#SymbolOfHope

In Malaysia, Movement Control Order has been carried out since March 18 until April 14. But it can be even longer due to the worsening current situation. Therefore, all mobilised activities were put to halt and citizens were strictly commanded to work from home and to buy essential goods alone. All citizens were reminded intensely that any violation of the order will contributing to the increasing number of Covid 19 cases. The reminder appears automatically in our mobile phone each and every day, and all sort of frontliners are doing their best to make sure we follow the order. During this MCO or even lockdown in some Malaysia state, people reaction and responses are different according to their economy condition, faith condition and awareness level. Those with money and stable income, and those pious people still can smile at home but those who working from hand to mouth, are really experiencing double trouble. This pandemic has multiple effect to the people in affected area, state, country and region. It affected their work and income, their food and happiness, emotionally discouraging and distress.

People of course keep believing in God and continue praying in their house which is showing spiritual health in this difficult time. But many employees put to rest and receive no salary in March onwards due to the virus impact on economy activities. Small hawkers whom mostly women, are advised strongly to stop their activity which result in household shortcoming. However, Malaysia government is trying the best to help the people by distributing some money to assist daily needs especially the grass root. The promise of contribution is within this week. But this virus affected not only the grass root but the whole society regardless hierarchy. It knows no mercy unless we all strictly follow and abide the MCO. Apart from that, this virus is also deeply hurting people psychologically.

There is a situation that i want to share. One of the frontliner is my sister in law and this day, she is feeling down. She is a nurse, a midwife specifically, and she told me last night that her stress level is increasing due to the closing of the maternity ward in Likas Kota Kinabalu because one of the matron has been tested positive with Covid 19, and one of the patient was from Kudat and she has a direct contact with the matron. Now that the patient is already in kampung, she is doing regular jaundis check up for her new born baby and she is doing it at Tinangol dispensary, where my sister in law has regular contact with the other midwives. Now, she is afraid of going home and meet her family because of this matter. My elder daughter Mirra is actually working at their house as a baby sitter, and my sister in law is fearing the worst that she herself might gotten the virus from her colleagues and probably may spread it at home. So, I need to console her every night via whatsapp to help her face another day with positive mind-set although i myself do not have much idea how she is coping with that situation. This is only from one person, but how about their fellow frontliners in this time. Their fears are ours and their struggles are ours.

Their hope is ours too. Actually i do not really know what should i say here, but we all know how worst this virus is and how ugly the damage it has done. I can only contribute words of encouragement in my facebook and not spreading panic so that at least some of my friends may stay positive, composed and have courage. May the world learn a lesson and may God forgive us and restore everything according to His purpose.

Noria Majaman

7th April, 2020

————————————————————————————————————

Update, April 17th, 2020

Our government is very much concern of the people well-being. So, recently our Prime Minister has announced on TV the extention of the Movement Control Order from second stages which was until April 14 to third stages which is until April 28. In Sabah, Kudat remain as the Green Zone where no Covid cases found. However, the local government adamant to attend the Federal government order and strictly prohibit the people to violate it, which is by far they are doing an excellent job. The Kudat Municipal Council teaming with Health Workers and Fire Department spraying disinfection liquid to all over the town in order to sustain the Green Zone title, and consistently, we are asked not to take the title for granted and we should always follow the order for the sake of the whole nation. So, we are really exercising it and stay home all the time. If ran out of food, I can run to the nearby shop and buy necessary things with mask and should take bath after return home.

Keeping body cleanliness has become a habitual action and that is a timely positive gain. Our government also has given out financial support for everyone in our country starting this April and I got mine as well. It is a one off contribution but at least people found some comfort apart from spiritual comfort. Thanks to that. Political parties regardless of their uniqueness, working together by enlisting poor people, widows and unemployed people and gave them e.g. 10kg of rice, some sardines, salt, cooking oil, coffee. I myself was also given with that aid. One partner of Mission 21 is also contributing food aid to the interior with the help from a local bank and I was asked to fill up a survey about the current situation for the aid purpose.

People who are found violating the order, will be fined with MYR1000 and shall be labelled as criminal. This is with immediate effect during this third MCO stages. Thus, yesterday in Kudat, there were 11 people been caught for not taking the order seriously. Most unbelievable violators are the literate people, whereas villagers and those wide experience people are remaining faithful. Those are good side of the story. The dark side is, my sister in law told me that their superior were not conducting sufficient health procedure for the staff and somehow hiding details about the real cases especially in Kudat. In that case, none of them get to know the real situation and they working like a blind without enough protection kits. So the level of distress for my sister in law and her colleagues are still alarming. I am still strengthening her ceaselessly over WhatsApp to make sure she is staying in a right mind and right attitude, so that she may also share her strength with her fellow frontliners.