These 2 Dettol handwash were bought from 2 different shops in Sri Damansara. RM10.85 @ 99 Speedmart (manufactured 6 months ago) and the other from a chain store (not 7-Eleven) at RM13.40. Another shop nearby was selling it at RM12.80.
This Hovid Hand Sanitizer (720ml) was priced @ RM29.90 in Puchong. Sri Damansara has no stock. Only handwash. I have to call my regular pharmacist. I bought 2 for business use.
Parents especially are getting edgy with the local transmission of the H1N1. It is hitting home and I am not sure how it will pan out. I have a friend who can't return to Malaysia as he came in contact with an infected person in Singapore and is under quarantine. In times of crisis I hope the altruistic best in us will surface like cream always rises to the top.
For those who lived through the SARS period in 2003 its deja vu time right now. I was living in Bangkok when the SARS hit Hong Kong and then quickly spread to Vietnam, Singapore and Bangkok. Ironically, in that year, HKG was wooing tourists with the tag line, "Hong Kong will take your breath away." SARS did exactly that.
But who can forget the sacrifices of lung and chest specialist, Dr. Joanna Tse, heroically volunteered to work with the SARS patients. She lived up to her Hippocratic oath despite losing her husband just a year ago to leukemia. She was infected and succumbed to the illness she fought so valiantly against on May 13. When news of her death was reported in the media, it touched a tender nerve in a community already reeling from SARS phobia. That Dr Tse was only 35 and a widow, touched the heartstrings of many a man and woman in the street.
Virologists say that every spring influenza virus has a way of surfacing and this year is no difference except that it is of a more dangerous strain. In 2003 I have to cancel engagements. My son International School came out with a directive that any parent that had gone to countries listed by WHO as SARS-infected cannot return home but will have to stay in a hotel or whatever for a period of I think 7 days. Otherwise the child cannot go to school. But then we co-operated as it was a frightening period. Our co-operation secure each other's safety. Even domestic travel in Thailand was anxiety-filled and many donned face masks making them looked like a penguin. I remembered travelling back to KL and then back to Bangkok in a 300 plus seater Airbus with less than 10 passengers. Yes, I was wearing a 3M mask.
Since 2003 I began to take notice that I was susceptible to new flu strain in each new countries that I travel to. I had to get hit before getting the so-called 'immunity'. Especially bad were the flu I caught in Vietnam and Indonesia. Since then in the last 5 years I took my Northern Hemisphere yearly flu shots around October to take care of this.
Is the world a more dangerous place to live in? No!
With advancements in the pharmaceutical fields and highly ethical and brave companies like Merck which willingly allowed USD200 million to be invested in R & D just to discover a drug (later named Mectizan) to cure river blindness in the sub-Saharan nations knowing pretty well there will be no financial returns. In 1987, Merck donated Mectizan to the people in sub-Saharan Africa which by then cost the firm over USD1 billion. It helped treat over 20 million people. Their motto is, "Medicine is for the people. It is not for profits. The profits will follow."
And on a personal level, there are heroes/heroines like Dr. Joanna Tse whose indomitable spirit not only lifted the entire nation out of their gloom and fear but also in her death inspired them on how to live.
Malaysia is looking for such corporations and individuals. Who will answer the call?