A Recount of Our Quarantine Order at a G. Facility during WFH + HBL, COVID-19 in Singapore

When I saw the many postings in the past of others serving QO at a hotel, it seems like a good break and quite a decent experience. I mean, how bad can it be right - staying in a hotel room with food served daily and all the time in the world to do the things you want to do. It was something I thought I would one day pay to do so alone, just to recharge and reflect.

Oh boy! I was so so wrong! QO at a hotel is nothing fancy nor an experience that I'll ever want to have, never again! 

This is a recount of our quarantine order which we are still serving at this point of writing this post. Also sharing the things you should bring along if you ever have to serve a QO at a g. facility with your child. 

Sep 23

The school called informing of a positive case in Zara's class and we had to pick up both sisters from school immediately. Zara was considered high risk as she may be in close contact with the C+ classmate.

That night and another in the next morning, LOA was issued to both girls via emailed by their teacher. LOA was to end 2 Oct 2021.

Sep 24

1242: MOH called to inform QO for Zara.

2246: Certis called to inform QO at home, but I requested for facility as it’s inconvenient for everyone at home if we stay home. He said someone will pick us up in 48hrs and will call 1-2 hours before they arrive. PCR will be done at facility.

Sep 25

1142: Received call for QOF transportation. Coming in an hour. We packed whatever we can in the morning. Final stuffing of stuff into 1 huge luggage, 1 school bag and 1 work bag. 

1320: Certis team picked us up from home. Another family was picked up by the van, also from same school which shared the same school bus as positive case.

Arrived at our “home” for the week.

The moment I stepped into the room I started to wipe down. Saw lumps of dust and hair along the sides and I couldn’t take it. Sprayed freshener to linens and went crazy wipe out on all surfaces. BRING DISINFECTANT WIPES!

1600: “Mummy I’m hungry!” came but by time I settled down, we missed the room delivery time slot (3pm to 430pm). Next slot will be after dinner time at 730pm to 930pm. So she snacked on whatever we brought from home. BRING SNACKS, CUTLERIES, CUPS, BOTTLES and washing sponge + detergent. 

The lack of table space and chair in the room is giving me some stress as I confirm will not be able to spend the same long hours sitting on the side of the bed working. After trying out different spots and minimising the need to move stuff around during meal time, I set up my "standing" desk right next to my bed, not the most ideal, but will have to survive best I can.

1635: Swapper called said she’s arriving at our house, when we were already at the GQOF. Looks like there is no common system for the different teams from MOH and Certis to keep track of the PUQ locations. This maybe should be in place for more seamless tracking and processing.

1645: We tried staying connected online when we were home via Google Meet, but eventually decided to stay connected with family at home on Discord. When a family server is setup, they can simply go to the app and start chatting in text (mostly GIFS) or over video call. No need for any link to be setup, and the sisters are able to easily connect and live stream with one another. The sisters played games and watched videos together. Staying connected even when apart. Thankful for stable connectivity at the QOF.

1800: Our dinner served. food tasted alright and served warmed.

Ayra even read books to Zara when she’s eating her dinner. Can tell the big sister who always seem not to enjoy the love and hugs from Zara is actually super in love and cares for her.

The girls gonna spent this period hanging out on discord. They chats in text and gif makes my heart so warm.

Ordered stuff to make our stay more bearable from panda mart. Used our huge luggage as table for food stuff. 

2100: swapper said she’s on the way from Punggol. The poor girl stayed up waiting for the PCR. And it was almost a failed swap as it took three attempts to get it done. Poor girl has to go through another painful experience. Her cries as bad from the other time a month back when she did blood tests with two failed attempts with drawing blood from her veins. “No more! No more! No more!” - whenever I hear her say that my heart aches, wished I could be the one taking the pain instead.

2225: The swap done and she tried to sleep.

2330: The night ends for both of us. Day one and I’m already ded. Come what may!

The rest of the week was kinda hellish for me. Tried focusing on work as much as I could, ensuring the girl is taken care of and ensuring the room is maintained as clean as we could. If you're following me on IG, you'll be able to live through our days on IG highlight. 

2 Oct - Supposing last day of QO

1000: No result still on HealthHub, and it's 2 hours to supposing check out time from 12pm.

1555: Still waiting for the swap test result since it was done on 30/9 at 930am. HealthHub has no update, no SMS and after few attempts of waiting on Certis QO hotline finally got through. But they have no immediate update for me and now it’s on waiting game again.

1751: Waited about 25 minutes to get through to a human at the MOH hotline, they person who picked up also couldn't give me any update, was told to wait for someone from MOH to call in the next 24 hours. All my hopes for sleeping in my own bed tonight gone....

2036: Hotel phone rang, and I had a dash of hope... only to be told that the hotel has received email from MOH that our QO has been extended another FOUR days till 6 Oct!!!! My mind went blank and tears was building up inside. The angst inside me is beyond words. I stayed as calm as I could. The poor lady said there were many others who are extended too, and I cannot imagine what others may say too when they get her call. It's just frustrating. 

There's nothing we can do. Would we have been better off serving our QO at home? Maybe, but it'll mean the whole family will have to go through inconveniences through this period. But we would have been able to open windows in our room, and will be still close to our love ones. 

3 Oct - It's like back to square one...

Now we are simply stuck in the room... waiting... and its start of work and school again tomorrow. And I continue to check HealthHub every hour for the result, still hoping that we could be released sooner. 

What we packed for QO?

We thought we had everything we need before we left home. Upon arriving at the hotel, immediately there were many things that we would need from home. Through the week, we had 4 rounds of delivery from home. Here's a list for reference, if you're reading this preparing for your QO at a G. facility. 

  1. NRIC and student pass
  2. Mobile phone and charger 
  3. Thermometer and a pen
  4. Disinfectant wipes and spray, fabric freshener, wet wipes (if you're extreme cleanliness kinda person, bring a small broom set if you can fit one in your bag)
  5. Enough clothes for the duration of QO, a sweaterLaundry detergent
  6. Hanger or line to dry your clothes if you're going to be washing any
  7. Work stuff 
  8. School stuff
  9. Cutleries for meals (they do provide disposable, but we prefer metal cutleries)
  10. Water bottle, mug/ cups for hot drinks
  11. Beverages if you have own preference
  12. Activities that you or your child can do for long hours - besides screen time

One never know the challenges until you experience it yourself. And QO is nothing like a leisure hotel stay. And you do not get a choice of where you're heading to, we were lucky we got a good hotel that's spacious and nicely renovated. The cleanliness is not top-notch when we got in and it'll get worst over the days since no one is able to come clean. You gotta keep it clean, empty your own bin, wash the toilet and pick up whatever dust when you see it floating around. 

Please stay safe everyone and minimise going out if you can. It is OUR OWN responsibility to keep ourselves and family safe from infection. 

Now... time to check HealthHub again...