Forget about the famous American pop-rock band because Malaysians are now known as the Panic at the Tesco.
With a sharp rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country, the Malaysian government has decided to implement a 14-day nationwide Restriction of Movement Order beginning on the 18th of March until 31st of March. This order is to help control the spread of the coronavirus in the country that currently stands at 790 confirmed cases with 60 individuals covered and 2 deaths.
This particular movement was made after there was a spike of 125 cases and just to keep everyone alert, this isn’t a complete lockdown. By making sure the citizens practice social distancing, this could help us identify the unknown Group B.
So to clarify things — what does this partial lockdown mean for us?
No travelling is allowed
First things first, this two-week ground is not a call for holidays or to finally take this opportunity to balik kampung. All citizens are supposed to remain at their respective homes during this time of crisis and maintain social distancing.
To those who have made plans to travel abroad or even outstation prior to the movement are advised to communicate with the airlines, hotels and relevant businesses to request for a refund.
As for Malaysians who are coming back home from overseas, they would have to undergo a health inspection and self-quarantine themselves for 14 days to ensure they are not affected by the coronavirus.
Stop panic buying
When everyone found out that the virus outbreak was getting worse in our country, the whole nation had gone berserk with panic buying and hoarding. Let us tell you why this act is ridiculous.
To start things off, all supermarkets, sundry and convenience stores will still be opened even during the partial lockdown. Which concludes that all citizens can still go to these stores and get their daily goods. So there’s really no need for everyone to panic and start hoarding groceries that you don’t even need in the first place. Imagine all that Maggi going to waste when you could have just been reasonable and buy one packet instead of boxes.
Also, one thing why are Malaysians on a roll to stock up on toilet paper? It’ss like that is the first thing everyone rushes off to get and we don’t see them putting the same energy with the real necessity here: canned goods.
All in all, what we have personally realised from this situation is that we are selfish individuals (don’t even try denying, we see you with your toilet paper rolls). All we do is think about ourselves by purchasing things in bulks without even being aware that there are people out there who can’t afford to do so.
A little advice? Buy things that are only necessary and stay at home. You will only make things worse for yourself by being in a supermarket full of people.
Restaurants will remain open but for delivery services only
For those who don’t cook and actually depend on outside meals won’t have to worry about the shortage of food supply as all eateries would still be open for business. Of course, you are not allowed to dine-in but you can always go for takeaways or even order in via Grab and Foodpanda.
Although with strict orders, there have been cases where citizens are seen eating at restaurants like everything is alright. This isn’t just a safety hazard to others but also for themselves. Police patrols will be going around to keep checks on eateries and if there are people dining in, it is possible that they could be facing a maximum jail term of two years or a fine or even both. So why go through all that trouble when you can actually be at home with your family during this season of worry.
Stop all mass gatherings
The government has released a strict order that there will be no mass gathering even if it is concerning religious activities, sports, social or even cultural. We know that there are many weddings planned as well as religious occasions happening and even graduations coming up however it is best to maximise social distancing to prevent from catching the virus.
If you’re someone who lives alone or needs to socialise, you can always FaceTime and have a Netflix watching party with your friends so you don’t have to watch a show alone. It may not be as fun as having them over, but you can always try something new. There are even religious activities held via an online live stream so basically, anything is possible with today’s technology.
All government and private premises will be closed including schools and universities
This calls for everyone to work from home except those involved in essential services such as utilities, telecommunications, transport, banking, health, pharmacies, ports, airports, cleaning and food supplies.
In a way for those who are always used to working in an office can finally have that work-life balance they have been wanting, for the next two weeks. Working from home isn’t that bad but try not to procrastinate and get some work done. You can finally get that break and spend some quality time with the family without worrying about not coming home for dinner in time.
To conclude, we ask everyone to be responsible citizens and not jump into severe panic mode. Remember to wash your hands, wear masks only if you are sick and stay at your respective homes.
When everyone finally gets on board and follow the rules, the situation can be contained and the rise of COVID-19 cases in our nation might decline. As a nation, we should not just think about ourselves because we are all going through the same thing so it is our responsibility to keep everyone safe.
Malaysians, keep calm and stop panicking. We can fight this together. Stay safe!
Pictures by NST, Malay Mail, Head Topics, Reuters, Wikimedia, ABC, FT & Encoo