This is entrepreneur and innovation leader Hugh Mason’s COVID-19 survivor story. An Adjunct Associate Professor at the National University of Singapore, he found himself, then his wife, testing positive for the virus. Hear what Covid-19 survivor Hugh has to say to his future self.
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This is Hugh Mason’s COVID-19 survivor story. The virus has directly affected the lives of Hugh, his wife and their teenage son. Hear what Hugh has to say to his future self about this time.
So, what happened for me was I had a cold two or three weeks ago, went to see the doctor , gave me some meds, seem to get better. At the weekend, four or five days ago, I get a fever, went back to the doctor, and then I got some more meds and I got better. After a while, I realised I have lost my sense of smell. I noticed online there were some reports that COVID-19 is associated with loss of smell for some people. I could taste sweet and sour but I couldn’t smell even like an orange if I peeled an orange , or blue cheese. I just couldn’t smell that. So I went back to the doctor and told him that is what triggered a referral to get tested
Hugh’s swab test confirmed he had coronavirus.
He was taken immediately by ambulance to the isolation ward at the Singapore General Hospital.
And then they kind of do experiments on you know, kind of give you food, and they’re very pleasant, but you don’t know what’s happening. And then they go away. And it was like that for about five days”
Hugh’s YouTube video about his time in the isolation ward went viral, drawing media coverage.
Hugh’s wife tested positive for COVID-19 soon after he did.
“I have an ordinary hospital bed, I have a machine that goes ‘beep’ … my vital signs, and stuff”
We believe that we are so powerful, with our technology, but actually a thing that’s one 500th of the width of a human hair can bring the world crashing to a halt, with as big a disaster as World War Two. I mean, that … how extraordinary is that? It’s humbling, isn’t it?
If I couldn’t speak to my wife and my son at the moment, I would be in such a much worse situation.
With Hugh’s wife also quarantined, their son was left without the physical comfort of parents or other immediate family.
So I have a son, who’s 13 years old, here. He’s … he’s very used to being in Singapore because he’s grown up here since he was two years old. But obviously, he’s not used to the situation where his mother and his father are just, you know, randomly taken away one day. It makes a huge difference that we’re able to talk on WhatsApp, we’re able to go several times a day on a group chat with him. And although he’s nearly 14 now, you know, for years, we used to sing him to bed to sleep every night. And so I’ve been doing that with him every evening is a kind of a comfort thing as a kind of reminder that I’m still his dad.
Three months before Hugh tested positive for the coronavirus, he lost his father.
His time in quarantine has been a time to reflect on life, loss and what matters most.
It’s been a very reflective time. I lost my father about three months ago. And curiously, you know, his … his world went from … six months previous to that he’d been out in his garden, enjoying life again out in the green world outside. And then his world shrunk to his house, his home, and then it shrunk to his room, and then finally shrunk to his bed in the nursing home where he died. And so, when I learned about myself kind of having my world shrunk down to this isolation ward, because I was thinking, wow, actually, this is all that we take with us, you know, this, the only thing that we take with us is love. And the only thing that we leave behind is love. Absolutely nothing else matters.