Last week I was at a Polyclinic. The orange alert for the H1N1 flu was still on. Nurses in full anti-flu garb were at the entrance poking thermometers into people's ears. Others were sitting in front of computers registering visitors. There was even a policeman. Or maybe his presence was not related to the flu.
If you do not know about the H1N1 flu yet, you might be a bit worried or alarmed at the sight. Or some people might think it was an over-reaction, a waste of resources and time.
As for myself I actually found it reassuring, assured of our preparedness and the authorities are monitoring the situation, that the health people will know what to do if there were to be an outbreak of the flu here. On the other hand, if the clinic does nothing and allows patients who have fever to mix with other patients and visitors walking in and out as they like, I would be a little worried.
Now, this reassurance is not just for the H1N1 but also extends to areas which we do not see - for example, people looking after our country's security or people looking after the safety of our food - that they are also working diligently and not letting their guard down. But of course it doesn't mean that unpleasant things will not happen.
Now, the $10 story:
I was waiting outside the consultation room. Then a Malay man sitting beside me began to talk to me. He said he did not have enough money and asked me to lend him $10. He looked the decent type. Anyway I don't think anyone who doesn't really need the money would ask a stranger to lend him money. So I gave him $10.
He asked me for my number so that he could return the money to me. I told him never mind, no need to return. I am not rich, just enough to get by, but can still afford to spare a few dollars. I'm sure you would have done the same too.