Covid-19’s terrible scourge as millions of children are orphaned by pandemic

Last Saturday, we received some sad news on my daughter’s school WhatsApp group.

A Form 4 student became an orphan when her father succumbed to Covid-19 that morning, three days after her mother died due to complications arising from the coronavirus.

The news hit us hard as the girl was two years older than our daughter, and one year younger than our son. You usually read about these things, but you never expect them to happen to someone close to you.

It reminded me of an article written by Twentytwo13 columnist, Rita Jong earlier this month, about how Covid-19 orphaned millions of children worldwide.

Among others, Jong shared that a 12-year-old girl lost her mother and grandmother to the disease, and how a 12-year-old boy was forced to sleep on the streets after his parents died of Covid-19.

My daughter’s schoolmate will now stay with her relatives, who have agreed to look after her.

The other parents in the group chipped in to donate some money for the girl, but it won’t compensate for losing both her parents. Nothing ever would.

We wish her well, and hopefully, she can grow up in a loving environment among her relatives.

Just as I wondered how many Malaysian children had suffered a similar fate, a Malay daily ran an article on Tuesday, quoting the Education Ministry as saying that 1,517 students have lost one, or both parents, to Covid-19.

That’s sad, but hardly surprising, given how many deaths have occurred since the pandemic began a year ago.

Although the death rate has not come down, even as more Malaysians are vaccinated, we hope we don’t have to read such terrible news soon.

Everyone can play their part by staying vigilant. We owe it to ourselves and our future generations.

FALSE DAWN, BUT DON’T GIVE UP HOPE

There was a glimmer of hope on Monday when, for the first time since June 22, there were more recoveries (19,053) than new infections (17,672).

On June 22, it was 4,743 new cases, against 5,557 recoveries.

However, from Tuesday until yesterday, new cases once again outnumbered recoveries.

In total, there were 149,889 new infections in the past week, taking the total to 1,662,913, while 139,774 patients were cured of the disease in the last seven days. That meant 1,381,668 or 83.09 per cent had beaten the coronavirus.

Sadly, we had a new high for fatalities in a single day, with 393 deaths on Thursday. In addition, there were 1,837 deaths this week, taking the total to 15,550.

Meanwhile, the United States could see nearly 100,000 more Covid-19 deaths between now and Dec 1, but could cut that figure in half if everyone wore a mask in public.

The US had suffered nearly 652,000 deaths from almost 40 million cases.

Worldwide, there are 215.6 million cases and 4.5 million fatalities.

FROM FOMO TO FOGO AND FONO

Before Covid-19 entered our lives, fear of missing out (FOMO) was a thing. But now, it is FOGO and FONO. Confused? I was too until I read this article.

FOGO stands for fear of going out, while FONO is fear of normal.

I guess some need time to adjust to a post-pandemic world.

STAYING SAFE WHEN EATING OUT

Last week, I wrote about my fears of eating out.

Several friends said they shared my hesitation. One friend said she would only eat at restaurants where workers had been vaccinated – just like Mahbub in Bangsar.

EVERYONE MAKES THE SAME JOKE

New Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced his Cabinet yesterday. Malaysians had the same reaction.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

The Rotary Club of Central Damansara is looking for volunteers to drive nurses and doctors to vaccinate bedridden cancer patients.

If you are interested in being a volunteer, please contact Veeneth Menon at +60167224224.

CHEF WITH A HEART

For some delicious home-cooked food, you should try Rheyna’s Kitchen.

Rheyna’s Kitchen, run by Sarahjean Christina Fernandez, donates RM1 from every order to Hunger Hurts Malaysia.

Great food, big heart.

SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL

Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts died on Tuesday. He was 80. Here’s an article about his influence on the enduring band and below, is one of my favourite songs by them.

Rest in peace, Charlie.

Until next week, stay safe.

https://youtu.be/GgnClrx8N2k

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