Malaysia transitions to endemicity: Enjoy the freedom, but let’s not go crazy

Malaysia’s transition from Covid-19 pandemic to endemic began yesterday, but that does not mean we should let our guard down.

If you are wondering, endemic comes from the Greek word ‘endemos’, which translates to ‘in the population’. In other words, the coronavirus is still very much part of our community, and is likely to be around for a long time.

Consultant paediatrician Datuk Dr Amar-Singh HSS said: “We must not lose sight of the threat that Covid-19 still poses to the community, and keep in place vital measures.”

From yesterday, businesses could operate for 24 hours if their licences allowed. But do we want to go back to hanging out until 3-4am?

I spoke to some friends, and most of them said that they would not.

“I’d rather go out during the day, be at home by 8-9pm and watch football games from my bed,” said Petaling Jaya-based designer S. Ravindran, who used to watch football and other sports at eateries until the wee hours of the morning, pre-Covid-19.

“I am done with the nightlife,” he added.

Stay-at-home dad Rizal Solomon said he is happy that businesses and borders are opening up, but it is “not going to be completely normal”.

“The world has changed, and I will stay at home for now. Maybe in a year from now, it will be fine to hang out,” said the father of two.

“Also, many young children have only received one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. While theoretically, they will not experience severe symptoms if they get it, we want to avoid infections.”

Another friend, Kon Wai Luen said he may ‘lepak’ (chill out) at mamak restaurants, but that depended on how many people were at the premises.

“I don’t mind hanging out at an open air place. It is not the length of time spent there, but the number of people at the place,” said the editor of e-magazine Aurizn.

“If it gets too crowded, I will excuse myself.”

Another person who plans on watching football outdoors is G. Aravind.

”But not just yet.”

The human resources business partner, who had just recovered from Covid-19, said he planned to stay at home for the time being.

“It is a hard ‘no’ for me. It is too soon. I might go back to the old routine in the second half of the year, provided the cases continue to drop,” said Aravind.

Dev Prasad, however, cannot wait to spend time at his favourite hangout.

“I have started watching football on the big screen at mamak restaurants. I do not plan to stop. It is more exciting to watch the games with a crowd,” said the port and logistics consultant.

Manchester United fan Cynthia Goh hopes to watch the Red Devils’ match against Leicester tomorrow morning (12.30am), outdoors.

“I miss watching the game on the big screen with friends. Perhaps it is the atmosphere. It almost feels like we are at the stadium itself,” added the student.

“I have not checked if my usual place would be open past 2am. If it is not, I will look for another venue.”

Do enjoy yourself, but for the sake of your health, continue to mask up and do not go crazy!

NEW CASES DROP FOR THE THIRD CONSECUTIVE WEEK

For the third straight week, the number of new cases fell. The bad news? We still recorded over 100,000 new infections – 118,314 – to be exact.

That brought the total to 4,219,395.

Recoveries also fell but outpaced new cases, with 158,104 patients cured of the coronavirus.

Total recoveries are 3,977,403, meaning we should exceed four million by tomorrow.

Sadly, there were 296 fatalities in the past week, meaning 35,013 lost the battle against the coronavirus.

Worldwide, there are 490,132,496 cases and 6,171,497 fatalities.

IF IN DOUBT, SEE THE DOCTOR

On Tuesday, the home minister tested positive following a saliva test. She was not the only one. Five others in her company also tested positive.

They rushed to the nearest clinic to do a swab test. Thankfully, the results were negative.

She did three other saliva tests – Wednesday through Friday – all were negative.

“The doctor at the clinic said there have been a few cases where the test kits were compromised.

“I had a funny feeling when I opened the test kit and suspected something amiss. I was shocked when I tested positive, but kept calm,” said the home minister, who had no symptoms.

While she eventually tested negative, she made sure her movements were limited.

Another friend, who was unwell, self-isolated despite testing negative for three days. It was only on the fourth day that he was positive – the day he felt better.

The best advice is, if in doubt, seek your doctor out. The coronavirus is a cheeky little thing.

COFFEE ANYONE?

I received this via WhatsApp earlier this week.

AN EASY CAKE RECIPE

Fancy a simple four-ingredient birthday cake? Try this recipe that has no eggs, butter or milk.

APRIL SHOWERS

We welcome the new month with a song by Al Jolson.

Until next week, stay safe.

https://youtu.be/Z1Z0odJJj00

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