Flying is still safe, but these days, always take precautions

A trip back to Sarawak, a birthday celebration, and a Covid-19 scare.

That was how I spent the last week after the home minister, my daughter, and I flew back to Bau, a small town about 35km from Sarawak’s capital, Kuching, last Friday.

It was our first trip back to visit my in-laws after 25 months, and it coincided with my son’s birthday.

We got a great deal, too. The return flight for the three of us was slightly over RM800.

In December, one return ticket cost RM1,500! Ultimately, we decided not to return as the state held an election on Dec 18.

Fears of a Covid-19 outbreak, similar to what had happened when Sabah had an election on Sept 26, 2020, made us err on the side of caution. Luckily, everything was under control in Sarawak.

We went by Malindo Air, which meant an early morning trip, as the airline only has two flights per day to Kuching – 7.50am and 2.10pm.

With fears of the Omicron variant, the three of us suited up with double face masks and face shields. We had sanitiser sprays and wet wipes for the chairs and armrests.

The flight was only a quarter full and this eased some of our fears.

The return was via Malaysia Airlines on a flight that was delayed from 8pm to 9.30pm, but we were informed of the change four days in advance. Unlike Malindo, this flight was at near-capacity.

I had a bad cough and received worried stares from the other passengers who thought that I had Covid-19.

But I was positively negative, as I had done a couple of saliva tests before boarding, as besides the cough, I also had the flu and a slight fever on Monday.

The home minister and daughter were, and are still fine.

I continued testing after returning to Subang Jaya. All results were negative, but the trip back was partially spoiled as we feared going anywhere.

Even Owen’s birthday was at home, among close family members. We ‘tapaued’ his favourite food as we did not want to eat out.

It felt strange, as we would usually have at least 30-40 family members drop by for birthdays and other celebrations. But since Covid-19, people’s behaviour has changed. Small parties are the new norm.

Although we did not get to meet all the family members, we did spend time with some of them.

The country moves into the endemic stage on April 1, and life will slowly return to ‘normal’. Until then, we should take precautions whenever, or wherever, we travel.

Always pack extra test kits, face masks, vitamins, and medicine as you’ll never know when you may need them.

On a side note, when booking flight tickets, make sure you add on luggage, as this is no longer automatic.

A couple had to fork out nearly RM700 as their tickets did not include check-in luggage. Malaysia Airlines charges RM23 per kilogramme.

NEW RECORD IN WEEKLY CASES

Malaysia had a record 213,020 new Covid-19 infections for a single week in the last seven days.

That was the only second time we had more than 200,000 cases in a week.

Two weeks ago, the total was 201,848.

All in, the number of cases reached 3,774,786.

There were 194,793 recoveries, meaning 3,418,443 people have beaten the coronavirus.

Sadly, there were another 537 fatalities that took the total to 33,643.

Worldwide, there are 455 million cases, and 6.05 million fatalities.

FLASHBACK

I received this via WhatsApp from a couple of friends. It is a stark reminder as we entered the Movement Control Order on March 18, 2020.

BREAKING THE BIAS THROUGH DANCE

The Kizomba and Semba Malaysia community partnered with Birbiz Studio and brought together 29 people from all walks of life to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) on Tuesday.

They spent six weeks training for their performance last Saturday at the Heli Lounge Bar in Kuala Lumpur.

On the same day, Team Malaysia made their ‘live’ debut at Atria Shopping Gallery for the Women’s Aid Organisations’ ‘Power Up’ initiative, which builds resilience for economic and emotional empowerment among women in Malaysia.

The dancers sported masks sewn by women under the project.

Team Malaysia included Malaysian elements in their ‘live’ performance and video, by using batik skirts as the official costume.

If you are wondering, Ginga is a Portuguese word widely used in Kizomba, an Angolan dance genre that has gained popularity worldwide. Sixty-nine other countries held dances for IWD.

The Heart Foundation of Malaysia also marked IWD with ‘Go Red For Women’.

The purpose was to pay tribute to female frontliners who treated Covid-19 patients and helped victims of the floods that hit the country in December.

PLAY LIKE A BADMINTON STAR

Fancy playing badminton at a top-class arena?

Now, you can play at the courts where our top national players train.

YOUTH POLO TOURNAMENT RAISES MONEY FOR TIGER CONSERVATION FUND

Pink Sumatrans edged Malayan Tigers and Indochinese Greys in a nail-biting three-way penalty shootout to win the inaugural Malaysia Youth Polo Tournament last Sunday.

The tournament entered the Malaysian Book of Records as the first youth polo tournament in the country. The tournament was for a noble cause – it helped raise RM64,484 for the WWF-Malaysia’s Tiger Conservation Fund.

FOUR-INGREDIENT RECIPE FOR NUTELLA COOKIES

Self-taught baker Eloise Head has this easy-peasy, four-ingredient Nutella cookies recipe that only takes 10 minutes to bake.

WOMEN

To honour International Women’s Day, we have John Lennon, with Women.

Until next week, stay safe.

https://youtu.be/ZhfWiU8wGCc