Coronavirus inflicted unparalleled fear. With the paranoia of this outbreak, the general public is not educated enough to see that there is no need in hoarding supplies that are made for professional and medical use. We, as medical frontliners, run a higher risk of contracting the disease and it frustrates us when we have to reuse single-use personal protective equipment (PPE) simply because the stocks are running low. Infected doctors have to be quarantined for 14 to 21 days. With only six doctors for every 10,000 people, Jakarta can’t afford fewer doctors while the number of positive cases is increasing fast.
So instead of hoarding medical supplies, do your part by staying home. Don’t go anywhere. And unless you show symptoms, don’t even go to the hospital because you will run a higher risk of contracting the disease there. If you’re curious whether you’re positive or not, head to your nearest drive-thru rapid test. A hospital is not the place to get the test done, it’s where we treat severe symptoms and cases of coronavirus.
But as a frontliner, people who do not take the epidemic seriously disappoint us the most. Calling the virus just another flu, it seems that they are not aware of the high transmission rates and gravity of this danger. Therefore, by staying home, not only are you saving yourself and your family, you are a hero to your community by taking part in flattening the curve and keeping the virus from spreading any further.
If there’s some good to highlight out of this outbreak, doctors notice how people are changing their habits and learning how to live a healthier lifestyle. Secondly, in the medical field, we’ve learned a lot from this experience and in case of another outbreak—which we don’t hope for—we can say we are more prepared to face it.
Since the outbreak, doctors and nurses in our hospital have been away from their families and teamed together to live in a house provided by the hospital. Praying together, keeping ourselves entertained during free time and sharing words of encouragement before work have kept us motivated to fight this together. Now, optimism plays a huge role in our lives than ever. And thinking of our families at home is also one of the reasons why we’re still here doing this—surviving and hoping this will be over soon so we, too, can be with our loved ones.
So while doctors, nurses and healthcare workers are on the grounds battling COVID-19, we rely and depend on the public to be responsible and educate themselves about the virus to fight the outbreak with us. Wash your hands! Know how to sneeze and cough properly and stop touching your face. Using protection won’t prevent you from getting infected if you don’t practise these habits. Keep the one metre distance with each other, go out in the sun to soak up some vitamin D and keep moving! Staying at home doesn’t mean you can’t exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Keep yourself entertained and call your family and friends—physical distancing is not social distancing.
About Chrissy Thanos
Graduated from Sam Ratulangi University in 2018, Dr. Chrissy Thanos has spent the past two years accumulating a wide range of skills and knowledge into becoming a General Practitioner at Rumah Sakit Jantung Diagram Siloam Hospitals Cinere. With her background working in the hospital and healthcare industry, her skill set includes emergency medicine, medical research and health education. Chrissy previously spent a year working in RSUD Bitung as a Medical Doctor.