Lim: Allies

Melanie T. Lim

PEOPLE I know are falling like flies. It’s so close, it’s terrifying. My father asks, “Is this the end of the world?” I confidently say, “No, we will survive.” Truth is, I don’t know what I’m saying. I’m scared too.

We are all under a great deal of stress. Now is not the time to be trading insults over the internet. Let’s focus our energies on doing what we can to defeat the enemy before us.

Contrary to what we think, our healthcare workers are the last line of defense, not the first. Yes. We are the frontlines in this battle against Covid-19.

If we fight the virus at the frontlines, we buy our doctors and nurses time to take care of the wounded and to save as many lives as they can. So let’s slow the spread of the virus and stop the advancing enemy at the battlefront.

First, let’s get the facts straight. There is no cure for Covid-19. There are only remedies to provide relief from the symptoms of the virus. There are no approved preventive drugs or therapeutics either.

And while it is always to our advantage to have a strong immune system, there is no guarantee that we will not get infected if we take vitamins, sleep well, eat healthy, exercise or get some sun.

Nevertheless, we must do all we can to fight the enemy.

As we continue to strengthen our immune system, we should also minimize contact with people. We should leave home only when necessary—to go to work and to purchase food, supplies or medications. And each time we step out of our homes, we should go in full battle gear and on full battle mode.

Here’s a useful tip from a friend. When you have to touch high-contact surfaces like door knobs or handrails, use your non-dominant hand. If you’re right-handed, use your left hand to touch surfaces. You are more likely to touch your face with your dominant hand.

Wash your hands often. Avoid close and prolonged contact with people. For a long conversation, use the phone. If you feel unwell, do not conceal your condition to workmates or family members. Isolate yourself. Seek medical help when symptoms escalate.

Our hospitals are currently experiencing an overflow of patients. Bed capacity can be increased in a matter of days but doctors and nurses cannot be produced in such time. Medical competence cannot be acquired overnight.

Our healthcare workers are currently experiencing very low morale. Let’s help them by reducing their workload—by doing all we can to stay out of the hospital. Let’s let them know that we support their efforts, we appreciate their sacrifices, that we pray for them every night.

Tensions are high today. Let’s lift each other up, not tear each other down. We do little to alleviate our anxieties by turning on each other. Covid-19 is our only enemy. The rest are our allies.