PETALING JAYA: At the start of the pandemic, the applause for frontliners rang out loud and proud.
Though they may no longer be at the front line of public attention and the applause less audible, medical healthcare workers have not let up and are still clocking in gruelling hours attending to the infected.
Health inspector Mastura Maznor, 38, said frontliners who had worked tirelessly all this while were now experiencing physical and mental exhaustion.
“It has reached a point where Malaysians need to help us by not forgoing the SOP and continue to practise physical distancing, wear face mask properly, and wash or sanitise their hands often as it is the key to protecting ourselves from Covid-19.
“My only hope now is that the Covid-19 situation can be controlled with the help of the public, ” said Mastura, who works in assisting the prosecution of SOP violation cases.
On the home front, she has not seen her parents for months, communicating with them only through video calls.
Although she is hoping to see them during Hari Raya, Mastura said her family understood her work commitment and was bracing for the possibility that she would not be able to celebrate with them.
Nurse Nur Faizatul Akmal Abdul Latif, 30, said the surge in the number of Covid-19 cases meant that healthcare workers were being overloaded with work.
“They have been working overtime without leave. The existing staff is not enough to meet the workload, ” said Nur Faizatul.
Her counterparts, she said, were all hoping that Covid-19 cases would decrease so that they could celebrate the Hari Raya festivity with their families.
“I wish to visit my parents who are far away in Pahang but as a frontliner, I must remain focused and committed to my work.
“We hope that the public is committed to lowering the rate of infection in the country, ” she added.
Nur Faizatul said the people should always remind each other that the task of beating the pandemic was a shared responsibility.
“Take care of yourself and the people around you, ” she said.
A military frontliner, who only wanted to be known as David, said the rising Covid-19 cases meant that he was now tasked with more operations to assist other agencies in ensuring public compliance with SOP.
“To some extent, the new norm has affected our training, administration and operations. I hope everyone continues to play their part in complying with the SOP. We have proven that we can help to lower the number of cases. We have done it once, so it is not impossible that we can do it again, ” said David, 40.
To those who take things lightly, he said: “Please stop and think about the country.”
Teacher Faiz Ahmad, 32, said the current Covid-19 situation was impacting his work as the “online work environment is not satisfactory when teaching”.
He said people must abide by the SOP and stop spreading false information about vaccines and Covid-19.
“If everyone works together, we can overcome this and get back to our normal lives, ” he said.