Caring for boyfriend down with Covid-19

LAWYER G. Dahlia felt like living with a ‘ticking bomb’ when her boyfriend tested positive for Covid-19 last Christmas.

“I was afraid of being infected with the virus. There were no proper instructions on how to take care of someone who is Covid-19 positive.

“When I contacted the Health Ministry, they told me to just make sure my boyfriend stayed in his room.

“Luckily, my parents are medical professionals and told me the dos and don’ts.

“We are lucky because we have three rooms and three bathrooms, and were able to quarantine separately in our own rooms, ” said the Kuala Lumpur-based Dahlia, 31, who emerged unscathed.

Her boyfriend has since recovered.

Recalling those nail-biting days, Dahlia said she did her own research in caring for a Covid-19 patient while ensuring she was protected from the virus.

“I read how people living in the United Kingdom and United States cared for someone with Covid-19.

“I tried my best to take care of myself and my boyfriend based on what I read.

“I bought disinfectant sprays and used gloves when handling his utensils and clothes, and disinfected the utensils with boiling water after each use.

“I washed his clothes separately with antiseptic liquid and soaked them longer in the washing machine, ” she said.

Dahlia said there were moments when they had disagreements about how they handled the situation.

“I would be lying if I said everything was fine as it was tough for both of us. We were both stressed as he was quarantined in the room for 12 whole days.

“To keep ourselves entertained, we played online games together and watched the same series, so that we could text each other and talk about it.

“We were lucky as the security guards at our condominium were kind enough to bring us our food and groceries, ” she said.

Dahlia said her boyfriend regained his sense of smell and taste the day after he took the kimchi soup she made for him.

“I believe fermented food helps, ” she said.

Malaysian Association of Hotels national vice-chairman Khoo Boo Lim said he and his wife were worried and nervous after coming down with the disease.

“It is something new and we had only heard about it. We were lucky our symptoms were not serious and were allowed to quarantine at home.

“We kept ourselves busy and took vitamins as advised. It began with a bout of fever and cough.

“Although I have recovered, my sense of smell has not returned to normal, ” said Khoo, who tested positive last month.

Khoo, 58, said they were lucky to have stocked up on rations before they contracted the virus.

His two children stayed with his in-laws then.

It is stated under Section 12 (1) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 that those tested positive for Covid-19 have to self-quarantine even before being tagged and cannot expose themselves to others.

Failure to do so is an offence under Section 12 (3) of the same Act punishable by jail not exceeding two years and a fine or both if found guilty.

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