Thursday, the fifth day after being identified as positive, I developed another symptom that impairs my ability to taste and smell. This was terrible news as I didn’t feed myself adequately since day one due to a lack of appetite. What could have gone worse was that I still had no prescribed medication. Fortunately, my friend, whom I have to pay tribute to, provided me some of the generic drugs such as paracetamol, panadol (for headache relief), vitamins, and other supplies. When I told her about my condition, she immediately acted as if she were my twin, well she claimed it. Not only did she provide me the goods, but she also handed me an oximeter in case I had any respiratory problems.
A day after, Friday at 3 PM, I received a message from Kemenkes RI telling me that I got a positive result prior to the test I had taken two days ago. It turned out, they need only three days to validate the sample in the labs. It was faster than what they promised me. I salute them!
I felt relieved as soon as I got that important yet unfortunate message. It was because I expected the Puskesmas nurses would do something to me. Well, at least giving me either medication or advice. Apparently, the last message I got was about the result (well I asked for the official lab result tbh). No further chat afterward.
Indonesian President through his official Twitter account announced that those who tested positive and do the home quarantine would get one out of three medical packages based on their level of urgency. But this offer was only available in Greater Jakarta. The majority of my friend told me to do so. On my first trial, it was to no avail. I already followed all the steps as listed in the message from Kemenkes RI. However, the telemedicine apps for covid-19 that I rely on, Halodoc and Alodokter, didn’t perform as I expected.
It was in the evening, but there were no available doctors. Besides, the coupon that I copy-pasted didn’t affect the total price. I started wondering how the hell does the system works? After several trials, I gave up and decided to rest instead.
The next day, Maya suggested that I should try using another platform. As I didn’t want to add more apps, I tried GrabHealth in which the app was already installed. That somehow unexpectedly worked, unlike the other two apps without having to pay obviously. Once I found an available doctor, I immediately told him about the symptoms I endured in the last few days.
“What medication have you consumed lately?” he asked.
“I took paracetamol, panadol, and some multi-vitamins,” I replied.
“Please do not take the panadol anymore,” he added, without telling me the reasons why.
As soon as he knew the rope, he sent me an image in which there was a prescribed med just like what Mr. Jokowi / Kemenkes has publicized over social media.
One thing he emphasized was that I would need to purchase extra medications for my cough. On a positive note, the system is already linked to the pharmacies. As a result, there’s no need to switch back and forth between apps. The sad fact was that it only applied to non-subsidized medications. There is one more step to do in order to receive free ones.
Following the tutorial from Kemenkes Whatsapp messages, I needed to send a message to a nearby Kimia Farma outlet. According to my place, the nearest one was Kimia Farma Jakarta Timur. As soon as I sent an opening message, there was an auto-reply already. It required some personal data such as name, address, NIK, Proof of PCR Test, Prescription from Telemedicine, and so forth.
Few minutes, an hour, a day, there was no single answer. I was supposed to be realistic because the world didn’t revolve around me only. Perhaps, there was a large number of people who need medication as much as I did. Hence, after a day or two, I completely understand that I no longer need the medication. All the things that I need were just a rest, without worrying so much about how freak the system was. It just worsened the situation that couldn’t be more worse.
The world doesn’t revolve around you
The intention of writing this blog post is not to brag or whatsoever. This story might be relevant to dozens of people out there when it comes to the covid-19 experience. Those who can’t do anything but wait. Those who can’t tell but know. And those who can’t talk but listen.
In spite of the error, disintegrated system, and particularly the perpetrators of corruption that should be vanished, don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate the hard work, dedication, and sacrifice that all involved people have been giving in addressing the pandemic in Indonesia.
As I get older, I certainly knew that the world doesn’t revolve around me. There are another 7,6 million people on the planet. Some would argue that they have added value, achievements, or some sort of impact. Well, let me ask you again, what have you done so that you deserved to be prioritized over others in need?
It is indeed saddening that in a news one of Indonesia’s Parliament Members (DPR RI) requested to be given special treatment in case they get infected by covid. Meanwhile, there are plenty of other people, who definitely can afford neither paying taxes nor having privilege supports, who need the same thing. Humanity above all.
The story continues …