On the 30th of July at 1.20pm, I got a call from Daneen’s school saying that she’ll be placed on Leave Of Absence (LOA) with immediate effect until the 11th of August because she was in close contact with someone positive for COVID-19 in her school. This means she’ll be on Home-Based Learning (HBL) during this period. Later in the evening around 7.30pm, I received a call from Cisco saying that Daneen will be on Quarantine Order (QO) which supersedes the LOA. He asked us to standby for a call from MOH because Daneen has to be swabbed. I then asked him what will happen to the household members. Do they have to be swabbed? Can they leave the house? Are they on LOA? He said that household members do not have to be swabbed and they are not on LOA – but they are discouraged from going out. Shortly after the call, Daneen’s form teacher called to check how we were doing and which hotel we will be staying at. Huh? Nobody told us that she had to go to a hotel. Why can’t she just serve the QO at home? Will she be alone in the room? Anyway, let’s just wait for further updates from MOH. Well, we waited and waited until midnight but there’s no calls from MOH.
Next morning, I received a call from Cisco saying that Daneen has to serve her QO in the hotel and it’ll be either tonight or tomorrow. Since she’s underage, someone has to accompany her. No prize for guessing who’s the (un)lucky one 😑. He also said that someone from MOH will come to our house to do a swab test on Daneen. For now, we just have to be prepared and pack our stuffs. I shared this information with my BBFs and Salleha was kind enough to share a blog from someone who was quarantined back in May 2021. It was very useful and I intend to do the same by sharing my own experience. Now, the waiting game begins.
- 2pm: MOH called saying that she will come around 7pm because there are other children in Clementi that she has to “work on”.
- 5.30pm: Cisco called to say that he’s on the way from Paya Lebar to Clementi. He’ll arrive around 7-ish.
- 6pm: Cisco sms-ed asking for details of the rest of the household members.
- 6.40pm: Cisco came with some forms to complete.
- 6.45pm: MOH came to do swab test on Daneen. Antigen Rapid Test (ART) is negative, Alhamdulillah. We just need to wait for the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test result.
By 7.30pm, everything is settled. Daneen and myself have to self-isolate ourselves in a room, separated from the rest of the household members.
Next day, that dreaded, unwanted phone call came in at 2.47pm. The driver said he’ll pick us up at 3.30pm and chauffeured us to the hotel. I thought it was Cisco who called to deliver good news hehehe… Oh wells, one can only wish. I asked Daneen to change, and sought hubby’s help to pack some stuffs from the kitchen: sachets of sugar, teabags, 3-in-1 coffee, tidbits, detergent, dish scrub, wet wipes and cutleries. We bade farewell to our beloved family and hammies. See you guys in 11 days!
We boarded the minivan to our “surprise” destination.
Me: Uncle, which hotel are we going?
Driver: I cannot tell you. You will know when we reach. Erm… Which way to exit ah?
Me: Turn right to go to PIE, left to go AYE.
Driver: No I don’t want to go PIE. I want to go Orchard, which way?
Me: Oh, then take left
Ahah! At least I know it’ll be somewhere around Orchard. Wonder what hotel will it be? Hilton? Hyatt? Royal Plaza? Hahahaha you wish Teana!!!
After about 15 minutes ride, we’ve arrived at……… Jen Singapore Tanglin by Shangri-La. Not bad… I wonder if I can accumulate points for my Golden Circle membership 😁!!!
We got out of the minivan and were greeted by the hotel staff who then asked us to sit down and wait for our names to be called. There were 2 families ahead of us. Our names were called shortly after and we were escorted by the hotel staff to our room. To my friends who intend to buy 4D, our room number is 1005. Don’t say I “bojio” LOL!
We love our room! It was vibrant and cosy. I love the furniture – They were practical and functional. The HELLO hooks and bars were placed on top of the luggage space making it convenient for me to hang my mask, cardigan and hijab, in case I needed to rush and open the door. That’s where I hung my telekung too. There’s a work desk for me (I still have to work you know 😋) and a sofa for Daneen for her HBL. It was placed next to the window so it’s suitable for her to read, draw or paint. There were 2 USB slots at the work desk as well as the bedside so I didn’t have to worry about not having enough power point to charge our phones.
Foods were absolutely yummy! My favourite was the baked fish in lemon sauce with mashed potatoes. I’m not a fan of mashed potatoes but it was so creamy and buttery. You can view all of our bento boxes below. My BBFs, sweetheart as ever, delivered a special care package to my room. 2 full bags of snacks, fruits, drinks, and the best of it all, NIVEA CARE NOURISHING CREAM! Love it! THANK YOU GUYS 😘😘😘😘!!!
Finally, it’s the long weekend. Sucks not being able to spend time with my family at home. What sucks even more was I got sick on Saturday. I was suddenly shivering. Maybe I didn’t get enough rest so I thought I’ll just nap for a while and see if I feel better later. IT DID NOT! When I woke up, I felt feverish. I took my temperature and it was 37.7 degrees Celsius. I was lethargic and uncomfortable. I rested my head hoping that it will go away. Another hour passed and I still felt chilly. I asked Daneen to switch off the aircon for a while. Took my temperature and this time round it’s 38.6 degrees Celsius. DANG!!! I had no choice but to call the Cisco hotline to inform that I was unwell. My nightmare began…
- 7.50pm: I called Cisco to notify that I’m unwell and told him my temperature. He asked if I have any symptoms (as per the leaflet) and I said no.
- 8.13pm: MOH called to find out more about my condition. Asked the same questions and I said no symptoms.
- 8.27pm: Cisco called to say that they’ll send for medical attention.
- 9.09pm: Cisco called to say that I have to be sent to hospital because I’m having fever. I told her I cannot go to the hospital because nobody will be around to take care of my daughter.
- 9.55pm: A doctor WhatsApp video-called and asked same question. Same answer – no symptoms. I told him I only shivered and felt chilly – basically feverish. He said he’ll get someone to do a swab test on me and asked why don’t I want to go to the hospital. I explained to him that my daughter was with me and she’s the Person Under Quarantine (PUQ). I’m just accompanying her. He understood my predicament.
- 10.07pm: The same doctor WhatsApp called again. Bad news! They couldn’t get a swabber to come to our room so I had no choice but to go to the hospital. My daughter is coming with me.
- 10.58pm: Cisco called to say that they will arrange for SCDF to come and bring us to the hospital.
- 11.03pm: Cisco called to ask whether the SCDF have come. I replied him not yet.
- 11.42pm: Cisco called and asked for updates. I replied that the SCDF have just arrived.
- 12.30am: SCDF called to notify us that have arranged for non-emergency ambulance (993) to bring us to the hospital instead.
In-between the tele-convos above, SCDF came and attended to me. They checked my temperature and it was 39.0 degrees Celsius. They took a blood sample to check my sugar level. They checked my blood pressure and they fixed something on my wrists and calves which I don’t know what for (probably heart rate?). One of them told me that this is considered non-emergency so I couldn’t take their ambulance to the hospital. They will arrange for 993 instead and asked me to sign a form. An hour or two after they left, they came again because they were called up to attend to me once again. They did the same thing: checked my temperature but this time it’s 38.5 degrees Celsius. They took another blood sample to check my sugar level, checked my blood pressure and once again they fixed something on my wrists and calves. They made me sign the same bloody form. WHAT THE HECK?! It’s like dejavu but real! To add on to this misery, I also received calls from the hotel staff every hour either to ask me whether I have packed, or to update me that the ambulance is on the way. YUP! They asked us to pack our stuffs because we’re going to the hospital. Not the kind of pack our sling bags and go, but pack all all of our sh*t because we are checking out. And I have to do all these WHILE I’M DOWN WITH FEVER!!! Not cool! Imagine this: I didn’t eat my dinner… my body was weak… plus I was shivering… Oh wells, I didn’t have any other choices, did I? I slowly packed the dirty clothes, the essential toiletries, my laptop, Daneen’s school books, most of the snacks, and went back to bed.
The time was 2.15am. Someone knocked on our door. The hotel staff said that the ambulance had arrived. I woke Daneen up and both of us said goodbye to the lovely room that had sheltered us for the past 7 days. The hotel staff escorted us down till we met the ambulance driver. He told us that we’re heading to National University Hospital (NUH). Ahhhhhh at least it’s closer to home. Will be convenient for hubby to fetch us at the end of QO. It was our first ambulance ride experience. Both of us were too tired and sick to take pictures or videos. Oh and Daneen had stomach cramps. Ouch!
Within half an hour, we arrived at NUH. They took my temperature once again. Though I’m still having fever, the temperature was slightly lower: 37.9 degrees Celsius. We were brought into the observation room 14. The nurse asked me some questions. She thought that I was the PUQ. I giggled when I explained to her that Daneen was the PUQ but I was the one who fell sick whereas Daneen’s all bubbly and chirpy. The doctor came in shortly. He told me that he will arrange for a blood test, x-ray, and swab test. He also needed my urine sample. He did the Antigen Rapid Test (ART) and Polymerase Chain Reaction Test (PCRT). My nose is no longer a virgin! Daneen was relieved that she didn’t have to take the swab test. They put an IV drip which should last about 2 hours. Meanwhile, I asked Daneen to lie on the bed next to me because I could see that she was tired. My poor girl!
2 hours passed. The doctor came in and told me that the ART was negative (Alhamdulillah). Just need to wait for PCR test result. He checked my temperature again and Alhamdulillah no more fever. Temperature was 37.5 degrees Celsius. My blood sample cleared… lungs cleared… urine cleared… He said that it’s just viral fever. Not dengue or whatsoever. He gave me Paracetamol and instructed to take it when necessary. He asked whether we’re going to the same hotel. I replied that I’m not sure because we’ve checked out. He said he’ll get the nurse to arrange with MOH.
At 7am, the nurse escorted me out of the observation room. We headed to the ambulance and the driver told us that we’re going to Village Hotel Changi. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTT!?!?!?!?!?!?! Why not just send us to Pulau Tekong?! Haizzzzzz… Never mind… 3 more days Teana… 3 more days…
We checked in around 8am and was given room 309. We were not impressed at all 🤣! I do like the spaciousness but that’s it. Our view was the entrance of Civil Service Club (CSC). There’s a bathtub but no proper shower. The shower head was knee-length so I had to hold it during shower. Daneen sat in the tub when showering LOL! The floor tile was a bit sticky – it felt like someone mopped it with floor detergent but did not rinse it 🤣! It was rather bare. Daneen asked me how many stars I would rate this hotel out of 10. I gave it a 5 🤭! When we found out there’s no minibar, she asked me to reconsider my rating 😝! The foods were not as delish as Hotel Jen too. They kept serving us porridge and I didn’t know why. Porridge for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s those tasteless porridge where you eat it with the salted vegetables to complement it. I’ve had enough and ordered a pint of dark chocolate ice cream from Chocolate Origin and Chicken burgers from Burger King. Now that’s more satisfying! The next day when I opened the bento box and saw porridge once again, I broke down and cried to myself quietly. I felt like in prison – eating pathetic food, trapped in an enclosed room, and always woke up with a massive headache because of their pillows. I was stressed out. My first-world problems surfaced and I hated this self-privileged deprivation. I prayed that my beloved friends and families will not have to go through the same ordeal. I prayed for strength and endurance. Riz shared a yoga video for headaches and pains and I decided to try it out. Alhamdulillah with his blessings, I felt more at ease. He is really the Almighty.
On National Day, we took our exit swab. Fortunately they only needed to do PCR test and not ART. Daneen cringed and teared again 😁! We got our test results the next day and Alhamdulillah both were negative. I called the Cisco hotline to reconfirm that we’re checking out on the 11th August. She said our test result will be sent to the hotel and the staff will brief us on the exit procedure. I called the Front Office to find out whether hubby can fetch us. She said yes and we’ll check out around 12pm.
11th August = Check-out day!!! HOORAY 🥳!!! All our bags are packed and we’re all set to go. At 12.15pm, the hotel staff rang our doorbell and asked if we’re ready. HELL YEAH!!! He escorted us to the service area where we’ll be picked up. Once we saw our car, we walked quickly towards it and didn’t even bother to look back. So long Village Hotel Changi. I doubt I’ll ever stay again but… who knows! I’ll see you when I see you!
Thanks for taking the time to read this. If you somehow have to undergo the same painful QO, I hope you find the followings useful.
- You will only find out where you’re staying either when they pick you up, or when you are arriving.
- Bring enough clothes. Laundry may or may not be complimentary. Bring day wear, night wear, delicates, socks, jacket.
- Bring your own toiletries. Nothing is too much. Bring shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, loofah, toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, floss, toothpicks, lip balm, facial wash, toner, moisturiser, body lotion, hand cream, comb, hair brush, hair cream, sanitizer, deodorant, bath bombs if you’re lucky enough to have a bathtub in your room.
- Bring instant drinks. Again, nothing is too much. Bring coffees, teabags, sugar sticks, creamers, sweeteners, honey, anything instant.
- Bring utensils. Better to have it than too late. Bring your own cup, mug, plate, bowl, fork, spoon, chopsticks, stirrer, straw.
- Bring snacks. You never know when you will have sudden cravings. Bring chips, biscuits, dried fruits, nuts, chocolates.
- Bring condiments. You don’t know what food you’ll be getting. Bring chili sauce, tomato sauce, salt, pepper.
- Bring workout apparatus. For joggers, you won’t have any space to run in the room. Bring weights, stretch bands, yoga mat.
- Bring medical supplies. I learnt this the hard way. Bring painkillers, vitamin Cs, medicated oil, vaporub, band aids, medicated plasters.
- Bring electronic devices. I don’t think I have to remind you this but just in case. Bring phone charger, spare cables in case you are bringing handheld games, powerbank, laptop and its charger. No harm bringing books to read.
- Bring miscellaneous in-case-of-emergency items. This will come handy. Bring spare AA/AAA batteries for your wireless mouse, HDMI cable (because not all TVs are smart TVs), wet wipes, dish detergent, dish sponge, thermos flask to keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold, hooks. Sound ridiculous but it’s not. Hooks are handy to hang trash bag, hand towel, mask.
Remember, set your expectation low. This is not a staycation. You don’t get to leave your room at all! If you get upscale hotel, good for you. If you get mid-range hotel, be thankful that you brought all of the above. 😉