The new norm or back to the old norm?

1. I have been busy for the past few months during the peak COVID-19 pandemic. We were involved in processing the sample, and we have to get the sample by ourselves since all other department closed their services and most of their manpower were transferred to the front line. We could not wait for them to come back,thus we in the back line have to step into the game and become the front liner ourselves.

2. The number of cases is significantly reduce nowadays. We were more relaxed in the beginning but when all the hospital started back their services, then the workload increase again. Even though people already thanked the front liner and all the front liner were sent back to their respective station, it was no end game. Everyone have to buckle up and start servicing more sick people after the movement control order. I believed there are more sick people now perhaps because all of them were keeping their illness at home during the MCO.

3. 31st May 2020 supposed to be my last day in master program but because of COVID-19, all of master students were retained and all their exams were cancelled. So here we are, still a master student even though it was already July.

4. The exam for master in pathology will be held in October this year. Medical microbiology will have its first paper on 13th October. So now, the adrenaline rush for the exam started to be secreted again by the adrenal gland.

5. Even though MCO caused a lot of inconvenience, but I will never forget it. When I think about it, it was a little fun and memorable. Everyday we have this meeting where new information keeps appearing out of nowhere. Everyday Whastsapp messenger will be full of messages and shared articles about the new discovery of the virus. During our swabbing day, donning the PPE feel like going to the battlefield. There will be 1-2 assistant to make sure our PPE was secured. Before we left to the swabbing station, it feels like we were saying goodbye to the world for the last time. We will never know whether we will come back or not (this is an exaggeration). To tell the truth, there were not much action in our work. Just asking question and swabbing their nasopharynx. But for the first time, we were appreciated, by the government, the public, and our family. We did feel like a hero.

6. The politics during that era were enormous. I don't want to talk about it, but everyone knows what was happening in our country during that era. I feel that politics does not help much in curbing the pandemic but politics will received the praised more than those who work their a** off in the field.

7. Now that everything seems pretty much back to 'normal', I hope that people will remember what have been done right and what have been done wrong during the pandemic. It is important to learn rather than praising our achievement in flattening the curve. Learn, learn and learn.

8. There are so much thing that can be learned from this virus. It even can help us to think about our own significance in this world. It also teach us that we can't deny new technology. Technology is the one who save us. The molecular testing, the online platform in sharing information, the internet - all of these new tech.

9. We also have to adapt to the new norm. Social distancing, prevent overcrowding, cough etiquette and hygiene. Honestly, this is all not new. We have been advocating this for years but as usual,. none listen.

10. Don't forget this pandemic. There will be another pandemic, and another after that and it will keep going forever. We feel that we have advance so much but we never know what microorganisms are planning right now. They will attack again for sure in the future. And if we back to our old norm of ignorance, the history will repeat itself.

I took this picture just after MCO was announced. A picture of my hosp canteen. No one was there except us (those who had to work). The hospital look like an abandoned center. It was quiet. I felt terrified, 


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