The Covid-19 Apocalypse

This Covid-19 has allowed our minds to run wild and to jump to many of us having irrational thoughts and behaviors. Once the pandemic dies down, I can already imagine all the films and movies that will be made about this Pandemic that took over the world. I’ve been thinking my pitch for a science-fiction documentary titled the “The Covid-19 Apocalypse“.


 

It’s December 2019, while most of the world are celebrating the festive Christmas season and spending time with their loved ones, people in Wuhan, China are fearing for their lives. A strange new virus, now known as the Covid-19 has been sweeping through the Wuhan and leaving countless of people to die. The virus can be spread even if people are asymptomatic, leaving people to fear for their lives when among other people. There is currently no cure or treatment for this virus and the virus does not pick or choose who it will infect. At this stage, the virus gets very little coverage and it seems like its a virus only affecting this location in China at the moment, the world is not ready for what is to come. Little do they know, that this virus originating from one province in China, will soon be spread to every country in the world and lead to the what I call the Covid-19 Apocalypse.

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It’s March 2020, in Adelaide, South Australia. The city is still in lock down and boy has my life changed. The message from the leader of Australia is clear, “STAY AT HOME” ,”WASH YOUR HANDS”, and “GET TESTED IF YOU SHOW ANY SYMPTOMS OF THE VIRUS”. Gone are the handshakes, hugs, kisses, any type of physical affection is banned. Restaurants are closed, any type of entertainment places are closed, universities and schools are closed, basically this town is a ghost town. It is almost like there an apocalypse going on, WAIT, just let me look up the definition of apocalypse, I think this DOES count as an apocalypse. The people more anxious have already hoarded all the toilet paper from the super markets, canned food, hand sanitisers, soups, flour, eggs, there is global medication shortages…people are believing, this is it. This is the end of the world. Panic and anxiety is wide-spread, people showing their true colours…Some are selfish only thinking of themselves and their family, others show kindness even among their own hardships and difficulties. How long will this last for? How long can we last not seeing our loved ones? How long will the mental health state for those isolated be able to handle this? When will this all end?

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How I became a Germaphobe

Before this pandemic crisis, some people have accused me of being too much of a germaphobe…however, I can remember exactly why I am the way I am based on my experiences…It’s time for a trip down memory lane…..

I still remember when I was around 11 years old, I had just finished borrowing some books from my local library…and I needed to cross the road to get to our car. I pressed the pedestrian crossing button…and when I went home, it was all downhill from there.

When I went home my finger suddenly felt incredibly itchy. I looked at my finger and small yellow pimple-like pus filled bumps appeared on my pinky finger. I had to cover my entire in bandages because the pus kept leaking out…Anyways, I used this as an excuse to not play violin anymore…because whatever that virus or infection was…it stayed there! I contemplate that there may have been a small cut in my finger which meant that whatever germs was on that pedestrian button must have gone in. Needless to say, I did my best to not touch a pedestrian button from that day.¬† Strategies to avoid touching it include, waiting for someone else to press it.. there’s plenty of inpatient people around who will press it regardless whether or not someone has done it already :P. I can also use things (that can be easily cleaned later) in my bag to press it, i.e. car/house keys, pens, or umbrellas! This goes the same for elevator buttons and whatever buttons.


 

Fast-forward the future, I was in my third year of pharmacy school and we were doing a microbiology subject in which we investigated the number of bacteria which was on different surfaces. My friend and I both did a swab of our phone screens…A few days later when we came to see our results…My swab came back with bacteria of all colours..it was incredibly gross! However, my friend’s phone only had a few small dots of the same colour. Obviously, there was a massive difference between the two of our phones…I felt incredibly grossed out about the disgustingness of my phone…and this is when I started becoming a little obsessed with having a clean phone, hand, and surfaces if needed. I bought small single use alcohol wipes and put them everywhere, so that I could have clean hands, phones, etc whenever. If no soap in the toilet, no worries I have my alcohol wipes…I found alcohol wipes worked better for me than those small bottles of hand sanitiser because I am quite bad at putting the lid back on properly after using it and it spilt all over my bag… numerous times..

 


Few more years later, I went on a trip to Canada and I had a friend who was even more germaphobe than me! He would always take extra napkins at restaurants and put his phone down on a napkin. I asked him why he did that, and he said… “How do you know that this table is clean? Maybe they haven’t wiped down the table properly..there might be germs on it” and then your phone is DIRTY. MIND BLOWN and from then on, I never put my phone down on any public surface again…even at work I like to put my phone on my book or on a tissue… and I try clean my phone and watch at least once a day when I get home.


 

Using cutlery at restaurants…I never thought about it this way…but I had a friend who would vigoursly wipe spoons and forks at restaurants a clean tissue before use…because who knows how clean they really are… I remember when I was in China as a child to visit relatives, the restaurants provided you with near boiling water so that you would disinfect and wash all the cutlery they provide you. I now try make sure none of my cutlery ever touch the table and I really really get pissed if the waiters just throw your cutlery directly on the table.

 


Once when working in a community pharmacy, there was a little old lady that was on some anti-viral tablets (maybe for herpes() who suddenly leaned across the counter and gave me a huge kiss on my cheek. EWWWW is all I could hear in my head.. When she was gone, I literally put alcohol gel all over my face…who knew what viruses she may be spreading. I have always been super paranoid about getting cold sores, because I don’t have them…IF i share a drink with someone, I have to ask them if they have had coldsores before….because I reallllly don’t want that thanks.

 


Working in the health care made me aware that I could be encountering people with all sorts of diseases and viruses when working in the pharmacy or in the hospital. I have made it a habit to always shower when getting home and washing my hair and getting rid of my work clothes…I try to wear a near set of clothes each day…who knows what germs are harboured on my clothes :O.


The constant cleanliness that I can see in my community makes me extremely happy…I am glad others are thinking about germs now…I hope this stays even post pandemic..

I will show you some photos of places in Adelaide putting into practice social distancing and making sure that sick people don’t infect others.

Every second check out is closed to allow for social distancing in supermarket.

 

 

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This was my badminton club before they closed the gym..making sure that everyone cleans their hands while playing and yes, they are worried about people stealing the hand sanitiser.

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This was outside one of the pharmacies that I went to…They asked people with any signs of symptoms not to enter the pharmacy… Other pharmacies also had signs saying they would close in the middle of the day to clean all the surfaces. There was also hand santiser at the entrance for all customers entering the shop

 

 

This was my coles at 7am when I went there to buy groceries in the early morning which was open just to frontline workers.. Everyone is standing about 1.5 metres apart…for “social distancing”.IMG_2525

Stay safe guys! Hugs and kisses are out~ Foot shakes and waves are in.

Joy

 

 

 

Adelaide Fringe Show

Last week was a tough week with all sorts of new rules, legislations, and bans happening in Australia… I have been studying for an exam for almost three months and was going to take this exam on the 21st of March…HOWEVER, Mr Corona Virus decided to stop that from happening… ūüė¶ The Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison announced all non-essential meetings of over 500 people would need to be postponed or cancelled. So far, we haven’t received any further information as to when the exam will be. He announced this on Friday the 13th of March that this would take place on the 16th of March.

Anyways…Leading up to the exam, I like to do nothing but the bare minimum of stuff I need to do… Work, Exercise, and STUDY in all my spare moments. So I had no time to check out the Adelaide Fringe Festival (Which usually starts the start of March and Finishes Mid March), which I try to go to at least one event each year. I didn’t think I would make it this year, because…you know prioritising studying for the exam. HOWEVER, we found out on Friday 13th that the exam was cancelled, so I tried asking my friends last minute if they wanted to go to the festival…However, most of them already had other plans or have already been to the shows that I wanted to go to. All good. I will go by myself…with this ban in place, who knows when the next community event will be? Everything is being cancelled or postponed, left, right, centre.

I went to an art exhibition experience called ‘1000 Doors’…which is basically many doors…I don’t think there was 1000…but there was a hella lot of doors. If you think about it, doors are pretty interesting concepts…they hide behind them the unexpected, the unknown, and the secret. In hindsight, given the current situation the world was in, it was probably a mistake for me not to have worn gloves while opening those 1000s of doors… LOL.. anyways.

Prior to entering, they allow a gap between the previous guests and for you. There was only one rule, remember to close the doors and yes we could take photos. I was told that everyone experienced a different wave of familiarity, fear, or sensation in each type of room…I was super hyped and intrigued. ¬†It was a super interesting experience, especially since I went by myself… I went at my own pace…it felt like a maze…and indoor adventure almost. The first door I walked through led me to an alleyway that reminded me so much of an old (and creepy) hospital corridor! Nostalgic. The lighting of each area also suited the different environments that they were trying to portray. Some cosy doors reminded me of my grandparents home in which I used to visit almost every week as a child. Some doors led to small places like a closet or a chimney. Some rooms felt like they were abandoned and made to look like a home for street people. There is one room in which you can only see through a small hole in the wall, lets you see into a super creepy room bathed in red light. Possibly an interrogation room? In some of the rooms, I felt like I was going back into time …one had a super old working radio and one a piano…I have attached some photos in this slide show here, unfortunately, because of the low lighting in some of the rooms and my haste in trying to take photos when no one was in them, led to some photos being too blurry to post :(.

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This is the Dolls House a three-storey recreation of a dolls house created by the¬†Visionary Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi in the middle of Rundle Mall in the city centre of Adelaide. There was a long queue to go into the house and I stood among many young families grandparents, and kids to enter the magical looking building. I am amazed that he was able to build the house so quickly! He has only built something similar only one other time, and that was in Paris in France. Entering the house I didn’t know what to expect! It felt so much like a real house…with some real furniture, real fridges, sinks…yet everything was just so pink and so cute! Everything else was painted on…it really blended the real and the fake and you do feel somewhat like a doll. If someone living in a house that cute and bright, how could you not smile? I guess one downfall is one side of the house is completely made of glass so everyone can see what you are doing. LOL.

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Overall, I enjoyed my small escape from study, work, or exercise. The Prime Minister made another announcement today that because of the Corona Virus meaning that we can’t have gatherings of more than 100 people now… That will really affect big birthday parties…weddings…funerals… However, he says Universities and Schools should still go ahead as usual. He believes it’s better for kids to go to school rather than stay home and be looked after by grandparents who are at more risk of complications if they get the disease. There is also rule that there can’t be any more than two visitors at a time to aged care facility residents…they are also banning any children under 16 years old from going, except for exceptional circumstances. From the 1st of May, only those who have had their Flu Shot will be able to go into aged care facilities. No one who has come back from overseas in the last 14 days is also allowed to go in… All sorts of social gathering and activities have been recommended to be cancelled. Sounds like a really depressing time to live in aged care right now… :(…

In other terms of changes, The Prime Minister has asked ALL Australians to come back to ¬†Australia as soon as possible and recommends no one leave UNLESS they really have to. Anyone who comes back from overseas from ANY country in the last 14 days has to self-isolate themselves for 14 days…failure to do so can be persecuted. I am really lucky that I didn’t have to cancel my trip last month to NZ and also that I don’t have to self-isolate… but unfortunately, my sister and her family are in Japan at the moment and they will be self-isolating for 14 days when they return to Adelaide this Saturday…

What a time to live in. :O

Stay Safe and wash your hands everyone!!

Code Brown: External Emergency

Today I woke up to a thick smog across the score…the smell of smoke can be smelt. :(.

This week has been a difficult one…in the place I live, the temperatures soared to over 40 degrees celsius and the heat continued into the night for four days. It was really hard to sleep at night..because it was so hot and I couldn’t fall or stay asleep…I also don’t have a good functioning air conditioner in my room…and my parents also wouldn’t let us keep the air conditioner in the kitchen.

The sweltering heat, lack of sleep, and just overall increased workload of the upcoming Christmas period and patients admitted due to overheating meant a very tired me. I went to work and back home. Doing nothing in-between. It’s all I knew..Work Home, Work Home, Work and Home. Very boring. How did I even use to manage to study for the medical entrance exam and for university? Thank God we have a summer break for uni! When it’s sooo hot, you really just feel like doing nothing! Luckily we have an air conditioner at work…phew

Oh yes, the title of my post, Because of the intense heatwave this week, a Code Brown was activated at the hospital I work at..which means an external emergency is occurring. We prepared for the worst, we had some increased amount of staff to help out in the dispensary in case it got super busy from the hospital trying to discharge everyone they can before Christmas time…and also to free up beds in case people affected by the heat need to be admitted.

In case I don’t update before Christmas or the New Year, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!

May 2020 be a better year than this year!

Thank you for reading always.