Thursday, August 20, 2009

Malaysia Boleh!

The H1N1, what can I say about it that hasn't been already said? When this virus, disease, pandemic or whatever you wanna call it first appeared, I never expected it to become so serious in this country. After all, it didn't originate here and I'm sure when it was announced, the government of this country would start taking proper measures to curb this thing.

But sad to say, I've read somewhere that we've got into the top 8 countries with highest mortality rates relating to the A(H1N1) flu pandemic. Don't quote me on this cos I read this on someone's blog and we all know that according to the government of this country, anything found on blogs are blatant lies. Yes, you can probably tell I'm not too fond of the current government.

Anyway, back to my initial story. I'm kinda appalled that we're so high up on the list. I'm not surprised that countries from north and south America would record higher mortality rates seeing as how the virus did originate from somewhere there, but all the way here and we've made the number 8 spot in the world for mortality rates? Whoa, that is indeed scary.

I have a family and kids and I worry for the boys when they go to school. After all, you know how kids are. No matter how much you tell them to practice good hygiene, stay away from other children with flu like symptoms and keep off the floor mats, they'll never listen, especially when you have boys. I'm also worried for myself.

My work takes me outside the office to meet clients and the chances for me to get the blasted thing is pretty high. I do practice good hygiene, I wash my hands practically a million times a day, I'm exaggerating but you get the point right? The moment I hear someone sneeze, I run away like a scared rabbit.

Just where am I going with this post, you might ask? Well, I heard that the government are mulling about imposing a curfew or emergency when the mortality rates reach a certain level and that they're now planning (or is it implemented already?) to fine and imprison people with flu like symptoms that are found not to be wearing face masks.

How do you even begin to enforce such a thing? And under which department does the enforcement responsibilities fall upon? And most importantly we know how 'efficient' (I use the word loosely here) our enforcement people are. They can't even enforce the no smoking ban in public places let alone entrust them with this.

I read this very interesting article in the Star today which I thought made absolute sense. It was written by Liong Kam Chong and I recommend you guys take a quick peek at the article. There was this sentence that he wrote which said that 'we should stop all these knee-jerk reactions and be more proactive and innovative in ways that are practical!'. I absolutely agree with him.

Is it going to take more deaths for the government to realize that they're not doing enough to curb this. Ok, I'm being unfair, maybe they are taking proper steps but I sure as hell don't see it. Why not just go ahead and declare a curfew for a week or something, confine everyone indoors and let the strain die down on its own. Or at the very least, spare the kids and close the schools la!

As Liong said in his article, it's time to get PROACTIVE or soon, we'll be going for the number one spot of mortality rates in the world. But then, wait a minute, isn't that a Malaysian obsession? To be the tallest, longest, fastest, biggest, highest and stupidest in the world? Malaysia Boleh, what :D

With all that said and done, please do practice some proper care to keep yourself from getting this dreaded swine flu.

p.s. - For my foreign readers, Malaysia Boleh is supposed to be our motto or something along those lines that is loosely translate to meaning Malaysia can do it!


  1. I got this via e-mail... it might help.

    The Most Sensible Advice About H1N1!
    How to prevent H1N1 - An eMail forward is reproduced below:

    Thanks to media hype about H1N1, several people who trust me have either approached or called me to advice. The hype in media about the utility of face masks and N95 respirators as a tool for general protection against H1N1 can't be deplored enough.

    Yesterday, a friend who listened wanted me to write down briefly what I advised so that he could tell others in similar words. Hence this short email to friends whom I have advised recently (and others whom I haven't yet).

    Please realize that this is not an official advice, especially the one about face masks or N95. Most N95 respirators are designed to filter 95% particulates of 0.3µ, while the size of H1N1 virus is about 0.1µ. Hence, dependence on N95 to protect against H1N1 is like protecting against rain with an umbrella made of mosquito net.

    Tamiflu does not kill but prevents H1N1 from further proliferation till the virus limits itself in about 1-2 weeks (its natural cycle). H1N1, like other Influenza A viruses, only infects the upper respiratory tract and proliferates (only) there. The only portals of entry are the nostrils and mouth/ throat. In a global epidemic of this nature, it's almost impossible not coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions.

    Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as proliferation is.

    While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps - not fully highlighted in most official communications - can be practiced (instead of focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu):

    1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications).

    2. "Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat or bathe).

    3. Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don't trust salt). H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/ nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.

    4. Similar to 3 above, clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti (very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities), but blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.

    5. Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C (Amla and other citrus fruits). If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.

    6. Drink as much of warm liquids as you can. Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.
    7. All these are simple ways to prevent, within means of most households, and certainly much less painful than to wait in long queues outside public hospitals.
    Happy breathing!
    Best regards,
    Dr.Ashutosh Mundkur

  2. Sorry but I really hate this tagline. This tagline has been overused and abused to smittereens.

    Having said that, take the necessary precautions against the virus.

  3. hmmm it was uncomfortable to use the my workplace, we have to use it and sometimes it's hard to teach the student with mouth that cover with the mask..oohh long we should using it...even the mask selling price is also getting increase..glad i was buying it from the dealer last time...hehheh

  4. Another email i received on H1N1

    "I have noticed many people wearing masks in crowded places. However, places like airports, shopping malls and schools are full of germs and bacteria. If a small amount of bacteria gets into the holes in the mask, you will provide a breeding ground for the bacteria, which may lead to an illness or infection. The moisture you produce in your mask is perfect for bacteria and viruses, and may be a recipe for disaster.

    The way to prevent exposure to H1N1 virus is to avoid physical contact with people who may be sick or infected. Also avoid commonly touched surfaces like escalator railings, poles and public toilet doorknobs."

    Use gloves is better than face mask i guess?

  5. the scenario is getting worse.. how r u .. long time not be here.. kind of busy..

  6. Read about the national curfew, but how to implement them??? Might as well close everything and everyone stay indoor etc. No one expect it to be that serious in Msia, everyone thought it is a normal flu.

  7. Terra Shield - Thanks for the email tip. I found it to be pretty good and will be practicing it :D

  8. Mei Teng - LOL! I hate that tag line too.

  9. Sweet-Girlicious - It is uncomfortable wearing a mask. I use it from time to time as well and it gets hot after awhile ...

  10. Soulie - Actually your email makes sense too la. Best thing to do is just to take proper precautions, I guess ...

  11. Fyzal - Yes, it is and I just heard on the radio this morning that the government is consulting the WHO on something about mortality rates. Why only now? Sigghhh ...

    I've been pretty busy myself ...

  12. Rose - That exactly it. We have this 'it won't happen to me attitude' and then when it happens we're normally way behind in trying to solve it ...

  13. All I can say is, it's really uncomfortable wearing the mask. It gets hot after some time!

  14. Cindy - Yes, I have to agree. It gets hot especially when you're outside all the time.

  15. Here in Brazil, there're about 500 deaths. And masks must be worn during 2 hours only. It's not effective.

  16. Cidao - That's a lot of deaths there, you be careful, ok.


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