Lockdown Blues Continues

By June Ramli

Malaysia will be placed under full lockdown from June 1 till 14. Whether the lockdown persists after this date is anyone’s guess but for now, many of my family and friends have concurred that they will be living under lock and key for the foreseeable future.

A child undergoes a swab test for Covid-19 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. EPA-EFE/AHMAD YUSNI

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a turn for the worse in Malaysia with Selangor, my former place of domicile being ground zero or a hotspot for the pandemic. Out of all the 14 states in Malaysia, Selangor is the most developed because of its proximity to the nation’s capital Kuala Lumpur and so for the state to be ravaged like this for months on end is so heartbreaking.

When I was living there, not too long ago, we always used to have bouts of problems with water shortage and then who can forget the perennial haze problem. So, there was always something but to have Selangor be the top contender in the COVID-19 pandemic is just sad for me to stomach particularly since I know many people who live in the state.

As such the current administration has received a lot of flak for its indecisiveness and flip flop management of the whole situation. On top of that, what irks people the most is that there is one rule for the common man and another rule for the rich (kayangan). Problems keep cropping up and there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel despite the vaccination programme.

Medical personnel take a swab sample for coronavirus disease testing from an infant during a free COVID-19 screening program for the state of Selangor in Rawang, Selangor. EPA-EFE/FAZRY ISMAIL

Even the MySejahtera app creates a lot of confusion among the public. Registration via the app is a must when one travels anywhere with even roadside stalls selling nasi lemak having a QR Code.

But this app has failed to consider those who do not have smartphones. Sure you can still write in the notebook but many premises only allow MySejahtera users in and those who don’t have the app are barred from entering. All these last-minute issues are cropping up everywhere and the government spokesperson always changes the stand. There cannot be one type of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all. When dealing with humans, there are grey areas that needs to be considered.

However, I’d like to commend the Health Ministry helmed by Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adaham Baba and Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah for a job well done. Their sacrifices and determination in ensuring people get the best care is nothing short but outstanding.

Their efforts have helped this pandemic become more manageable. But people being people may not necessarily follow the rules, that is why despite the constant reminders by healthcare professionals to stay vigilant, the numbers still continues to rise. This is where the government should have stepped in and taken a more stern stance in ensuring people abided by the rules.

As such for this upcoming lockdown, if you don’t have anything worthy to do outside the house, please stay indoors. Forget about going out for some time unless you have to work or buy groceries. If you can afford the extra buck and pay for home delivery, please do that, please!

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