Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Father's Day! Flu-influenced thoughts

Fathers' Day Memories
Today (20 June 2009), Father's Day brings back a rush of submerged memories about my late father.

He'd passed away on 20 April, this year, almost exactly 2 months ago, fairly unexpectedly, but peacefully and quickly, without the lingering suffering that so many are afflicted with, at the close of their lives... For that, I suppose we all should be grateful.

But we his children still miss him, and his 'revenant presence' occasionally still bubbles forth in inexplicable flashbacks of heart-tugging visions, back to when we were still together...

I personally think that Dad had left behind an enormous legacy of goodwill and command performance of self-effacing gentleness and good sense. Materially though, he was less endowed with that sense of entrepreneurship or keenness of business savvy, that others might equate with more measurable success.

Still as his children, we have all been imbued with stronger than usual sense of achievement and core values, which we hope can showcase the better humanity for others that we touch. We are neither saints or angels, nor demons. But possibly we might project a more humane and committed approach to life and living, with an ingrained if sporadically altruistic streak of Christian values--rather than pure unadulterated self-interests...

As a father myself, I hope to have left behind some loving legacy of greater connectedness and cohesiveness, of sharing, of mind extension and exchanges...

Timothy's Home amidst Flu Scares
My son returned home from London last night, which made our immediate family so much more complete. He was lucky. At around the same time of arrival, another colleague's son from Melbourne was detained and quarantined because of fever and suspicion of H1N1 infection.

So he did not get to see his parents and sister who had driven all the way to KLIA for a reunion that is now delayed; only his luggage was handed back to the family--we asked if the bag had been disinfected or swabbed down, but received blank stares--there was no provision in the protocol, was there?

(Just heard that he was packed into an ambulance, which sped along the highway to Sungai Buloh at speeds of 145 kph!, had an AP chest radiograph taken, rather than PA, some throat swabs, found to be negative for the quick H1N1 test, and then told he was ok--just bacterial pharyngitis and discharged today...) Good luck!

This morning 22 June 2009, I received an SOS email from our Thai counterpart (Thai Medical Association), Dr Wonchat, who asked about a Thai child who had also been quarantined at Sungai Buloh, after being found to have had the H1N1. Through the efforts of one of our exco members, Dr LN Hooi, she managed to trace her to the Sungei Buloh Hospital where she is still under treatment, and recovering... Chief of Infectious Disease, Dr Chris Lee is in charge with some other paediatricians... We wish all of these front-liners good luck and greater care, for their selfless duties!

Still how many others will be facing such quarantine and how long more can we possibly cope with the deluge, once more and more person-to-person spread takes place?

Received another urgent update today:

Because of the overwhelming number of cases suspected of H1N1 infection, with all being sent to designated hospitals nationwide, there is now a revision as to the modus operandi issued by the MOH.

Once a case is suspected to be H1N1, the doctor concerned should call up Hospital KL or Sungai Buloh for advice. The case will be screened by the personnel there depending on 3 criteria previously established and where the patient had been and to which country he/she had visited/returned. These are then categorised as A, B and C based on severity of infection and possibility of local transmission.

Category A -- Designated Hospital will admit them

Category B -- Patient is sent to HKL/Sungai Buloh for throat swab and send for home quarantine until results come back (approximately 24 hours)

Category C -- home quarantine for one week or discharged.

There will be another Update Meeting for the National Influenza Pandemic Task Force on Wednesday (every Wednesday)--will know more about what we can do or whether to amend our protocols or plans...


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