H1N1 in Singapore - daily stories recently
It’s been about three months since Influenza A (H1N1) start hogging headlines around the world. It has been 2 months since the first H1N1 patient arrive in Singapore. Since than, Singaporean has been living with daily updates of how many people were confirm infected with the virus, how many were being quarantine and dead victim. Slowly but surely, with all the publicity, people behaviors have also started to change. From what can be observed on the street level, kiasu-ism has kicked in big-time.
Worries and etiquette
There is one story about a teacher who called up the parents of a pupil to take her home, because she sneezed once.
Then there is the hawker at the popular food center who said to the maid ordering food: “Oi, you don’t cough here lah, I scared to get H1N1 you know.” She had cough many times without covering her mouth.
Recently I observed two women on the MRT who whipped out wet wipes to wipe down the strap before holding onto it.
Yet another woman held up her book as if to ward of germs when the person sitting next to her coughed.
Students came from traveling to infected countries been warned by the immigration officer to take extra 1 week holiday, so nice … but lose 5days lessons.
Then the last experience was happened to me few days ago, I sneezed many times in LRT (I got dust allergic) and the whole passenger kept staring at me … But as long as we don’t lose all our graciousness, awareness of how important personal hygiene is in this fight against an extremely infectious bug is a good thing. Keep up with washing of hands and covering mouths when sneezing or coughing. Turn your head quickly away from people if you are about to sneeze or cough. If you feel unwell, put on a mask when you go out. H1N1 is now pandemic.
It is widely circulating in all countries and communities. The virus is here to stay, just like other influenza strains. It is also a quickly evolving situation. How the authorities deal with it will also change accordingly. For example the Ministry of Health is now moving from trying to contain the disease to mitigation measures, which means that not everyone with flu-like symptoms, travel history and exposure to an infected person, will need to be tested for H1N1. In fact, many no longer routinely test patient for H1N1, hence the number of reported cases has also become rather misleading.