When Covid-19 strikes close to home

Swab test. Photo: Bernama

JOHOR BAHRU: The news hit me like a tonne of bricks.

A fellow journalist from a TV station had tested positive for Covid-19. I was one of the 15 or so journalists who were with that journalist covering a case at the Johor Bahru Sessions Court on May 23.

The shocking news came five days later. I was devastated, to say the least. Could I have been infected as well, being a close contact? Did I spread the virus to my family members?

All kinds of feelings gripped me – anger, frustration, disappointment … and what have you.

One always thinks that Covid-19 will infect only other people, not oneself or one’s family. Few understand the reality – no one is spared if you do not take the precautions.

I had taken the precautions, and still do. I must because as a journalist I have to go down to the ground almost every day.

I wear a mask, carry a hand sanitiser with me and observe physical distancing at all times. Hopefully, I had kept the virus at bay.

Nevertheless, only a swab test can confirm that. That was the immediate thing for me and the other journalists to do.

Taking the test was a simple procedure, but the 48 hours of waiting for the result was an agony indeed. It was like a roller coaster ride. It drained me mentally and physically, an unprecedented experience. Not to mention the fear deep within me.

The test result came and I was overjoyed. I had tested negative, and so had the other journalists.

This episode was the third in over a year where I had come close to contracting Covid-19.

A relative and his wife are in the Sultanah Aminah Hospital, having been infected just before the Aidilfitri celebration last month.

Their two daughters, a son, a son-in-law and a grandchild have just been released from home quarantine after also testing positive for the disease.

It can be a really scary experience when Covid-19 strikes so close to home. I can only hope that my family, including my three-year-old son, will remain protected from the disease.

For now, I can only take all the precautions – wear a face mask (double at that), wash or sanitise my hands often and observe physical distancing – to keep my family and me safe, even after getting vaccinated.

Stay safe everyone, and pass the message to relatives, friends and others. – Bernama