The pandemic has changed our way of life drastically. From the way we get our food to the way we shop for groceries, it has all been altered in one way or the other. It is slowly becoming like a type of dystopian future that is fantasized in video games and movies. An example would be the movie that recently came out, it was a story about our world in the occasions of the pandemic known as COVID-19 mutated and turned into COVID-23. It’s a really good movie and I really suggest you to give it a go. In this movie, everyone on Earth has no choice but to stay in their homes due to the now mutated COVID-23 virus. They only depend on carriers, which possess immunity to the virus, to transport their daily needs. Directed by the fabulous Michael Bay, the movie manages to scare everyone into foreseeing the future if we do not take control of this pandemic right now.
Last year, the rising number of COVID-19 cases had brought upon the inevitable lockdown of our country, also known as the Movement Control Order (MCO). This lockdown prevented us from stepping outside of our homes except for compulsory needs such as daily necessities and food. Even then, only the head of the house was allowed to obtain these needs. It was a big change for everyone, but a necessary one. Due to the effective steps taken by our government, the number of cases saw a big drop in a matter of months. The result of this: Our country was voted as one of the top 10 countries in the world that handled the pandemic with significance. One of our proudest moments eventually became the most egregious. Since then, the number of cases in our country has soared widely. Even rising as much as five thousand positive cases a day. Imagine that! A country that only a few months ago, was at the pinnacle of almost eradicating the virus, now has one of the most numbers of daily cases at a staggering five thousand. The downfall of our country has been said to have stemmed from various sources. I am not going into too much detail, but ask any local about this and they’ll tell you what I mean. Let’s just think about it as a metaphor, imagine you are the oldest son in your family. You work hard and keep your head down. Listening to your father’s instructions and commands. Your younger brother, on the other hand, does whatever he wants, he never works hard, and always disobeys your father. Your younger brother is smart, he then lies to his father and says that you were the one that disobeys him, although in truth all you have been doing is working hard. No matter how much you try to tell your father, he always believes your younger brother, the lazy, disobedient son. So you have no choice but to bear the punishment that your brother’s actions have brought upon you. If you get it then you get it.
So now, as punishment for ‘our’ misgivings, we are forced to bear the hefty fine of RM10,000 for not wearing a mask in public places. A recent Facebook post that went viral, about a couple who went to a restaurant and got fined for not wearing masks recently unsurfaced. This man and his partner were at a restaurant, they had just received the drinks they had ordered and removed their masks. After all, how else are they supposed to consume their drinks if not by taking off their mask? According to his story, a group of police officers then barged into the restaurant and proceeded to fine them because they weren’t wearing their masks. Now, this story seems impossible, but in our country, the more improbable things seem to often happen. Like a certain donation that a certain person apparently received. Now this man was bashed with hatred all over the internet, some people asked the man if he scanned the “My Sejahtera App” before entering the shop. Which he then chose to ignore. If it were true, and he indeed did not scan before entering the restaurant, he deserved the fine but evidently, RM 10,000 seems a bit like overkill as a fine for us, who earn just enough to keep our families afloat. It looks as though this scare tactic isn’t working, as the number of cases hasn’t reduced. Evidence suggests that they should take a more practical approach, like another MCO.
Sorry for rambling, let me continue. The change in our lives that we have undergone will certainly affect everyone differently, some people may cherish the idea of living at home forever while some people may despise being at home. Everyone has different takeaways from this pandemic. For me personally, I prefer going out. But, to protect loved ones and prevent further outbreak of this pandemic, I chose not to go out unless I really needed to. Which I really hope you guys also keep the same mind set. As you probably already know, the virus affects people older than us and also people who are ill. Which is why we, as healthy people, should protect them at all costs. I would never want my parents to contract this virus because of the likes of me. That would hurt me more. In the case that something bad really happened to my loved ones, the feeling of guilt and self blame would probably haunt me for life. Such thinking as “ah, I should have stayed at home instead of going out and partying with my friends” would only happen when everything is already too late.
I know that staying at home might not be the most fun activity you can do during the pandemic, but take this opportunity of no social pressure to better yourself. Whether it be mentally or physically. I’ve seen many body transformations over the internet from overweight people that suddenly started a journey of shedding all of their excess weight during the lockdown. Or the reverse of that, where skinny people put on healthy muscle weight. These are the example of people using lockdown as a chance to change for a better If you haven’t done this, don’t worry. There are still many other ways you can utilize to make this lockdown into your b-word. Do something you have always wanted to do, but never had the time to do. Just think about one thing you always wanted to do, but study or work has always prevented you from doing it? Learn to code? Learn to cook? It can be anything. Just pick something to add to your set of skills. It will come in handy in the future. There’s nothing wrong with learning and if you worry that you might not be able to learn anything, just look at the famous saying of “even an old dog can learn new tricks”. Starting with never doubting yourself, you can certainly do anything if you put your mind to it.
Use this unusual time that we have to full advantage. No one in the world would have the same exact opportunity as we do. It was basically a reset to social life. Man, I haven’t been out for so long that my jeans are starting to collect dust. If the vaccine really does work, I am going to have to get new clothes. But until then, I am going to use this time to improve myself, learn new skills, and most importantly, keep safe!