A long and quiet fortnight at home


The writer spending time in his room at home during the confinement.

What does self-quarantine mean? The term has become a well-used one all over Malaysia due to the Covid-19 outbreak, but do we truly know what goes on during those 14 days.

Well, I found out the hard way after having to self-quarantine as I had come into contact with someone who had symptoms of the virus in late March.

This came about after I went to Hospital Sultan Ismail in Johor Baru and explained my situation.

The doctors told me that I would need to isolate myself for 14 days as a precaution.

A colleague, a photographer from The Star, was also required to be self-quarantined as she had been in contact with the same person.

The doctor told both of us to head straight home and gave us some guidelines, documents to sign, a daily symptoms log and 14 days sick leave each.

Before reaching home, I called my family to inform them of the situation so they could make the necessary preparations to distance themselves from me.

Having a bathroom attached to my bedroom was helpful as I would not put my family at risk every time I needed to take a shower or answer the call of nature.

During the isolation period, simple things like drinking water became a hassle as I had to trouble my family to refill the container that I kept in my room.

My meals were usually left at the door to reduce contact and after eating, I would wash the plates and place them in a bucket outside my room.

Being a reporter, I felt fortunate that I could still get work done from the confines of my bedroom and also indulge in my hobbies.

Johor health and environment committee chairman R. Vidyananthan said there were 110 gazetted quarantine centres in the state.

It was a relief when the last day of my self-quarantine finally arrived.

After officials contacted me to check if I was symptom-free, I was allowed to go about my life, subject to the MCO of course.

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