Hello everyone! How are you all doing? I send my prayers to everyone around the globe with this situation that we all are facing.
This pandemic Covid 19 is spreading all over the world, disrupting the state of things, taking the lives of our friends & loved-ones. I am a Filipino working as a doctor here in Oman. I am a frontliner along with the brave people in healthcare battling this horrible virus all over the world. So far, in Oman we have reportedly 252 cases (as of this date*) and one mortality. Stricter measures were announced to contain this virus and prevent further spread of this invisible killer. Most business establishments has been closed except for grocery stores, pharmacies and optical shops. Restaurants will allow only take-out orders and no dine-ins are allowed. Schools are c losed now. Banks have shorter opening orders. All kinds of gatherings in public places are banned and the customer services in all institutions are closed. There are check-outs in entry and exit of each governorate. Social distancing are mandated to the public and encourage people to stay at home.
Being a frontliner, I fear for my husband & young kids that I will be bringing the virus when I get home. I feel anxious for my parents in the Philippines in their advancing years, worried if your immunity can withstand the enemy. I think of my siblings and my friends, sending them reminders to wash hands, avoid crowds, stay at home and forgo travelling.
I look at my kids and I wish that this virus will hopefully vanish like a bad dream without a trace. I wish for a better world where they don’t need to hide inside the house, devoid hugs & kisses from their grandparents, anxious when someone they know or anyone near them are coughing, unable to enjoy travel, being used to minimal social interactions and scared of touching any surfaces outside the house. Let us do our part in controlling this and let us pray desperately for this evil to go away soon.
My family and I have travel plans by the end of the year. We hope this pandemic will end by then. My sister has initially declared this year to be her travel year but 2020 is a villain & destroyed her plans. Now with airports closed, we are stuck in our current country of residence. The ache to visit our home country and our families in our country becomes more evident, real and strong like throbbing pain from a fresh wound. Some of our countrymen working here who have travel plans to vacation back home have to hold their vacation leaves and unable to see their loved-ones back home. How my heart aches for their homesickness? Feeling of being trapped and not being able to do anything about it can be so frustrating. Will we ever travel again? Will we even get to travel freely after this is over and have other countries welcome with open arms other nationalities visiting them without suspecting them being a virus-carrier? Those who plan to migrate in other countries, will they be denied of that migration visa as an aftermath of the covid 19 pandemic?
AS A DOCTOR
Before, I hardly use mask at the clinic when I am seeing patients because my little voice is often inaudible behind the mask plus my broken, imperfect Arabic will be even more unfathomable. But in these times when this vicious virus has aggressively taken the lives of thousands including healthcare workers battling with this pandemic daily, I have created a guidelines to follow and preventative measures for myself to ensure I will not get infected by this sneaky virus and endanger the lives of my family, my patients and my co-workers.
Preventative Measures for Healthcare Workers:
- Wear mask at all times inside the clinic/hospital
- Do thorough 7-steps hand washing for 20 seconds before & after touching patients, before any aseptic technique, after any body fluid exposure and after touching patient’s surroundings.
- Put hair in a ponytail or bun
- Use contact lens instead of eyeglasses
- Don’t use any jewelries to work even watches
- Disinfect stethoscope with alcohol before and after use
- Disinfect consult table, keyboard, computer mouse & patient’s chair before start of work
- Wear complete PPE when swabbing suspected cases and follow proper removal of PPE after swabbing
- Don’t bring big bag in consultation room. I only bring the essential things I need for work and put them inside my white coat pockets. I bring a wristlet pouch for my comb, blotting paper & phone charger which I would leave in the hospital pantry and never inside the consult room
- Don’t bring any food inside the consult room or work area
- Throw used mask in trash bin before entering car or house.Never reuse.
- Remove white coat and fold it inside out before entering car or house.
- Don’t put cellphone on consult desk, instead put inside white coat pocket.
- Disinfect cellphone after work with alcohol wipes. Soak cellphone cover weekly with disinfectant liquid.
- Shower upon getting home from work and before hugging the kids.
Pls pray for everyone affected by this pandemic. Pls pray for frontliners fighting this battle. Pray for healing for all the world.
COVID 19 REALIZATION
Covid 19 has invaded globally. Our lifestyle has changed tremendously. Our way of life is on a pause…..indefinitely. Fear, worry, anxiety, exhaustion and stress are crushing our emotional core. When will this end?
2020 is a new decade. I have high hopes for this year. But what did we get? Bush fires in Australia, earthquakes scattered all over the world, volcanoes eruptions, threat of war in the early part of the year and now this covid19 pandemic. .
Then I realised I have been complaining before that life goes by so fast, like a marathon I didn’t have time to breathe, like a rat in spinning cage going round & round & round. I realised can we use this time of pause, this time that we are advised to be quarantined in our homes, to do some introspection, to have a look back in the life we have been leading. Is this the pathway I want to go? Reassess. Move forward or backward, right or left. A look into what we have become, how we can improve & be a better version of ourselves. A time to spend more time at home to the people who matters to us, to give them the presence & attention they deserve. A time for us to pursue that hobby we often say we don’t have time. A time to learn new things. A time to write that novel or start that blog/vlog, learn to dance (there are youtube videos or online classes for that), do that exercise to achieve the body that we always dream of. A time to sip our coffee slowly. A time take deep slow breaths and meditate. A time to reconnect with God & deepen our relationship with him. .
I chose to look at this “set-back” as a “reset” instead. We will emerge victorious in our current situation. We will be renewed, probably with battle scars & heartaches like a brave warrior fighting for his life, his loved-ones, his country, his universe. Prayers to everyone around the world. We are together in this silent battle.
*3 April 2020