I Survived AH1N1 (Part 6)

I was discharged from the hospital almost a week later. I was worried I wouldn't make it in time for my university registration. I was worried my meals, my stay, and my surprise accommodation were going to cost me.

It turned out that I didn't have to worry much. Registration was still ongoing. And my whole hospitalization was free.

I only had to worry about coming out of the hospital looking weird and funny.

They gave me a duck-billed face mask. When I put it on, I really did look like I could go quack. And then they asked me to wipe all my belongings with a disinfectant. And then I had to put them all inside these big yellow bags labeled as "hazardous waste." I had to wash myself with a weird red chemical. They took every precaution to get all traces of the virus out.

Then again, I was free to go. I was led through a maze of hospital corridors, and was brought to my surrogate family who were there at last to finally fetch me.

I grinned at them sheepishly through my duck-billed mask.

We didn't know there would be more adventures up ahead.

* * *

I'm sure there was something - some lessons to be learned from that whole experience. Don't get too stressed out before taking a life-altering flight? Make sure to get lots of Zzzs and Vitamin Cs? Be grateful for everyone looking out for you, who'll wait in the hospital during the wee hours in the morning only to find out they can't see you because they'll risk getting the disease, too? Be grateful for the people at home whose concern and understanding are indeed heartwarming? Be thankful Malaysia has awesome quarantine facilities, because, gosh, what would have happened to me and my entire surrogate family if we all just shared a big group hug and then we all got AH1N1 and then we wouldn't know we'd all be carriers of the disease?

Yeah... Those were some lessons well learned. So, here's a t-shirt for everyone who survived AH1N1, too.