Disclaimer : The images used in the accompanying text are drawn from the social media, unless otherwise stated. Some may be considered inappropriate and for that, I offer my sincere apologies. That said, we are living in trying times.

As any Malaysian can tell you, lockdown has been extended til new Covid +ve figures is below the magical figure of 4,000, with the government advising strongly for Malaysians to just stay at home if there are no urgent matters to attend to. An advice that we have essentially heeded since lockdown, in one form or another, was first announced beginning 18 March 2020.

As it was like last year, the whole family happened to be in our hometown of JB (Johor Bahru to the uninitiated) and will therefore experience lockdown together. Again, I might add.

As our ‘boys’ have yet to launch, with their marital status still static at ‘Single And Very Much Available’, my wife has prepared herself to be busy around the kitchen, naturally with the aid of a sous chef chosen from one of the five.

That said, if the other four were to think they are off the hook, a list of who-is-doing-which-household-chore has already been ‘drafted and gazetted’, and not dissimilar to the fate of Malaysian parliamentarians currently facing a state of ‘locked-out’, the household sittings where household issues are tabled and discussed are likewise temporary suspended with no avenues for appeal or review during this state of ‘locked-in’.

Since online classes are still ongoing for two of the boys and working from home is the order of the day for another, execution of household chores may be rescheduled for later, but the rule is that, the chore must still get done. It may sound harsh to some but since the boys have been so trained thus far, its not a problem for them as we attempt to make life as normal as it can be. Note the key phrase, ‘we attempt to’.

Attempting to ensure life is as normal as can be takes a lot of effort, what with the effects of the lockdown on the economic well being of every individual and every family unit out there, never mind the effects on mental and emotional health of the very same.

With economic activities limited to ‘essential services and businesses’, it is a foregone conclusion that they will be groups badly affected by the lockdown orders, especially for those who are either self employed, or having ‘non-essential’ businesses or those relying on daily wages. With what little savings having now been used up, to state that this is the most testing of times is, especially for they who are at the bottom half of the economic ladder, what a friend of mine would say, a no-brainer.

At the moment, optimism is playing hide-and-seek with us all, and the feeling that the situation is not looking any better as of yet, rather the going is going to get tougher, and rougher. Not only are we already in a state of lockdowned-fatigue but we are also at wits end trying to cope financially, economically, mentally and emotionally, that we can’t wait for the day lockdown can be finally declared over. If ever.

The rollout and deliveries of Covid-19 vaccines offered a glimmer of hope that the possibility that life, as we know it, could and would return to some semblance of normality, normality being what we were used to BC (Before Covid). But the vaccination program’s progress seemed to be stymied with issues of delivery, as well as the unexpected resistance to the very idea of being vaccinated by some sections of society.

Sometimes I believe the world has too many wannabe do-gooders, who in their attempts to do good makes them into hindrances instead. Alongside these wannabe do-gooders are the ‘intellectually-deficit-but-knows-it-all’ whose claims to be intellectually superior would be forwarding articles and posts with the ‘What do you all think of this article?’ inserted. It never was amusing to discover that these forwarded posts and articles were a few years old and I can assure you, it is still not. Especially in these testing of times.

In the last few weeks or so, it has captured my attention of the aggressive push for the use of drug Ivermectin. For the uninitiated (that would include myself), Ivermectin is an anti parasitic drug approved for use in the husbandry industry. Be that it may, there is, nevertheless, a push for the drug to be used for the treatment of Covid-19 patients, based on certain publications by none other than some members from the medical profession.

The claims that the drug is successful in fighting Covid-19 was pushed onto centre stage when the Indian Bar Association (IBA) sued WHO’s Chief Scientist for causing the deaths of Indians by misleading on the use, or rather the non-use, of the drug to treat Indian patients of Covid-19. The case will be heard in an Indian court and IF the court finds in favour of IBA, WHO’s Chief Scientist, who ironically is an Indian national herself, could be sentenced to death.

Irony no.1, the legal profession filing suit against a member of the medical profession representing the United Nation’s heathcare organization over a medical issue. Irony no.2, both are from India. Most are wondering if Ivermectin was ever on the Indian government’s list of medication to begin with for treating patients. And was the use of Ivermectin in ‘curing’ the patients an approved procedure? We shall leave it at that but for sure, the whole world will be watching developments and merits of the case. As they say in the news network, watch this space.

Thanks to the technological advances that has rapidly taken place and still is taking place, we can now keep abreast of news developing all over the world in an instant. And also thanks to the same technological advances, I am able to keep myself entertained and at the same time, pick up new skills and know-how.

Since the beginning of the year, I have immersed myself with the wonders of Netflix in addition to the other channels available. if only I had attempted to familiarize myself with Netflix earlier but then again, better late than never, as they say. I have also in that time mastered the use of my son’s PS4 and its console. Not to play games mind you, for gaming has left me behind a long time ago but to pick out my favourite programs on Netflix. Now I can proudly say that I have, to some degree, mastered the use of all remote controls of importance in the household.

So immersed was I with Netflix that I can proudly say that I have picked up a bit of the Korean language. Naturally, the choice words are the first to be retained by my mental dictionary for, as is with the learning of any new language, the most colourful are the easiest to learn and the most fun to use. Also, with my undying gratitude to the subtitles, naturally.

Since there are seven of us in the household, our boys have graciously left control of the remote to their parents. That said, being parents, we are wise enough and matured enough to negotiate on control of the remote between the two of us. I am glad to announce that control of the remote lies in the hands of my better half, The Only Woman In the Family, from morning til evening, after which control of the remote shall be passed over to the Old Man of the Family. No prizes for guessing who that might be.

It worked out fine for the both of us, though it can’t surely be said for the boys. The answer to my burning question dawned on me, when queried as why they (the boys that is) kept waking up late, to their mom’s chagrin, lies in the hours spent gaming at nights. I was slightly concerned but then again, I am pretty sure we are not the only household experiencing this disruption to normal scheduling.

So concerned were we that we have told them to study and work hard and maybe an opportunity might avail for them to either study or work in countries whose daylight hours are opposite to what we have here in Malaysia.

Its dark outside and that means its night here in JB and you know what that means. Its time to dive back into Netflix. Heard there is a new K-series debuting soon and no, its not about that Korean Italian-speaking young consigliere and his adventures in the land of his birth.

Cold drink? Check. Snacks? Check. Thanks Hon, love you. Now boys, pass me that console, will you please?