Tomorrow MCO 3 goes into full swing. The Malaysian public is divided about the need for another lockdown, especially with Hari Raya just a few days away. I am sure our fellow Malaysians who celebrate Christmas, Chinese New Year and Deepavalli would be able to put themselves in the shoes of their fellow rakyat, the Malay-Muslims, and commiserate with their frustration..
It will be especially painful for our small businessmen, our stall holders at Bazaar Ramadan, our food gerai and all who are trying to make ends meet. To compound this, there can be no family get-together. Let's not even begin to quibble about the numbers - Hari Raya visitors and visiting are out, fullstop.
Life or Livelihood? This spread of Covid 19 is not peculiar to Malaysia. Even our southern neighbour has had a rise of numbers. But we have been especially irresponsible in not maintaing the SOP, in not wearing masks - we have become careless and complacent.
Perhaps, in Malaysia, there is no sign of that triumphalism, of that trumpeting of imagined victory over Covid 19, that has blighted "the world's largest democracy" in the past few months. But we were getting that way, especially with Ramadan and Hari Raya on the way. It would be simplistic to blame increasing infections entirely on Ramadan and Hari Raya. A lack of self-discipline and civic-consciouness is common to most Malaysians..
Yesterday we had our three-monthly appointment with the spouse's Consultant. He looked a bit wan, not like his usual breezy self. He has been the spouse's doctor for nearly 13 years, ever since we partly-settled in Kuala Lumpur
He told us, to our horror, that almost a month ago, he and his wife had been hospitalized for 6 days because they were diagnosed as Covid positive. They are in the clear now.
Our first question, how did they pick this up?
Four generations of his family had gone to an air-conditioned restaurant to celebrate his wife's birthday and after they got home his wife began to show the early symptoms of Covid-19. The authorities set all the wheels of treatment and tracing in motion. The infection was traced to six of the workers and the restaurant was closed for six days. And all the other customers were traced and checked. Kudos I think, to our Health Ministry for their brisk and efficent action.
I suggest we remember, this Hari Raya, such civil servants in the Ministry, the frontliners in the Hospitals, the clinical technicians, our ambulance drivers and our policeman for their dedication and commitment. And especially for not "just sleeping and eating" - a brickbat often thrown at them by some of our enterprising and hardworking (and tax-paying) fellow-Malaysians.
But I have this one nagging and frightful concern. Our consultant has seen hundreds, perhaps thousands, of patients in his hospital since the Covid 19 pandemic began early last year and he was quite unscathed by the virus It took a birthday dinner at a local restaurant during the conditional MCO to bring on the infection.
It might never have happened, if the restaurant management had kept a simple check on its workers - and made sure that they were clean and Covid negative.
All it requires is a sense of personal and social responsibility to our fellow rakyat.
The absence of this is why MCO3 is back again. We were asking for it!!
Stay home and stay healthy.