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.
It was only (!?) last July that I posted on the ongoing saga of the pandemic unfolding in Malaysia as well as in far flung places elsewhere on Planet Earth. Reason to not taking the opportunity to add a post or two to ‘The ‘Lockdown’ series being that I, like most of us during the lull in the battle to stay safe and healthy, was kept busy witnessing events, related to the pandemic or otherwise, as they unfolded in places near and far.
I guess by now that its pretty obvious to us all that when it comes to that virus called Covid-19, they do get around a bit don’t they? Appearing here and there in various guises, it would not be long that the Greek alphabet by which they are being recognized, will soon run out of symbols.
Guess when that happens, we will probably move on to another set of alphabets. Either that or that the whole world has come to an agreement, accepting that Covid-19 and its retinue of variants are here to stay and declare the end of The Age of the Pandemic and usher in the Age of the Endemic.
Well, not exactly The Age of Aquarius or the Age of Renaissance or to take a line from Tolkien’s Lord of The Rings, the Age of Man but beggars can’t be choosers, can they? Looking around, it would not be wrong to say that we are all tired of being locked-down, locked-in, out of work but most of all, out of funds.
In Malaysia, it has been officially announced that the country will move forward into The Age of the Endemic soon. Very soon, in fact. The auspicious date has already been announced but typically Malaysian, some had ventured to say the Government may have developed a weird sense of humour, with the lockdown making some sections of the government slightly bonkers.
Regardless, bonkers or otherwise, come April 1st 2022, Malaysians shall be free from ‘the shackles’ of the SOPs thus far religiously enforced. Well, most if not all. However, the scanning of the MySejahtera mobile app (some say its akin to Big Brother but hey, its the Age of the Pandemic) as well as the wearing of masks in public places stays.
No biggie, as the hip amongst us will say, proudly sporting beards, kempt and unkempt, under that progressively stylish and colourful face masks. Seems fashion is never far away and the bearded look will stay just for a little while longer.
Remember her? If anybody had missed this little piece of trivia, there is this little controversy surrounding the World Health Organization (WHO)’s Chief Scientist and the Indian Bar Association (IBA). The IBA has during the height of the pandemic in India charged WHO’s Chief Scientist with ‘murder’.
Well, as it turned out, the ‘controversy’ may not be a controversy after all but like the virus, the ‘controversy’ has mutated to a conspiracy instead. As a cynic would say, everybody wants to get into the act of mutating. But for a better read of the controversy now conspiracy, please have a look-see at https://www.logically.ai/factchecks/library/9a9cde47).
During a health crisis, any cushy posting at a world body like WHO would seem like a thankless job. But when the job exposes you to all kinds of legal possibilities, its nice to know that you have the ‘protection’ of a very good legal team, well versed in international law and in this case, the laws of India as well. Never mind, the services of a well-connected very media-savvy PR team who can get the attention of the world’s headline-hungry news media. Just in case.
As the pandemic situation in Malaysia began in earnest, it brought out in the open the frailties of the Malaysian healthcare system. Apparently, the same scenario was repeated elsewhere including in countries deemed to have a sound healthcare system. Though the Malaysian healthcare system may not have collapsed or seem to be anywhere near that, the weaknesses witnessed was all so glaring for all to see.
Another casualty was the Malaysian political system of governance. The last time Malaysians went to the polling booth was in 2018 but by 2022, four states had already called for elections with the Federal government not faring any better.
Never before in the history of Malaysia has a parliamentary term seen three Prime Ministers took the oath of office, with each succeeding alliance so fragile that a general election would have been the best solution all round IF not for the Covid-19 pandemic. One state leader tried to do just that and ended up roundly condemned as the cause for a spike in cases and mortalities in the early days of the pandemic.
But now that the rate of vaccination has reached the desired level to induce herd immunity (that’s what they say anyway), a general election may not be too far on the horizon. As was the case was for the last three state elections.
As if all that was happening was not enough, Malaysians had to face another test of faith when the earnest warnings of the Metrological Department suddenly became all too real with most Malaysians were unprepared for. If it was just the normal folks on the street that were unprepared, then it might be forgiven.
After all, Malaysians already had to deal with lockdowns, lack of economic pursuits and wallets slimming down at a rate that would make most personal trainers proud. But when a state government leader started the ‘I thought that was your job, not ours’ dance with the Federal government when his state machinery was caught with their pants down, one could only roll their eyes and look up to the heavens with a OMG sigh.
Nowadays, the sighting of dark clouds on the horizon always brings a sense of foreboding, for it was barely a few months ago when the floodings happened. The sight of cars either floating away or under water may look like a TikTok or a Youtube moment, somewhat amusing to some. Unless it was your car that was seen floating away or worse, the lights flickering under all that water in Basement 2 of the parking lot is that of your car.
Now that Malaysians are edging closer and closer to the day when we are officially in The Age of the Endemic, I guess a prayer or two for the continued well being of all would not go amiss. For the safety and well being of all, we pray.