We understand, it’s a difficult time. You cough once, you’re suddenly a pariah. You go out to buy food, people give you dirty looks. You want to meet your family, you get called names.
There’s so much fear and stigma associated with being tested positive for COVID-19 now that it’s better if no one knew about it, including yourself. It’s not like you have AIDS.
So you lie. When doctors and nurses at the clinic ask you for your medical history, you fib a little and forget to mention the COVID-19 positive friend you hung out with a while ago. Or the dinner with your relative, who is waiting for their COVID-19 results. After all, what harm is there?
For one, it’s a straight-up crime to lie about your travel and contact history. Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has warned against omitting key information, which is considered lying-by-omission.
Several incidents of lying by omission have already occurred in Malaysia, especially for attendants of the Sri Petaling mosque tabligh gathering, over fears of being socially shunned.
In fact, the Seri Kembangan health clinic had to be shut down and disinfected after a patient who lied about attending the tabligh gathering tested positive for COVID-19.
This time, a Klinik Kesihatan based in Melaka had their own stubborn patient. According to Mei Yong, a pharmacist stationed at the clinic, there was a young male patient in the early hours of 20 March 2020.
He had originally denied everything when asked by medical staff, including the nurse who took his vitals. It was only when he was in the consultation room with the doctor that he admitted he is a close contact of another COVID-19 patient who is under investigation.
In that time, he had risked exposing the virus to everyone in the clinic, including other patients who are sick, pregnant medical staff , and the doctor who has to treat plenty of other people.
What about those who accidentally contracted the infection due to your irresponsible acts? If anything happens to them, will you be guilty for the rest of your life?
So why lie? All the doctors want to do is to help you. And no one can help you if you lie. Flattening the COVID-19 curve is everyone’s responsibility.
See Mei Yong’s original post here:
Anne is an advocate of sustainable living and the circular economy, and has managed to mum-nag the team into using reusable containers to tapau food. She is also a proud parent of 4 cats and 1 rabbit.