Dr. Hanle Yap (葉罕利) of CKS high school batch 1984 lives in Ontario, Canada, and works as an internist/geriatrician hospitalist. His mornings are usually spent in the hospital, while he holds clinic in the afternoons. But because of COVID-19 precautions, Doc Hanle can only do phone follow-ups with patients.
COVID-19 has tremendously altered the medical landscape. Doc Hanle mentioned that humanity has met not only an easily transmissible disease, but also a potentially lethal disease that does not spare the young, him included being 52 years young :). And continuing to do hospital work has become even more challenging, and a bit scary. But like most medical frontliners, Doc Hanle observes proper precautions, which hopefully will keep him out of trouble.
His normal day now starts with getting changed in the garage, nothing (except his mobile phone) from the workplace sees the inside of his home. He puts on his mask, work clothes, then proceed to the hospital, where he puts on goggles, face shield, gowns and gloves, as the situation mandates. The hospital where he works in currently does not allow visitors, so he needs to call family members of patients to give updates about the latters' health.
Coming home, all clothings are left in the garage, and he goes straight to the shower. Mobile phones are cleaned with viricidal wipes.
Doc Hanle believes that the toughest part of his job right now is trying to not get infected; and if infected, hopefully live through that infection. Everyone who signed up for medical work knows that they are putting their lives at risk as part of the job. Risks can be mitigated. Worldwide, there are very strong efforts towards finding a vaccine, and medications that will alter the course of this disease. This is certainly something to look forward to.
Decades after leaving the portals of his alma mater, Doc Hanle believes that the biggest lesson from his CKS College years is the lesson of community, strongly saying: "We are all part of a small group, our small group is part of a community, and that community is a part of the nation. The country suffers, “国家有难，匹夫有责", and we all have to sacrifice for her. All must do our part and heed the national leadership. If you are materially privileged, consider giving to charities and food banks. Even though your workers are not currently showing up for work, perhaps provide a partial wage to tide them over these uncertain and difficult times. For those of us who have less, staying isolated and physically distancing is a great contribution. Reach out to your extended family and friends, look after each other’s mental health."
He ended his viber interview with some words of encouragement. "As a Persian poet once said, 'this too will pass'. It might not be the same world we left in March, but whatever reality shows up at the end of the tunnel, we will adapt as usual, and I am pretty sure we will thrive. To all of us, stay safe, good luck and Godspeed."
CKS College wish you well and God keep you safe always, Dr. Hanle Yap.