Feb
25
2020

COVID-19 A Singaporean Story Part 4

25 February 2020, Tuesday

To tell you the truth, the past two nights I had the problems of slight feverish feeling even thou it’s cold at night at 26 degrees celcius.

I did checked my temperature & it’s normal body temperature at 36.1 degrees celcius so I may be feeling paranoid or over sensitive for feeling that way due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19 in South Korea, Japan, Iran and many other countries.

According to ChannelNewsAsia, South Korea have a huge spike in confirmed infected cases of 893 people due to a single person refusing to test for the COVID-19 Coronavirus and attended a few large scale religious gathering.

My initial impression is shocked how fast it spread to so many people or shocked at how “slow” the authorities to release the numbers of infected.

From my personal experience, many people below my apartment (HDB) are still going by their life without a care in the world which is surprising.

My fears are probably overblown by some epic proportions and should remain vigilant & healthy to push through this crisis.

I read online that the crowds had returned to shopping centers, coffeeshops & Orchard roads as if there are no crisis.

The numbers of new infections are also relatively low in Singapore, which is probably a good indication that the virus is under control.

Either that or the virus are hidden from view as people with mild symptoms dare not visit the clinic fearing being quarantined, but we should not fear being quarantined for the benefits of the country & local government are very proactive in contact tracing & support of those affected.

I feel people should do the following to help curbing this epidemic from spreading.

  • Keep receipts of purchases you had done locally not just for tracking expense but also keep track of where you had been to in any event you are infected can allow the authorities to contract trace anyone else who are in close proximity to you for 15 to 20 minutes or longer.
  • Turn on your google map timeline tracking when you go out of your home to trace where you had been to automatically, it does use up more battery in the process but it’s easier for contact tracing as well. You can turn “Allow Location Access” off when you reached home to save the battery life & turn it on only when you go out.
  • Bring two surgical mask out, if someone is visibly sick & coughing…give one of the mask to that person instead. Make sure you wear one first before approaching the sick person.
  • Avoid gathering in large group of people for a long period of time like religious groups, cinemas, seminars, convention shows, and other types of gathering that require close contact with another person for a long period of time.
  • Source online for reusable respirators instead of surgical mask, when the infections becomes a pandemic… at least ONE person need to go out to buy food, medicines & supply right?
  • For buying food supply at supermarket, try to go at off peak hours instead so to avoid large number of people queuing at the counter which may increase the possibilities of cross infection. Remember, there are many 24 hours supermarket all over Singapore.
  • Take your vitamins C either by eating more fruits or off the shelf supplements.
  • Drink more plain water, without a doubt the best health elixir.
  • If possible go out into the sun for more than 15 minutes, Sun have UV rays that can potentially kills any viruses that’s on the surface of your body.
  • Avoid touching public buttons with your fingers, get alternative method of touching switches & buttons. For door handles, wash your hands immediately for 20 seconds or more.
  • Train yourself to stop touching your face in public with dirty hands.

I like what the government are doing especially having a good budget to help locals in terms of finical difficulties at this crisis period.

However, more could be done to plan ahead in event of a large scale infection epidemic and I do hope the government can think farther ahead to do things differently from China but more effective ways to make life continue without much disruption yet able to contain the epidemic.

For examples, if there is a larger numbers of infection & suspected infection in Singapore. Can the authorities handle the numbers effectively & still contain the virus from spreading?

Imagine 20k infection, 100k under quarantine either at home or at facilities and for how long?

According to news online the incubation period of COVID-19 at rare cases can be 27 days which means a longer quarantine period is probably required.

I implore local businesses to identify opportunities to manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE) for people who are sick to have some available at the stores at reasonable prices.

It’s also time for preparing the bug out bag for quarantine, what items is required to survive in the quarantine location for up to 27 days (Now is 14 days). What devices to bring, clothes, medicines and supplements. At least put those items where it’s easier to find at moment’s notice.

In the mean time, carry on with your life & don’t worry & be happy.

Feb
23
2020

DIY Home Made Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for COVID-19 Coronavirus epidemic

Due to the COVID-19 epidemic spreading globally right now, the demand for personal protective equipment are surging & it’s hard to buy off the shelf any PPE.

That’s why I had started to DIY some PPE for myself, here’s some of my home made PPE

DIY Transparent Face Shield
Lighter with Paperclip to prevent indirect infection
DIY Face Mask using Plastic Soda bottle (in Chinese)

What else do you think I should make for protection against COVID-19 Coronavirus? Put in the comments below! :D

Feb
21
2020

Useful websites for monitoring COVID-19 Coronavirus epidemic

It’s almost important & responsible for everyone to keep up to date to the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic so you can make the proper preparation & preventative actions in Singapore & globally.

  • https://sgwuhan.xose.net – A handy map for Singapore to identify locations of recent & past infected people are living & had visited. It’s very good for people to check if they have visited the location the infected people had been to so you can self quarantine yourself.
  • Flu Go Where (Singapore) – Singapore government website find out where is The Public Health Preparedness Clinics (PHPCs), as well as polyclinics, that have subsidies for sick people who have symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g Cold)

If you are diagnosed by the doctor to have a respiratory illness (e.g. common cold), you would enjoy subsidised consultation and treatment as follows:

  1. Singaporean and Permanent Residents would pay a flat subsidised rate of $10
  2. Pioneer Generation (PG) and Merdeka Generation (MG) seniors would pay a lower rate of $5
  3. Public Assistance (PA) cardholders need not pay

GST will be fully absorbed by the Government.

  • Mask Go Where – https://www.maskgowhere.gov.sg – Singapore government is giving away 4 pieces of surgical mask to each household from 10 February 2020 to 29 February 2020, local households that were unable to collect their masks earlier can collect them at their constituency’s CCs.
  • Yahoo Singapore’s Telegram channel at http://t.me/YahooSingapore – This is to subscribe to Yahoo Singapore News pushed to your Telegram Messenger

More related links

Are there anymore useful links you find are useful to you that I had missed out? Put in the comments sections below!

Feb
20
2020

COVID-19 A Singaporean Story Part 3

20th February 2020, Thursday

According to MOH press release of 19th February 2020, there are 3 more additional COVID-19 infections in Singapore.

This brings the number of cases in Singapore to 84, with four in critical condition.

ChannelNewsAsia have a very handy COVID-19 interactive infection clusters and the links between them

As predicted, the chain infections within the cluster of Grace Assembly of God is kind of spreading to almost 22 people in total as of 19th Feb 2020.

Grace Assembly of God is like 10 to 20 minutes walking distance from my home which is kind of freaking me out.

So I went online in search of new personal protections equipments (PPE) that I can DIY since most PPE are not available to buy because they are either too expensive (made outside China) or not available from China due to the COVID-19 quarantine until about 25 February 2020.

So I found this youtube about Singapore Tan Tock Seng Hospital developing new face shield prototypes which is pretty interesting!

By following by observation on how the face shield looks like & I decided to make one myself using plastic table cover that I bought previously for the other DIY of half hazmat head gear.

I really like how transparent it looks when I took off my dust mask, it’s wide enough to eat in public safely with my dust mask off.

The only downside of this face shield is the additional item to wash when I come back home after going out.

Personally, I haven’t wear this out yet as it may be embarrassing or scary to others to attract too much attention.

I realised from another video about the video diary of an infected nurse in Wuhan that you can switch on & off lights using the elbow so that you won’t dirty your fingers when you have a family member who is already infected.

So I had practiced using my elbow to switch on & off lights at home & it’s pretty manageable but there are people online commented that the virus may enter the skin which I don’t believe it.

According to some news article or posts online, the virus doesn’t enter the skin…if you know otherwise….let me know in the comments below!

Personally, I feel many countries outside China are either are hiding the actual infection numbers in fear of inducing panic or many infected with mild symptoms are avoiding reporting to the hospital until the conditions worsen to a point that’s not tolerable anymore.

So I assume those young & healthy individual who are infected but asymptomatic are travelling around the country with mild cold like symptoms spreading the virus to others who are more vulnerable like the elderly or people with underlying critical illnesses.

In conclusion, I feel that this epidemic is already out of control & may become a pandemic that may be as common as the common flu that 80-90% of the world population will recover from but majority of the older folks above certain age won’t be able to recover easily.

That means, human average dying age may be lowered in the future globally to be like below 60 years old which to me is horrifying as most people cannot save enough to even retire at that age.

Now Singapore government are still paying for people’s hospitalisation bills for COVID-19 infection except for outpatient expenses, that however may change in the future when it becomes as common as common flu.

Singapore insurers will offer enhanced coverage to help customers amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

It’s great until you read about the “terms & conditions” and find out how limited the coverage are for each “free” insurance.

Many folks may buy into the “free” insurance but may possibly end up locked into an “auto-renewal” type of insurance which will be costly and may be hard to terminate over the phone.

So please read the terms & conditions carefully before you decide which insurance to buy.

In conclusion, it’s better to be prepared & prevent yourself from being infected than getting sick.

Regards to the surgical mask, I think everyone should at least have 2 in your bag at all time.

One for yourself when in crowded locations like public transport and the other one to give to anyone who are visibly sick but doesn’t have a surgical mask.

Remember, helping others to mask up can prevent more people from dying from this COVID-19 coronavirus & eventually will help the world get rid of this epidemic.

So be a hero, help others will help yourself & love ones indirectly.

Feb
19
2020

COVID-19 A Singaporean Story Part 2

19 February 2020, Wednesday

According to the latest update of 18 Feb 2020 by MOH, five more cases of COVID-19 infection have been discharged from hospital today (Cases 5, 8, 21, 38 and 76). In all, 29 have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged from hospital. 

As of 18 February 2020, 12pm, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has confirmed and verified four additional cases of COVID-19 infection in Singapore. Of these, three are linked to the Grace Assembly of God and one is linked to a previous case.

21 of the confirmed cases (Cases 48, 49, 51, 53, 54, 57, 58, 60, 61, 62, 63, 66, 67, 68, 70, 71, 73, 74, 78, 80 and 81) are linked to the Grace Assembly of God which is a walking distance from my home.

I commend what the government latest budget news covers lot’s of sectors that’s vulnerable to be impacted greatly by COVID-19 epidemic.

One of the good thing is helping the poor from high cost of clinics by charging only $10 for Singaporeans & PRs; $5 for PG and MG.

You can find those clinics via this handy website “Flu Go Where”.

An update to my DIY for COVID-19 protection to my dust mask.

Since this anti haze mask is not rated for virus protection like droplets and the valve at the front is pretty exposed for any projection of viruses from going into the valve as I breath out, I had cut a piece of plastic from a plastic file & clipped it onto my mask for added protection from not just against infection by others but also if I am sick…my breath won’t spread to others by the valve area.

I had seen a few videos by local artists & comedians to share their “jokes” & advices not to spread panic by “wearing a mask” when you are not sick.

I commend their effort but I feel it’s because of the global constrain of surgical masks available for the whole world.

If we panic & hoard these surgical mask, it will be horrible for people who are sick & have no mask on hand to prevent the spread of the virus.

If you are able to find a re-usable respirator, use them (instead of surgical mask) & if possible re-use the filter by washing & sunning them.

There are DIY masks that uses cloth & disposable filter medium videos out there but I am not sure if they prevent viruses from infecting you or not but at least it will allow sick people to at least have one on hand if they DIY one.

Unfortunately the filter medium is what people are hoarding right now is the toilet paper rolls & kitchen wipes. Toilet paper are water absorber which will ATTRACT & RETAIN any virus droplets of saliva for longer period of time!

It does prevent you from spraying virus to others when you cough thou, but that’s as good as using a packet of tissue to cover your mouth.

If you are using DIY mask, at least add a piece of plastic cover from plastic folders over your nose & mouth if possible (no need tight just over it), that way at least droplets of viruses won’t contact your mask directly and wash your mask ASAP as you reached home & replace it with your spare ones when you wait for it to dry preferably sun drying.

And the usual of washing your hands frequently and don’t touch your eyes, nose & mouth with dirty hands.

Personally, I cannot stop my hands from touching my eyes by habit as my hair sometimes will make my eyes itchy. Hence I suggest wearing a protective goggle or glasses that cover your eyes completely that prevents your fingers from access to your eyes.

If possible also avoid gathering in large crowds, personally I will choose to shop at off peak hours for 24/7 supermarkets (Google timing if not sure) and avoid entering places that have lot’s of people that is less than 6 feet (1.8 meters) apart.

Food deliveries are pretty good choice if you can wait for the delivery, delivery timing may starts to delay as more demand spike in the near future.

Personally, I feel that we all should not panic but stay prepared & vigilant. Avoid spreading fake news that you cannot verify online like in Whatsapp, Facebook or other social media.

Some news articles are purely for “entertainment” and many are biased against China government due to their political climate of that country so take those news with a large dose of salt.

Most important is not to be racist towards any people of any nationality, race, skin colour, religion, language, sexual orientation, gender or groups of people. Have kindness, compassion & empathy towards any fellow human being and stay united.

Managed to sleep earlier yesterday at around 2am, which is awesome!