It seems eerily familiar now that I looked back at that time. It was not just a day but weeks, perhaps a month or two. Then I was working in a corrective institution and it was in March 2003 when SARS – Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome hit our shores.
We had to do temperature taking of each individual about 3 times per shift and personally do self-check and recording of temperature as well. It should be fine if we had 20 or 30 individuals but there were a few hundred. It was a nightmare. This unprecedented work and precaution took much longer and was more tedious than expected.
By the time I had completed doing the temperature checks with digital thermometers that was carried like weapons on both hands, going around “shooting” people with it from level one to four, I had to start all over again from level one. When the third round was over, it was time to report off duty. Even when leaving, it took quite some time as everyone going in or out needs to take temperature and sign a declaration.
After a few days, we were all drained and I was not surprised when some ran a temperature due to exhaustion. They were sent home or asked to see a doctor. It was a difficult time for the country and the whole world coming to grips with an unknown virus conveniently named SARS.
Soon even our streets were deserted, schools closed and shops facing emptiness. No one wants to go out and even some offices asked their staff to work from home and those who went to work also had to do self-check for temperature and declaration. Anyone with a temperature will be quarantined.
It was not just the most hectic days of our lives but a solemn reminder that the world is fragile and we need to be vigilant and caring. We are but mere mortals who need to know where we stand in this world. I am grateful to God for seeing us through that difficult period.
Out of Breath – DP – We all seem to insist on how busy, busy, busy we constantly are. Let’s put things in perspective: tell us about the craziest, busiest, most hectic day you’ve had in the past decade.