Webinar with a Covid-19 survivor

30 April, 2020


The ECCT hosted a webinar on the topic “Recovering from Covid-19 - Personal experiences and perspectives from Case 50, a coronavirus survivor in Taiwan” with guest speaker Douglas Habecker, Co-Publisher of Compass Magazine. The speaker was the 50th person in Taiwan to contract the coronavirus. He spent 19 days in a hospital in Taichung being treated until he recovered and was finally released. At the webinar he shared the story of his experience. Read the full Event Report here


During the webinar, Habecker said that he was impressed with the quality of Taiwan’s healthcare system, the professionalism of healthcare workers as well as the thoroughness of Taiwan’s tracing system. He was also impressed and moved by the calm courtesy, patience, understanding and discretion of tracing officials and healthcare workers, which made the entire process much less stressful. This, he said, is in stark contrast to some countries where patients are often treated almost like criminals. Officials also reassured him that, outside of those individuals they would need to contact, his anonymity was being protected. Even the hospital at which he was staying remained a well-guarded secret.

Habecker has since recovered. He described his condition as somewhere between 90-95% recovered. On the third day after his discharge he went for a 50-kilometre bike ride without any problems and he has continued riding since then. He still feels a bit of pressure on his lungs but he regards himself as lucky as he’s since learnt that some Covid-19 patients have had lasting or permanent damage to their lungs.


As to why he decided to go public, Habecker said that he wanted to help inform people about a disease that still has a lot of unanswered questions surrounding it. Moreover, by telling his story, he wanted to reassure people of the quality of Taiwan’s healthcare system and the robust procedures in place. He expressed the view that of all countries globally, Taiwan has arguably been the most successful in dealing with Covid-19. Besides the healthcare aspect, precautionary measures adopted in Taiwan, such as observing social distancing, wearing masks and frequent hand-washing are now being adopted globally, although it is not clear if other countries are implementing them as well as Taiwan. 

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