplies.

Before I begin ranting, let me put the record straight: I admit that I am one of those who are not fond of the Chinese government policies and the behaviour of their people while travelling abroad. I think most of us who dislike the Chinese shares similar reason. But to be honest, not all Chinese behave the same. I have Chinese national friends whom themselves hated these ill behaved Chinese nationals. Despite that, I feel sorry and pity them for being the one to blame in this case. With that said, let’s begin.

It could have started in anywhere

Unfortunately, an outbreak occurred. It started off in Wuhan, China. But this could have happened anywhere around the world, and I truly believe so. As long as we are not careful, as long as we do not ensure cleanliness in our environment, in the farm, or in the market where fresh produces are being traded, we run into the risk of contamination. So to put the blame solely on “because the people from Wuhan eat bats” leads you to nowhere.

I’m not too concern of the virus

The media (or social media) has played a role in spreading a lot of information, perhaps a little too much information, and causes panic all around the world. Yes, we should be aware and alert about the situation, but some irresponsible media will just focus on putting the blame on China, creating fear among public, making things become far worse than what it seems to be. Yes, the virus is contagious, it causes death, but you just need to take a look at the big picture to understand that all flu has potential to lead to death. And like all flu, everyone can take part in stopping the spread if and only if everyone puts their hands and heart into it.

I’m more concern about human stupidity

If there’s anything that will kill us for the next few months, it is undoubtedly our own stupidity. Unnecessarily hoarding stockpile of face masks has caused problem for those who really needs it a.k.a. those who are sick. When they can’t contain themselves, they will spread the virus to people around them. And sorry to brush your bubbles, wearing a face mask does not fully protects you from getting the virus. When people send masks to the outbreak epicentre, they get condemned immediately by the selfish individuals. In times like this, resources should be routed to those who are really in need in order to more effectively stop the pandemic, but I guess people will only care for themselves after all.

Don’t even get me started on those who wear mask inside-out, or those who did wear it on the correct side but yet not fitting them properly to cover their face. What’s even worse? People are reselling their stockpile of mask at overpriced rate to those who are desperately in need!

If we die, it will probably be due to our own doing

People in Singapore seems not content to hoard just the masks and sanitizers, they went out and continue their rampage to hoard on alcohol swap, followed by rice, canned food, instant noodles and rolls of toilet papers! What’s more, we have people scolding the Chinese in one hand, while on the other hand, the same person is not wearing a mask when he/she is feeling unwell! So what makes you different from the Chinese that you are scolding all day long? And it doesn’t end there, even the local medical personnel who worked day and night during this period were discriminated by the very own people they trying to save!

We can do better than this

So far, I only know of people in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan who are very vigilant when it comes to personal hygiene. During my trip to these countries, it is very common for me to see people wearing mask when they are feeling unwell. Sadly, this is not the case here in Singapore, even at critical time like this. Some complaint that government should hand out free mask, and when government did, they don’t even bother to collect and complaint “only giving out 4 pieces per house hold, that’s too little”.

Before we start to point our fingers on others, we should probably sit down and ask ourselves: Have we even done our part to stop the virus from spreading? I myself have not done enough on my part, I do not wear mask all the time when I was sick, and I should wash my hand a little more, and that’s what I set off to incorporate into my habit moving forward. Only when we take the first step of prevention, the spread of virus and diseases could be reduced.

Of course it wasn’t all bad in time like this. We have seen huge support from people who donated their wealth to the healthcare industry to combat the virus, and even small gesture like handing out free masks to those in need was heart warming. I really hope that everyone can just wake up and stop being so selfish. Everyone should start playing their part, otherwise the same saga will happen over and over again. It’s now or never.

So what should we do?

Wear a mask and seek for medical attention when you are feeling unwell. If you have been in contact with suspected cases or confirmed cases, report to the authority to arrange for quarantine or leave of absence. Ensure proper hygiene in your daily life. Eat well, sleep well to ensure your immunity stays strong. Avoid travelling to crowded places unless it is necessary.

Last but not least, make this as part of your habit and practice it daily even after this outbreak.

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