At the time of writing, perhaps the Malaysian government is not as authoritative as those in some other countries that choose complete lockdown. We here are strongly urged to stay at home for the next few weeks. Although, with each passing day, the "strong" bit of that becomes increasingly emphasised.
Most work places have pretty much shut down their offices and we are all told to work from home, since 18 March, until further notice, I suppose. This is pretty much what most of the enterprises here are doing.
So we are all working from home here in Malaysia now; those of us who are able to, and who still have jobs.
My heart goes out to those working in gig economy, on zero-hour contracts, freelancers, and especially to those who are at the front serving the people, right from the healthcare workers and the police and army to the cleaners. And certainly, if this all goes on for long enough, more and more people will be affected.
This global pandemic thing fits well as a scenario that would make an interesting sci-fi, dystopian (or utopian for some). It feels like a naturalistic, universal, "reset"/"pause" button has been activated: and about time too... and hopefully many will take this time to reflect and revalue what life really means to us, and what life really is worthy of.
The shops do have several completely empty shelves. But by and large there are still food and supplies available. Just not as much as usual. I witness the empty streets in KL , and the weekend that’s just gone, and it felt surreal. Whilst not yet apocalyptic, the streets without hordes of people milling around certainly was rather strange.
I read, as I follow the progress of the situation, the several “clever” Malaysians passing remarks about what the government should and should not be doing. I read on social media, Facebook included, the some of us happily posting the food they cook and eat, the leisure time they are spending at home. And I thought to myself, the lucky ones are taking advantage of the situation at the expense of several others who have to fight tirelessly to ensure we continue living our comfortable lives. That too much self-centred attitude is not something that excites me.
The whole value of solitude may be a sanctuary or a prison, a heaven of repose or a place for punishment, as we ourselves make it.
And as I sit and hear the beating of my heart, I pray that in spite of everything, in spite of adversity and the bitter moments, again we shall rise.