According to The Star, a Sabahan who identifies as Alixson Mangundok walked for three days from Kota Kinabalu to his hometown, Kota Marudu.
The 34-year old walked for an estimated 120km, mainly because he wanted to avoid infecting anyone with coronavirus despite having no symptoms, after his trip to Japan.
Alixson had returned from Japan where he worked on 25 March. Upon arriving at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport, he feared that he might be carrying the Covid-19 virus. This made him choose not to take any public transport or even get his relatives or friends to pick him up.
“After reaching the Kota Kinabalu International Airport, I was screened and although the health officials said I was fine and did not show any symptoms of the virus, I was still asked to go to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for a more thorough screening,” he said.
Since receiving the Covid-19 test results can take days, the doctor advised him to undergo self-quarantine at home. His relatives stopped by the airport and helped him bring back two of his larger pieces of luggage and left him with his hand-carried backpack.
Initially, he thought that he would be asked to check into the state-provided quarantine centres for two weeks.
“But then I was told I can undergo self-quarantine at home so, to avoid any risk to anyone, I decided to walk all the way to Kota Marudu because I am used to walking for kilometres and days from my time hunting and farming,” he said. That’s next-level social distancing!
He grabbed some lunch, bought two bottles of water and immediately set out on his journey.
At one point in his adventure, a dog came up and started tagging along. Alixson thought that it would leave halfway through, but the dog stayed with him the whole way. Just like that, he named it Hachiko – after the Japanese Akita dog known for its loyalty, and adopted the furry friend.
The two buddies rested at bus stops, passed by quite a number of roadblocks, made new friends, braved the rain and hot weather, as well as walked up and down hills. Sounds like Adventure Time!
They stopped by sundry shops for water and Alixson bought cans of sardines for Hachiko but did not eat anything himself as he had no appetite due to his fatigue.
On the morning of 28 March, which is halfway to Kota Marudu – he saw his brother who was driving somewhere and waved at him. With the glare of the sun on his face, his brother did not recognise him immediately.
It was only later in the day when his brother’s supervisor saw Alixson and told his brother that he was walking. That’s when his brother turned back and found him.
“At that point, I think they were all worried because my handphone had been dead for two days and they had not heard from me since the airport,” he explained.
His brother then asked someone from home to send his car to him, so that Alixson could drive home by himself and bring Hachiko along too.
“I did not go see my parents upon reaching Kota Marudu but went straight to a small hut on the farm because it would be safer for everyone… I won’t rest and will not meet my family until the hospital gives me confirmation that I am free from this virus. For now, Hachiko and I spend our time together at the hut,” he explained.
He said his first screening came out clean and on 7 April, he has gone for his second Covid-19 screening at the Kota Marudu hospital and is awaiting results.
We can’t believe the lengths Alixson was willing to take to flatten the curve!
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