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Thursday, August 06, 2009

Double H threats

Most people's concern in the country lately is the haze and the Influenze A (H1N1) virus. I call this the "Double H threats".

The roads today were relatively empty. For some reason, not many cars were on the road. Traffic was pretty smooth. A friend said it could be due to the fear of H1N1. It feels somewhat surreal to see Kuala Lumpur with very little traffic on a normal day. The city was not deserted, but the roads were certainly rather quiet.

Quite a few schools, offices and institutions are closed. A man working at a kopitiam near my office told me that a few offices at our office complex are shut down for a few days. He wondered out loud if it could be down to H1N1. Later in the morning, I found out that my sister's faculty in Kuantan is also closed down for a week because of H1N1.

Just after 4 p.m., I drove to Universiti Malaya for my lecture at the Faculty of Science. I noticed the dark grey hazy skies. The haze has enveloped the city for the past couple of weeks. Brief rain brought some respite, but only temporarily. One could smell smoke in the air.

When I arrived, I noticed quite a few students coughing. I'm not sure whether this was due to the haze or flu (hopefully not H1N1). During the lecture, I could hear a number of students coughing from time to time.

As I switched on Facebook not too long before I type this blog entry, a doctor friend wrote on her status:
H1N1... getting worse... HUKM at least 15 patients infected... including one doctor. Some patients resistant to Tamiflu!

One does not need to be a genius to figure out that the situation is not improving. And yet, I find it ironic that many of us seem oblivious of these Double H threats.

Be safe everyone. Stay indoors if there is no reason to be outside.

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