MCO: Good chance to spend more time with family, says father of two

Faidz looks forward to spending more meaningful time with his family during the MCO. Photo: jannoon028/Freepik

When the second movement control order (MCO) was announced yesterday, Muhammad Faidz Zainal Abidin was not worried about his work.

“I am grateful that I am still working with a stable shipping company, and will continue to work from home during this MCO. It will be business as usual, as the company provides a laptop and a mobile phone for me to execute my daily tasks. Weekly meetings, training and even courses are all held online, ” says Faidz, 42, who lives in Selangor.

But work aside, he and his family will feel the latest travel restrictions keenly as they can no longer travel interstate to visit his parents in Seremban during the MCO. They usually also travel regularly to Melaka, his wife's hometown.

“My family and I will miss our monthly balik kampung trips. My parents will surely be missing their grandchildren too. But just like the previous MCO, we will arrange video calls with them," he says.

His two sons, aged 13 and eight, have missed almost a whole year of school and he and his wife have been diligently making sure that they attend their online classes and do their schoolwork.Faidz plans to hold a barbecue at home with wife and two sons as part of the activities planned during the MCO. Photo: Faidz ZainalFaidz plans to hold a barbecue at home with wife and two sons as part of the activities planned during the MCO. Photo: Faidz Zainal

“Their teachers are dedicated to their cause, and in return we give our best to support them by encouraging our children to respond to their classes. But it is not the same as learning in the classroom, ” he comments.

When his older son had his Pengakap Kanak-kanak (Cub Scouts) event and exam online, Faidz helped him prepare some videos for the examiners.

But there is one thing that Faidz is looking forward to during the MCO – which will be implemented in Penang, Selangor, Melaka, Johor, Sabah, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan from Jan 13-26 – and that is spending more time as a family.

There is no shortage of activities and fun things they can do together.

“Sometimes I play Lego with them, or chess – though they always beat me. We also play badminton. It is a blessing to watch my children grow while I am at home, and also spend more meaningful time with them. I have always wanted to take them camping, so during the last MCO we pitched a tent under the porch. Maybe next, a BBQ with the four of us would be nice, ” he says.

Faidz notes that the MCO last year managed to reduce the number of Covid-19 cases and hopes that we can achieve that again this time round.

“Hopefully we can see a reduction of new cases with the latest MCO and return to our daily routines. Everyone has a part to play in this. Thankfully some essential services are allowed to continue operating with strict SOPs in place, as well as food stalls and eateries, albeit takeaway only.

"This will at least lessen the financial burden of the owners and their employees, although I am hoping that a second round of moratorium can be carried out with the government's help, ” he concludes.

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