Beating the coronavirus is up to us

We need to apply our own good judgement and self-discipline to make sure that the battle against Covid-19 is won


WE NEED to stop expecting the government to spell everything out for us.

When businesses reopen under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), the government received backlash from the public who feared that it would only result in a spike of new Covid-19 cases.

But it had to be done to keep the economy and the country afloat. While most of those who opposed the decision were among the lucky ones who could work from home, many others were losing, if not already have lost, their jobs and were desperate to get back to work.

They were not afraid of dying from the virus, but from poverty.

Even so, several businesses put health and safety first, and opted to remain closed. Dine-ins are now allowed with many eateries maintaining their take-away and delivery only policies.

Fitness buffs have been given the green light to exercise at community parks, but many condominiums and apartments are keeping their parks and swimming pools off-limits, despite having restless fidgety residents.

There was a public outcry when it was announced that only a maximum of 20 people are allowed in a house at one time for the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration.

This, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob later said, is only for the first day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri which falls on May 24.

The coronavirus does not pick and choose what day it infects people, and it does not take a break even during festive seasons, netizens ranted, fearing the emergence of a Hari Raya cluster.

Foreseeing a surge of unwelcome visitors, many responded to this by bluntly announcing on social media that they will not be opening their doors on the first day of Syawal.

“I am sorry, but only this year I am not accepting guests and I will not accept invitations to visit others for Hari Raya, although the government is allowing it.

“We will not die if we do not go visiting this year, but many could die if we behave rashly. We are heading towards the finish line, don’t let our desires ruin all the hard work,” Facebook user Hanna Suhanna wrote.

Unfortunately, there are many out there who are not willing to accept the new normal.

As of Tuesday, up to 2,931 vehicles had attempted to travel interstate in the past three days to celebrate the upcoming Hari Raya Aidilfitri in their hometowns — a number which has the Health Ministry worried.

On Sunday, Health DG Datuk Dr Noor Hisham said about 14% or 971 of the total number of Covid-19 cases have a history of interstate travel.

“About 18 clusters from a total of 48 recorded in the country are linked to activities which involved crossing state borders,” he said.

The government loosening movement restrictions does not mean that the country is now free from the coronavirus.

We need to apply our own good judgement and self-discipline to make sure that the battle against Covid-19 is won. We must also play our roles to remind, report and expose stubborn individuals who take the pandemic and CMCO lightly.

Farezza Hanum Rashid is the assistant news editor at The Malaysian Reserve.