No light in sight: Counting my blessings, but others not so lucky

I am blessed and luckier than most. I have a job, my salary has not been slashed despite the gloomy economic outlook, and I’m still able to put food on the table.

Yet, it felt like a punch to the stomach when the government, had last week, announced that the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) would be enforced in parts of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur.

I felt disappointed, upset, disgusted, and most of all, angry.

I’m disappointed as friends, neighbours and family members struggle to put food on the table due to the numerous lockdowns. These are honest, hardworking people who are at their wit’s end.

I am upset as there are countless stories of people putting up white flags asking for help. Yet, there are those in power who want to punish them for doing so.

I am disgusted as these folks do not have money to buy the bare necessities. Meanwhile, the well-paid, overly compensated and privileged politicians seem to hurt them further with confusing regulations and a lack of empathy.

I am angry as the suicide rate has shot up – 468 cases between January and May this year – partly due to the various Movement Control Orders (MCO).

Last Thursday marked the one-month countdown to the end of the state of emergency since it was declared on Jan 11. Yet, MCO 3.0 was not only extended, but enhanced.

The emergency was to fight Covid-19, but instead, the casualties are the people. Heck, I bet even Makcik Kiah is crying.

We are regurgitating the standard operating procedures (SOPs) when the evidence shows it has not worked. Ordinary people have been issued summonses on the spot for “not obeying” SOPs.

The confusion in rules and SOPs among the enforcement agencies makes things worse.

Initially, Kuala Lumpur Police Chief Commissioner Datuk Azmi Abu Kassim was reported to have said that they were waiting for the green light before allowing those in EMCO areas to go for their vaccination appointments – but these are the very people most in need of the vaccine.

Azmi later clarified, he meant those wearing the pink bracelet (for home quarantine) were not allowed to leave.

While most folks were figuring out how to service their bank loans, a self-centred bank employee reacted to the announcement of the moratorium by saying “there goes my year-end bonus”.

Many have not seen their families for months, but political leaders have had clandestine meetings, plotting to take over, or stay in government.

There does not seem to be an end in sight to our suffering – no matter who ends up being in charge of the country.

In the end, it is up to the people to help each other. The numerous food banks popping up all over the country show we do not need politicians.

Kita jaga kita.