Comment By June Ramli
We are almost halfway through 2021 and it looks like the COVID-19 madness is here to stay, no one really knows when it will end with some folks making life plans around it.
Like Ridzwan Rahim, whom we had featured a few weeks ago in our podcast series, in which he had planned and successfully executed a swimming feat in Terengganu or Dr Rajiv Bhanot, who went against the odds and kick-started his own restaurant Jama in Kuala Lumpur.
I for one am sick and tired of all this and all I want this Christmas is for things to go back to normal where we get to travel the world again without any worries.
But I know that this would take some time. How long? Well, your guess is as good as mine.
For one, I would like to get vaccinated and not have to worry about the after effects.
Which brings me to my next point, maybe slow down on the negative media coverage on vaccines, won’t ya?
In Malaysia, the media spins it differently by saying only a small percentage of 0.04 per cent will react adversely to the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The reports that Australia churns out on the other hand scares the bejesus of many.
But the same cannot be said in Malaysia, where a survey found that almost 80 percent of the population can’t wait to be vaccinated and get on with their lives.
Even today, when I chatted with my friend, who lives in Kuala Lumpur, she told me that she had just been vaccinated with the ‘controversial’ AstraZeneca vaccine.
“My arms feel a bit sore but other than that I am fine.”
A bit of background, last Sunday, the Malaysian government set-up a website where they had opened up slots for anyone interested in taking the AstraZeneca vaccine for free.
Tons of people signed up and one of them was my friend whom I had just mentioned above.
It was opened at noon Malaysian time and almost all slots were filled up within minutes.
That is how keen people are in Malaysia.
Twitter was a buzz with the matter and I was watching the brouhaha from afar.
Feeling envious, I wish the Aussies were like that.
At the time of writing, I am still clueless as to where I should get vaccinated or whether I should get vaccinated at all.
On another note, the pandemic had definitely caused a lot of grief among the Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan, especially to those living in certain parts in Malaysia.
As they have recently been placed under strict lockdown from today till May 20 where they are only allowed to leave the house for essentials like work or to buy groceries.
This means the Eid al-Fitr to be held next week would be done under lock and key as many would not be able to cross territories or travel interstate.
In Australia, many of us can count ourselves lucky that we have not had to go through adverse lockdowns like Malaysia but I still think this country needs to get a move on with its vaccination program.
About the Author: June Ramli is the news editor of dailystraits.com