Coping with MCO

by Terri Hew

“Stay at home
“Wear a mask”
” Wash your hands”
” Keep a social distance”

From the 18th of March 2020 until today, these phrases have been drummed into us.  It all appears easy to comply but what are their effects on us as senior citizens? Maybe to some it is not a problem as we are always at home.

To those of us who live alone, as I do, the first week was a luxury: I could do all the things I normally didn’t have time to do. My son was happy as he could spend more time with his children. However, as time passed, books had been read and the cupboards cleared; my son soon found his children getting on his nerves and could not wait to go back to work.

After nine months, the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO), Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) and Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) have become the new norm. The media and conversations with others are filled with Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), Spiked and Red Zones. And of course food is always ‘ Ta Pau ‘.

The other new norm is hours of watching the screen may it be the television or our smart phones. Desperation sets in when something goes wrong with either one. At one point, there was excitement when Anwar Ibrahim claimed to have the majority to form a new Government but alas nothing came out of it. November 2020 came, the US Presidential election was on and we were all glued to our seats waiting for the results. Great, Joe Biden won but Donald Trump refused to concede. I never thought it would happen in a country that is such a great advocator of democracy and such a powerful nation. This behaviour is no different than that of a so-called “banana republic”. But hopefully the protests will come to nothing.

Back on the home scene, wearing a mask is akin to   being suffocated at times. No one recognizes you or sees whether you are pretty or not as everyone now looks like  a masked bandit !!!.

The hardest is social distancing as we are all gregarious beings. We are driven up the wall if we don’t talk to someone for days on end. We seniors look forward to our fellowship every Tuesday in KL Wesley.  We miss our bible study, our small groups, and our line dancing, sit down exercises and our language classes and singing sessions. We look forward to these activities and our chit chats.

Even as a volunteer cook on MSF days, we miss the marketing, the cooking and even the challenge of thinking of what to cook with a limited budget. All sixty or so of us look forward to Tuesdays.

Washing our hands is the easiest task – unless you live in Selangor and experience constant water disruption because of infiltration of polluted water.

This pandemic has caused a pandemonium and changed our lifestyle. Who would think that the first shelves that are empty in the supermarket are the ones with the toilet paper? Are all of us going to have diarrhoea or use the public toilets more than the ones at home?

Those of us that regularly spend time reading the Bible, have received peace of mind with spiritual fulfilment. My sister spent hours dutifully studying the Bible. Surprisingly, the biblical principles God gave us about 3500 years ago are still useful today.

Exodus 30:18-21 – wash your hands
Leviticus 13:4,5 ,46,- keep your distance and quarantine 7-14 days
Stay  healthy and God protect each and  every one of us.

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