Stay home and stay healthy

A policeman (right) appealing to market-goers to return home after buying their essentials at the Ayer Itam market.

WE have seen large congregation of shoppers in wet markets and shopping outlets and this has come as a great concern.

Ayer Itam market, especially, has been one of the hottest spots and in the news for all the wrong reasons.

Pictures of the area filled with slow-moving cars, and businesses as usual for both

roadside traders and market- goers have gone viral on social media during the first few days of the movement control order (MCO).

Some netizens were quick to label these people as being recalcitrant, ignorant, or ‘Covidiot’, the latest definition for a person who stubbornly ignores ‘social distancing’ protocol.

But a relative of mine was more forgiving in her assessment.

According to her, many of them dashed out early in the morning as “You would not get anything else by 8.30am”.

That’s when everyone is out almost at the same time, resulting in overcrowding, she added.

Given a choice, most of them would prefer to stay home.

But they didn’t have the luxury, as they had to get food and daily essentials for children and the elderly at home.

Never in history have we had to go through MCO.

Despite repeated pleas by the authorities to stay home, there were still a small number of those who remained defiant, and chose to be on the streets for no apparent reason.

Perhaps we should take a cue from how China responded to the Covid-19 outbreak.

It managed to break the cycle by human intervention, as pointed out by Zou Yue, a news anchor for China Global Television Network based in Beijing.

In short, just stay at home in order to break the chain of the disease.

Zou said people in China have now come to terms with the new term – lockdown, a move previously deemed as draconian, excessive and aggressive.

All you need to do is just trade off a little of your freedom for the greater good of the public, according to Zou.

If you feel bored after staying home for one week, here is a story from a Malaysian woman who currently stays in Wuhan, the original epicentre in China of Covid-19.

Lim, as she is known, said they had been practising self-quarantine for almost two months.

You have to put on a mask, and wear a pair of gloves and even eye protective gear whenever you need to go out.

For those staying in high-rise units, only one person is allowed to use the lift at any one time.

Everyone needs to maintain a social distance of 2m apart.

And one needs to disinfect almost everything, including the packaging of grocery that you bring home and leave it there for four hours before you can touch them.

Going about the everyday routine seems tedious nowadays.

But we have to soldier on in order to see better days ahead.

On Friday, the World Health Organisation said the city of Wuhan registered no new cases of Covid-19, the first time since its first case was reported in December.

Perhaps, it’s time we learn from the citizens of Wuhan who stay housebound for months in combating the disease.

It worked, according to Zou, as most of them viewed the quarantine as a civic duty.

For those of you who are not part of the ‘essential service’ providers, all you can contribute to this war is by staying at home.

You stay home for us, and we stay at work for you.

During my days off, it’s junior monopoly and colouring session with my daughter Joer El.

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Battling Covid-19 , Pinang Points


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