When one is undergoing 14 days of mandatory quarantine in a small confined hotel room, trust me, the days will pass by very slowly. Even the hours seem to be taking its own “sweet time” to move. Whilst one may get excited on the first few days of being quarantined in a luxurious hotel room, one will soon get bored with the routine and yes, with the food which more or less from the same list of menu.
Read Part 6 here
Personally, I guess I fared better than my next-door neighbours as I still had to continue with my project works even though I am confined in a quarantine. I often hear heavy footsteps from the next door which implies my neighbour is running around the small hotel room. The time for meal delivery somehow breaks this boring routine and sometimes the hotel frontliners do provide us with some surprising change in the meal from time to time.
We got our daily Nescafe instant coffee pack every morning without fail, thanks to some of the guests complaining that they are not getting enough for their daily coffee fix. Although I often have coffee without any sugar in the mornings, I did not have the appetite for coffee during quarantine time. In fact, I started to collect my daily coffee packs and only make coffee when the meal for the day is really boring.
Even though work keeps me occupied well through the quarantine days but you will be left with nothing much to do on the weekends and after “office hours”. In the morning I kick start the day with my usual routine of yoga and breathing exercises before going to the toilet and have a good cold shower in the morning. Then I will get busy with office and project assignments till it is time to “close” shop. Then I will go and have my evening shower before dinner. Then it is time to watch the television or watch Youtube videos.
On the 12th day of the mandatory quarantine, we were informed that we will be called by batches to go up to the medical centre in the hotel room for our second COVID19 test. Obviously, some of the guests were impatient to be let out of their rooms for the second test.
They keep bugging the frontline administrators on the time they will be called out only to get a stern response asking them to wait in their rooms until the frontliners are at their floor. It was past 11 am when someone rang the bell of my room asking me to wait outside to be escorted for the test.
The second COVID19 test was more bearable compared to the earlier tests which involved throat and nose swabs. We required to provide a drop of blood for the test kit which will provide the results within 15 minutes. And yes, we had to pay around RM30 for this test as well (foreigners paid double). We were informed that if we got a call after 15 minutes, then we need to come back and do the swab test to reconfirm the positive test.
Thankfully I did not get any calls after 15 minutes and after I was back in my room which indicated the test for COVID19 was negative. Lunch was soon served and I know that one can start the countdown to leave quarantine and back home.
On the 13th day morning, we were asked to pack up and wait for the frontliners to come to our floor to escort us downstairs to get our release letters. Initially, I was thinking of booking Grab for the transportation home but considering how everyone else would be doing the same, I have to make alternate plans.
I called up my brother-in-law and he was more than happy to pick me up from the hotel and send me back home. I knew that it will take time for the frontliners to check and release hundreds of guests under quarantine, so I told my brother-in-law to take his time. I did not mind waiting for him at the hotel lobby.
As usual, I double and triple checked my room after I had packed up my luggage and getting ready to leave the room. In a way, I was glad to be leaving the room after 14 days locked up in it. All packed and waiting outside the room seems to take ages but soon the frontliners in full PPE suit came over and asked to queue up near the lift area to be escorted down to the lobby.
The queue at the lobby was long and moving very slowly. This was compounded with the fact that some of the guests have a lot of luggage with them so the hotel staff took over the arrangement of the luggage at another place whilst we get the release letters. There were several “stations” at the lobby for us to go through – one to cut the MOH pink band on our arms, one to check if there are any outstanding hotel bills and for the guests to pay, one to get a release letter from MOH and another to get the stamp from the police.
Once done, that is all to be done and we are free to walk out of the hotel and back to our homes. So ends the 14 days quarantine and a journey that started back in July. Many thanks to all the frontliners who assisted, monitored, tested and made our 14 days mandatory quarantine less hassle and bearable. They are the true heroes of the country and certainly one would be very proud to call oneself Malaysians.