Staying healthy is now a priority

PETALING JAYA: For Covid-19 survivors, the invisible virus marked a huge turning point in their lives.

Chester Chang, who got infected in February, said he learned to appreciate the time spent with his family and to connect with nature.

As a result, he had started farming in his own garden.

“I realised that I need to take better care of my health as no amount of money would be able to compensate for that, ” Chang, 32, told The Star TV.

Chang, who is from Banting, was identified as the 18th patient since the contagion began in Malaysia.

He was the second contributor of blood plasma to help in the treatment of other patients after he eventually became healthy again.

For now, the casino marketing manager is still unable to return to his job in Macau due to the movement control order.

He recounted that the stigma about the disease had led to rumours being circulated about him on social media.

“People shared how I had infected all my family members and also about the clinic that I visited, ” he recalled.

“All those rumours were false and it disrupted my life. I was more worried about the impact on my family than my condition in the Covid-19 ward.”

But as time passed and the number of Covid-19 cases increased, Chang said people understood the disease better.

For entrepreneur Aiza Syafinaz, she lost her husband of 10 years to Covid-19.

“I was sad everyday as I felt his loss. Whenever I see my husband’s shirt and his police shoes, it breaks my heart.”

She herself spent 54 days in quarantine.

“It was very difficult for me to recover, ” said Aiza, 34.

She dealt with the grief by keeping herself busy and helping others.

“I told myself I have to do something that will benefit others, ” she said.

A month after observing the iddah (mourning period) in June, Aiza started culinary classes for making bread and cakes.

“I keep myself busy everyday. Every Thursday or Friday night, I will go to the nearby madrasah to be with the orphans and students, ” she said.

Aiza said she also pursued culinary studies and obtained the Malaysian Skills Certificate 1,2 and 3.

On weekends, she joins a group of hikers.

She is surrounded with friends who helped her in dealing with the emotional pain.

“They motivate me. Only those who have experienced such loss understand the pain, ” she said.

For former Covid-19 patient Reza Huzairi Zainudin, 41, the virus had left him feeling easily tired every day.

“Currently I get a health check-up at a hospital every month just to ensure that everything is okay because we know that I will not be 100%, ” said Reza, who is believed to be the country’s first blood plasma donor, which is used to build a serum and inject into critically ill patients to help their body fight the virus.

The UDA Holdings senior vice-president said he had to take vitamins and drink a lot of water to ensure he remained in good health.

He said seeing the rising number of daily cases was affecting the survivors.

“I think it impacts the ex-patients in terms of their emotions, because we don’t want to be re-infected.

“So, we try to control our movement, we don’t go places where there are lot of people. We are mindful about our surroundings, ” he said.

Reza said he was also happy to be able to be there for a friend, who was recently infected, by sharing his experience with him.

“I feel great when I share these things with people to help them feel calmer, ” he said.

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