Covid-19 makes flexible working environments the norm

Dear Diary,

Twentytwo13 turns two today.

We are thriving working from home although I do miss the hot chocolate and other delicacies from Cerise Alpha, our favourite Italian restaurant Antonio, and our neighbours in the building.

Facebook, meanwhile, says employees will be able to work from home permanently with other tech companies including Twitter and Spotify, giving their employees that option.

The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly changed many employers’ outlook.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin tested negative for Covid-19 today but will self-quarantine for 14 days. This was after an officer who attended the post-Cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday tested positive.

Separately, my cat Elsa has stopped sulking and is back sleeping on the bed. The only problem is she keeps wanting to go out and then scratches the door to come back in. It happens two to three times a night and early this morning, around 3am, I heard her scratching the door but I didn’t let her out … and I could feel her at my feet.

Simultaneously, I heard marbles rolling on the floor in the apartment above me!

Anyhow, here’s how Day 66 or (Trent Alexander-Arnold Day to Liverpool fans) of the Movement Control Order (MCO) unfolded.

7.30am: HILARIOUS – FC Cincinnati used the wrong picture when announcing Jaap Stam as its new coach. After posting the correct photo, it was trolled by other clubs and fans.

8.05am: UP, UP AND AWAY – Emirates restarts flights from UAE to Europe, the US, Canada and Australia with new safety procedures in place for travellers.

9.18am: FLEXING ITS MUSCLES – China to increase military budget by 6.6 per cent in 2020, Premier Li Keqian tells the National People’s Congress. He also says there is no annual growth target, a first in years. The meeting also sets in motion a new security law in Hong Kong that bans sedition, secession and subversion.

10.58am: HELPING HAND – New Zealand to distribute cash directly to individuals to help boost the economy.

11.16am: OPENING UP – Singapore announces staggered return to school from June 2.

12.01pm: GOOD CAUSE – Golfing greats Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will join American football icons Tom Brady and Peyton Manning in Capital One’s The Match: Champions for Charity on Sunday. The event is expected to raise more than US$10 million (RM43.6 million) for the Covid-19 relief fund.

2pm: NO SLEEPOVERS – Those visiting family members for Hari Raya, have to be back home by midnight. Visitors are not allowed to spend the night and action can be taken if they are still visiting at 12.01am.

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob also says 60 undocumented immigrants at the Immigration Department’s Bukit Jalil depot have been sent to the temporary hospital at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) convention centre for Covid-19 treatment. Swab tests are still being done on 1,200 immigrants while 114 immigration officers have tested negative.

There are two positive cases at the Semenyih depot and they too have been sent to MAEPS. Tests are being carried out on 1,600 others, including immigration officers. All officers will now wear full personal protective equipment instead of just masks and gloves.

Separately, 2,500 motorists who tried to ‘balik kampung’ were told to turn back. Of these, the three highest offenders were heading to Melaka (886), Perak (362) and Penang (284). Ismail Sabri warns those who managed to “escape” to their hometowns might not be able to travel back to the city. These includs “weekend spouses” who were previously allowed to travel to visit their better halves in other states. Ismail Sabri says it will be up the police to decide if these people are allowed back to the city.

2.03pm: CHEER FOR SPORTS FANS – Astro to offer its full Sports Pack customers a special rebate of RM20 per month for the next two bills.

4.34pm: DEDICATION – Health Ministry director-general Datuk Seri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah says Hari Raya this year will be no different from previous years as he usually spends the day in hospital with the frontliners after his Eid prayers. He warns there could be a spike in cases post-Hari Raya after announcing there are 78 new cases which takes the total to 7,137. Another death takes fatalities to 115 while 63 patients have been discharged, meaning 5,859 have been cured.


5.30pm: WHERE TO PUT FACE? – A private hospital (you know who) has been slapped with a RM200,000 compound by the the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry for selling three-ply face masks higher than the ceiling price.

An inspection was carried out at the hospital by the ministry after a patient of the private hospital, had on social media, claimed to have been charged RM201.60 for 18 pieces of three-ply face masks used by the nurses. The amount equals to RM11.20 a piece. The ceiling price for one face mask, set by the government is RM1.50.

6.30pm: CELEBRATION – No party for our second birthday but you can dance along to this number from Kool & The Gang.