Not another round of MCO please!

Just remember that we are still waiting for a vaccine that could be the answer to all the woes that have been caused by the pesky Covid-19


THE next time you’re about to step out of the house because you’re bored and in need of “fresh air”, think again. The air might not be as “fresh” as you imagined it to be.

Just remember that we are still waiting for a vaccine that could be the answer to all the woes that have been caused by the pesky Covid-19.

Please be reminded that the numbers are up again, and if we are not careful, Malaysia could be in the chart again, back to where we were when the pandemic became virulent in many parts of the world.

Well, it is still virulent, if you must know. In the US, one of the most advanced countries in the world, the number of deaths caused by Covid-19 has surpassed 200,000, while the global figure is nearing one million.

As it is, over 33 million people have caught the virus all over the world. Lest we forget, mass graves are still being dug in Brazil and various other Latin American countries and the number is still pretty high in Europe.

While travelling out of the country is near impossible, and tourism is only limited within the country, it would be more advisable for us to just stay put and stay home as much as possible.

You may think that the almost 11,000 cases reported in Malaysia and the 134 deaths (so far) is not as bad as the numbers in other countries like Indonesia, India or the Philippines, but we need to be reminded at all times that the numbers could just increase exponentially if we let our guard down.

The last one week was rather “eventful” for Health DG Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah as the number of cases seemed to be on the minimum double-digit on a daily basis.

You could sense that despite his calm demeanour, there was a level of desperation in his tone as he tirelessly reminded Malaysians to remain cautious and to stick to all the standard operating procedures that have been outlined to avoid any eventualities in these “dangerous times”.

The country reported over 1,000 active cases as of yesterday, including 115 new reported cases. On Sunday, the number of reported cases soared to 150 within 24 hours, almost double the 82 cases that were confirmed the day before.

In fact, big numbers have been reported during the entire of last week. There were 111 cases last Friday and 147 cases on Wednesday alone.

More and more new clusters have been discovered all over the country, and it is also reported that the virus has been mutating aggressively over the last few months, making it even more difficult to predict the next best steps or if the ultimate vaccine could be formulated soon.

Still, despite the numbers and all the reminders, as well as pleas from the authorities, Malaysians seem to be going about their lives like nothing is amiss.

Of course, everyone has the compulsory masks on, but the number of people you might see thronging shopping centres with their families and loved ones — more often than not, because they just need to — is rather alarming.

The queue to get into MyTown, IPC Shopping Centre, The Curve, Mid Valley Megamall, The Gardens Mall, Suria KLCC, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur (KL), Sunway Pyramid and other huge shopping centres are getting longer by the day. Getting into any branch of IKEA is also rather challenging as the queue would stretch for a bit.

Yet, Malaysians don’t seem to mind. Perhaps, we are getting rather lackadaisical about the whole situation. People just need to go out, it seems.

There’d be couples and their children, and elderlies in wheelchairs, and all the usual groups that would be congregating aimlessly at all the public areas, because they do not seem to realise that it could be their last time frolicking in the sun, if you may.

Are we in denial? Or are we really that ignorant? On a daily basis now, you’d see the number of people flouting the rule, just because they need a drink, is also on the rise. Currently, night club and pub goers are on top of the list of offenders, by the way.

So, please, the next time you feel that you need that “fresh air”, just remind yourself of all the horrible periods we had to go through during the stifling and extremely nerve-racking Movement Control Order (MCO).

If you still have the urge to go out, imagine the hassle you have to go through and the time wasted at every entry point of the places you plan to visit. Imagine the long queue at the surau before you can perform your solat at all those malls and public places.

If that does not stop you from going out, consider this: Reports have also stated that several cases of Covid-19 have been recorded at several major malls in KL, while a Targeted Enhanced MCO (TEMCO) has been enforced in Lahad Datu, Tawau, Kunak and Semporna in Sabah to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The TEMCO in Sabah involves 962,661 residents and it is expected to end on Oct 12.

Now, wouldn’t it be better to stay home with a mug of Kopi 434 in hand as you drool over some bloody scenes in one of those fast-paced Korean gangster movies on TVN Movies? Just saying…

Zainal Alam Kadir is the executive editor at The Malaysian Reserve.