The MCO and a Brief Look at its Aftermath
Pandemics are probably one of the most—if not the most—devastating natural disasters there this. If it’s a tornado or a flood and infrastructures are demolished, these buildings can be rebuilt in several months, but as for a virus outbreak, it shakes a nation in many aspects that are detrimental to its growth and citizen’s livelihood.
After a crippling number of months of semi-lockdown, the economy and overall state of the nation are beginning to see life again. That said, the pandemic itself has made us reconsider how volatile the world is, and in the face of crisis, our perception to certain things do change—for better or worse.
The Economy: Be Digitalized or Be Denied?
The governmental vision ‘Wawasan 2020’ coined by our former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir during 1991 entails multiple goals and dreams that Malaysia should strive for; being economically robust is one of them. That said, the coronavirus pandemic did put our economic prowess to the test and as it stands, we’re not passing it with grace.
From social posts to rant tweets on folks being furloughed or worse laid-off, our country is falling off in its GDP with businesses—especially startups—getting the short end of the stick. Fortunately, humans have a knack of adapting towards natural disasters and in the face of a pandemic, we have already begun to emphasize on the digital spectrum of conducting our business.
The notion of online shopping and deliveries for our necessities used to be ‘too’ modern or ‘overly’ unsafe, was thrown out of the building when resorting to online markets were our only means to get what is needed to survive. Furthermore, individuals who lived away from their parents have to resort to food deliveries or takeaways which were scarce.
Taking business online, items like kitchen accessories and home appliances were bustling in the digital market and even the technologically unsophisticated were forced to learn how to place an order properly.
Hence, this sends a message that physical stores/businesses might not be as reliant and feasible as they once were, sure we would miss the human interaction in conducting a business exchange, but in dire times, the powers and capabilities of the Internet cannot be understated.
Lifestyle: A Touch Took for Granted
While introverts may rejoice, months of nullified actual human interactions made us value certain things, like the warmth of a hug or the whimsical flutter of laughter amongst family and friends.
Yes, one can argue that communication apps like Skype or Discord through one’s phone or laptop can solve this problem, however, this can only alleviate the pain of not being physically present around your loved ones; even more so for peeps who are stationed away from their hometown.
During times like these, we make do with what we have and the way we bond has adapted as well. Outdoor activities like sports and hangouts have been replaced with online gaming and movie-sharing sessions. In the long-run, these activities do not bode well for our longevity but it is one of our few means to interact with the outside world.
After this storm has passed, hang out more with your loved ones get out more, this pandemic has already provided us with a clear insight that our life is fragile and vulnerable—take nothing in this world for granted.
Health: No Amount of Money Outweighs the Abundance of Health
“Health Makes Wealth” is an adage passed down; where in literal sense, it makes absolutely no sense. But through this pandemic we really ought to consider bettering our habitual activities that directly affects our health.
The origins of the COVID-19 might be vague and disputed, still there is one thing that is definitive; a physically fit body has a better resistance against its effects. Take the time, even once a week to do some light exercise, increase our sturdiness and improve our immunity against unwanted allergens.
Eating habits are also a concern. Our midnight forays to our beloved mamak is adventurous, but do we really need to do it every night or every weekend? Show more love to home-cooked dishes, practice a balanced diet and you’ll definitely notice a change both physically and mentally.
We’re not asking for an athlete routine or diet, but that omission of a can of coke or a cup of Teh Tarik might come as a saving grace later on.
These health advices are told aplenty but often ignored with our ignorance that might actually cause us to lose something dear to us—our family, friends and our life.
Ultimately, we have not conquered the coronavirus and the war against it has yet to be won. However, note that we have fought against worse like the Black Plague and the 1918 pandemic and this time around we have even better medical infrastructure and technological equipment. Therefore, the final key to this pandemic puzzle is we ourselves as inhabitants of Earth to buckle up and abide by the advice given by experts because every effort counts.