We are all aware of the global pandemic that has hit the world drastically over the past few months.
There are many front-liners who are still serving the people while the majority of us are still quarantined at home. To name a few, delivery people, cashiers, and medical doctors.
Sevenpie got in touch with Dr. Andrew who is a medical doctor that is about to serve on the front-lines and we wanted to see just how doctors in the field are coping with this pandemic.
They work tirelessly and selflessly, putting us before them at every juncture and turn. They deserve every ounce of respect, every notion of honour, and we decided to take the opportunity to shine a light on those in the medical field.
1. Hello Dr. Andrew! Thank you for agreeing to do this feature with us, just briefly before we get into the questions, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hello! I am a medical doctor, but I actually work in collective and help out in the mission department. I am also helping out in Autrui Global which is an organization to serve doctors, healthcare workers, and people in need.
2. Speaking about Autrui Global, could you tell us a little bit about it?
Autrui Global when we first started, there were a few of us and we had a vision of serving the healthcare workers because they work very hard, behind the scenes and people don’t really know what it is like, because they sacrifice a lot for the people, the country, and the community. The organization was for them and we wanted to do more, and we are helping people in need as well. Autrui Global is a platform to serve the needy, the under-served, people without a voice, and those who are forgotten.
3. We’re going through a global pandemic right now, how is it like being in a medical professional’s position?
I can only speak based on the things I hear from my friends who are serving right now, it’s quite frightening to some of them because things keep changing, patients are coming in not knowing if they are infected, and knowing that there is a possibility of it being passed on to them is scary. It is challenging and tiring for sure, plus a sudden influx of patients and not having enough workers in the hospitals while all that, they also need to stay away from their families because they have to be quarantined, it could be a bit lonely. It is a difficult time for us public but a more challenging one for the healthcare workers.
4. Having to be quarantined, they have family, young children, and parents all at home. How long do they have to be quarantined for until they are able to visit their families again?
Well, They have to stay in a room for 14 days and not go back to their homes. From the day they get into contact with someone suspected of the virus or someone diagnosed with the virus. No family, and no friends for 14 days until they are tested negative then they will be able to be discharged to go home.
5. We see on social media that the public in eager to help. What could our nation do to help?
Firstly, is to obviously stay at home, don’t go out, practicing social distancing is important, unless needed to buy groceries. Secondly, is to encourage them, and motivate them. Give them a text, or a call if you know someone serving in the frontline.
6. We read online that sometimes there are no symptoms, some with minimal symptoms, and some which are rumours going around social media. Could you clarify on the symptoms that a possible carrier has?
Lost of taste and smell is a symptom we are beginning to learn about, but of course these are mild symptoms. But the main symptoms that we are looking out for are dry cough, sore throat, flu, fever, and some with symptoms of diarrhoea. Mainly respiratory symptoms, difficulty in breathing. Especially the elderly which causes them to develop pneumonia and that causes difficulty in breathing.
7. For those who are still working, for example grocery store staff, food delivery and sanitation workers, chefs, and those who are still serving the community, what are some precautions that they can take?
Washing hands is very important, with soap and of course sanitizer helps greatly. Think of the virus like fats, imagine if you soak your hands in oil, and you wash them with just water, the oil will still stay on your hands. Secondly, avoid touching your face. Because the virus could be contracted though rubbing of the eyes, through the nostrils, and of course through your mouth. Lastly, personal hygiene, and most importantly social distancing.
8. How does doctors treat patients with Covid-19, especially when there is no proper cure ready?
The treatments are basically supportive treatments. I am not entirely sure about Malaysia, but in Singapore I know that they are starting to prescribe antivirals, I am not too sure of the effectiveness of it but if they develop into a severe state of the lungs, we will have to provide them with ventilators which will help them in breathing. Mainly it is to support their lungs.
9. When one is diagnosed with the virus, how are they being taken care of?
They will be separated from the other patients, and the doctors will have to put on their gear to protect themselves.
10. In a doctor’s perspective, how long do you think this pandemic will last?
It is very hard to say, nobody really knows because there are many factors involved in managing the spread of Covid-19. There are some that say that this virus is here to stay, so what is happening is that they are trying to delay the spread and buy time to develop a cure.
11. From your perspective, do you think the extension of MCO is enough to minimise this pandemic?
I spoke to a doctor who is now serving in the hospital encountering Covid-19 patients, but I don’t want to speculate and create rumours but hearing from what is happening from the inside, from my perspective there could be a possibility that it might get extended.
12. How is the Malaysian healthcare system coping with the outbreak?
The healthcare professionals are stretched, because once they are in contact with a Covid-19 patient they will have to be quarantined, thus leaving with lesser doctors and limited hands.
13. How do you think the media could help with this pandemic?
By creating awareness, next is spread information which are factual, truthful, and helpful.
14. We know that next week you will be going out to the front-line and serving the people in the hospital, could your share your thoughts?
Yes, I just got the letter. As a doctor it is our job and duty to serve the people. I didn’t think twice, and I told myself that I must do this to serve the people and serve alongside the other doctors, to serve the country and be of service.
15. Lastly, we know the Autrui Global is supporting meals for the doctors in service, what could we do to be a part of this?
Our doctors are busy working and find it hard to find time to head out for a meal, so we decided to supply meals for them. You could visit our Instagram page to help by donating and being apart of this.