It’s been a considerable stretch since my last entry on this blog. Life has taken me on a journey filled with enriching experiences, particularly the precious moments spent with my daughter. Today, I feel compelled to document a significant chapter, a historical moment that has unfolded in the year 2020 and captured the attention of the entire world — COVID-19.

A glimpse into COVID-19

COVID-19 or coronavirus disease 2019 is defined as illness caused by novel coronavirus now called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2; formerly called 2019-nCoV), which was first identified amid an outbreak of respiratory illness cases in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. It was initially reported to the WHO on December 31, 2019. On January 30, 2020, the WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global health emergency. On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, its first such designation since declaring H1N1 influenza a pandemic in 2009.

(Source: Medscape)

Things that happened in my country (Malaysia) during the COVID-19 outbreak

Most of the countries around the world have been doing their best to flatten the curve during this outbreak and my country is one of them.

In Malaysia, there are few stages of lockdown or movement control order (MCO) implemented by the government:

  • Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO)
  • Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO)
  • Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO)

Following periods are the phases that implemented during the MCO:

  • Phase 1: 18/03/2020 - 31/03/2020
  • Phase 2: 01/04/2020 - 14/04/2020
  • Phase 3: 15/04/2020 - 28/04/2020
  • Phase 4: 29/04/2020 - 12/05/2020
  • Phase 5: 13/05/2020 - 09/06/2020 (CMCO)
  • Phase 6: 10/06/2020 - 31/08/2020 (RMCO)

Enhanced MCO (EMCO) only applied to specific locations or states of the country.

And below are the events or restrictions that occured during the duration of MCO:

  • No Friday prayer at mosque for Muslim people.
  • MCO happened in Ramadan, so no bazaar and no tarawih prayer.
  • No Ramadan buffet in the hotels as happened on the past years.
  • No Eid al-Fitr (Aidilfitri), not allowed to go back to hometown. No house-to-house visits.
  • No fireworks. No kids injured due to fireworks anymore.
  • Oil price has fallen to the lowest in the history which at RM1.25 per liter.
  • All offices instructed to be closed and everyone needed to work from home.
  • All schools instructed to be closed and the students may need to go through online classes from home.
  • Emphasized in social distancing. No more handshakes.
  • Tapes on the floor are everywhere. People need to go through a very long queue.
  • All shops and restaurants instructed to be partially closed. Only take away is allowed. No more dining in. Food delivery job (rider) becomes a high demand job.
  • Only certain number of people are allowed to be in the shop at a time.
  • Only essential services are allowed to continue operation. Others (non-essential) are instructed to be closed.
  • No concert, tourism, festival or any kind of entertainment events.
  • No wedding celebration. A couple who wants to marry needed to go through online.
  • All mosques are instructed to be closed to public.
  • Public gathering is no longer allowed for more than 10 people.
  • All recreations and playgrounds are instructed to be closed. I had to a buy mini playground (slider + swinger) to my daughter.
  • Face masks, PPEs and gloves for frontliners become low in stocks.
  • Not enough ventilators for critical patients.
  • Panic buying for sanitizers and toilet papers.
  • Panic buying at some supermarkets causing some racks become empty.
  • Some manufacturing factories changed their service to help manufacturing visors, face masks, sanitizers and PPEs.
  • Road blocks are everywhere to control non-essential movement.
  • The airline tickets become so cheap, but nobody can fly.
  • Press conferences from Health Ministry have been on-aired almost everyday.
  • There is no any vehicle on the roads after 8PM.
  • Most people wear face mask now when in public place.
  • Essential service workers fear to go outside from home.
  • Workers from clinic or hospital fear to go back home and meet their families.
  • “Social distancing” and “flatten the curve” become popular words that almost people talked everywhere.
  • In February, the government had issued an emergency stimulus package worth RM10 billion to counter the immediate impact of the outbreak on the country’s most vulnerable sectors and households.
  • In March 27, the government had issued its second stimulus package worth RM250 billion to combact the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on enhancing the existing financing facilities. Also to support business (small and medium-size enterprises), assist low and middle-income households and provide fiscal injections to strengthen the national economy.
  • Banking institutions have provide automatic deferment of all loan/financing repayments for a period of 6 months effectively from April 1, 2020 to all the people.
  • People also can withdraw their EPF money from Account II up to maximum of RM500 for a period of 12 months.
  • Work from home becomes a new working culture for those who can work from home.

COVID-19 Trackers for Malaysia