WERE you surprised last Monday when Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced a nationwide movement control order from May 12 to June 7?
There really isn’t a choice now as the number of Covid-19 cases keeps spiralling upwards along with fatalities – Malaysia recorded 44 deaths due to the virus in just one day, yesterday, and May looks
set to beat February’s sad record of highest number of deaths in a month.
Indeed, World Health Organisation director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned that this second year of the pandemic is set to be “far more deadly” than the first one with a new, deadlier Covid-19 strain reported.
And, yes, that strain has been found in Malaysia.
Among MCO 3.0’s rules are bans on interstate and inter-district travel and visits to each other’s houses.
Yet following the announcement, there have been multiple reports of dozens of cars being turned back at state borders and people being fined for having large gatherings.
More than a year after March 2020, many of us seem to have forgotten why we have this SOP. Here’s a reminder: It’s to stop people from interacting and passing the virus on.
Selangor’s mass screening exercise found that 80% of those between the ages of 20 and 40 who tested positive were asymptomatic. Meaning, you can’t tell who has a virus that cares nothing for friendship and family ties.
Hence, the restricted movement rule designed to encourage us to stay home and not interact with people outside our household.
And hence, the reiterated reminder to wear masks if you have to be in public spaces.
To break the infection chain and bring down the level of Covid-19 threat to the nation, we must stay home.
We have to get our act together within the next three weeks or so to stop the infection curve from trending upwards even as the vaccination programme chugs along.
Yes, it will be tough, though surely not as difficult as the first time since we know what to expect now.
We need to get past this threshold and as Muhyiddin put it when he announced the first MCO: “After the rain, comes the sun. And better days will be here again.”
Another thing we learned from MCO 1.0 was not to shutter the economy completely. Do your shopping online to keep demand going and economic growth continuing.
And we’ve all learned how to use technology to communicate with our community, friends and loved ones too so we don’t have to feel isolated or cut off.
Once we are on safer ground,we will be able to enjoy life again with peace of mind (but sticking to the new norms of mask-wearing, hand washing and physical distancing, of course!).
Meanwhile, stay in to stay safe.