By Fazleena Aziz
The death toll of the Coronavirus pandemic stands at 2.35 million as this article is being written with over 107 million cases recorded worldwide. The numbers are indeed staggering but more people have died of hunger and there is an ongoing famine in war-torn Yemen. The impact of this pandemic goes beyond deaths and recoveries.
Coronavirus has affected people differently from different walks of life. It is easy to call for a total lockdown but those who are calling for this perhaps don’t really comprehend the impact it has on the lives of people.
Some of us may have savings, some of us may have jobs, some of us may be rich while some may just be fortunate. But there are those who are daily wage earners, there are those who lost their jobs and there are those who didn’t save for the future. All these people simply couldn’t afford a lockdown.
Many opted to open their own business. However, the MCO 2.0 has again impacted the people, particularly those who opened new businesses especially when the National Security Council keeps going back and forth with their Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) creating much confusion and frustration especially dining in or takeaways, two or three people in the car or just simply double standards quarantine rules and compounds for VIPs and the general public.
Those operating barber shops and salons as well as gyms sustained big injuries. A local barber shop owner appealed to the government to let him operate as it was his only source of income after putting all his savings to open the business.
Another lady said she was unsure how to do take-aways for her steamboat restaurant as she mulled closing down or urged the government to at least allow limited patron dining in. But there were still quarters who were calling for a total shutdown, how privileged are we to be able to do that? Sure it is the most obvious solution but for some that’s not an option at all.
School children were also not spared, online classes only work for older children. Those in kindergarten and standards 1-3 are finding it difficult to keep up with all the work. Not to mention parents’ frustration trying to coordinate between work and their kids’ online classes. The nightmares were endless like a loop that never ends with screaming kids and parents trying to cope with all the to-dos. Even my nieces and nephews, especially those sitting for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia are so anxious because they are worried of their exams getting delayed.
The third disastrous wave was a direct result of the Sabah by election which the government initially denied but eventually admitted. They had failed to contain the situation, resulting in a sudden spike in cases. After which new clusters started emerging. At present the main contributors according to the Health Ministry were coming from work places namely manufacturing, factories, and construction sites. There isn’t a targeted approach by the government this time around, there is a flip-flop when it comes to the SOPs and there is also one rule for the common man and another entire “rule” for the privileged.
Things have gotten so bad that people are literally begging the government for their own retirement fund but that’s not without any catch itself. So where are we all heading? What are we supposed to look forward to? The only answer is death, though it may sound grimm but the coronavirus has killed more than just people. It has killed jobs, dreams, education, lifestyle, hope, cut short retirement and most importantly it has killed life while the soul is still attached to it.
Update: Since this article was written, Malaysia has now permitted restaurants dine-ins.
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