Not the best Christmas but plenty to be thankful for

“This is the worst Christmas ever.”

“We can’t have our friends over for Christmas”

“Oh man, we can’t travel for the holidays.”

I have heard these and many more negative thoughts and gripes over the last nine months.

For Christmas, you can substitute Deepavali, Hari Raya or any other holiday since Covid-19 made life a living hell.

I have been negative at times (especially when I had to compile the weekly Covid-19 stats).

This Christmas I won’t be spending it with my son, Owen, who is in Sarawak. There were a couple of times I did miss Christmas with him due to work – but I always was in Sarawak by Dec 27.

So yes, it won’t be a perfect Christmas.

But lousy? No way, and here’s the reason why.

On Tuesday, Sachina Dominic sent me this via WhatsApp.

What a great message. Instead of moping and griping, we should look on the bright side.

So here are five things I’m thankful for:

LOVING FAMILY: Yes, there are arguments and disagreements but nothing serious. Even though Owen is far away, the home minister video-calls him twice a day so we keep in constant touch. Owen and his little sister Carra may not see each other often but he is very protective and doesn’t allow anyone – other than himself – to bully her when they are together!

RELATIVELY GOOD HEALTH: I could stand to lose 1kg or 20kg! But overall, I can still enjoy all the food I like and have no problem getting around on my own two feet.

SECURE JOB: With many worrying about job security and several media houses shedding staff like confetti, we at Twentytwo13 have had a stable year. Salary comes in on time (or earlier for festive seasons) and no pay cuts. Okay, okay, enough of bodek-ing the bosses!

GREAT EXPERIENCES: Cleaning up the home for Christmas meant going through some photo albums. It made me realise what a wonderful career I had. I got to meet many great personalities and visit awesome countries (more on this in a coming article).

GOOD FRIENDS: What’s life without friends, eh? I’ve been lucky to have met many friends who have become family.

Anyway, today is the 284th day of the Movement Control Order and this is the 28th weekly edition of ‘The MCO Diaries’.


And so it happened. Malaysia surpassed 100,000 Covid-19 cases on Dec 24. As of yesterday, there were 10,749 new infections in the past week which brought the total to 101,565.

On Dec 21 and 22 we had 2,018 and 2,062 cases respectively. Those were the third and fourth highest number of new infections in a day we have had this year.

Dec 10 (2,234) and Nov 24 (2,188) had higher, which means three of the four worst days happened in December.

Shouldn’t we be getting better numbers after all the lockdowns and other rules we had? Can someone explain where we went wrong?

We had 17 fatalities this week, bringing the total to 449. There were another 7,296 recoveries which means a total of 82,540 patients have been cleared of Covid-19.

Globally, we are the 75th-worst hit nation with the United States with the worst numbers – slightly over 19.2 million cases and 338,263 deaths.

Worldwide, the number of cases stand at just over 80.2 million while the number of fatalities recorded are a little over 1.75 million.

Separately, Taiwan, which holds the world record for the most number of days without local Covid-19 transmission, ended its streak after reporting its first domestic case since April on Tuesday.



For the third year running, Liverpool is at the top of the Premier League standings at Christmas.

This has become a regular occurrence in the past decade, but in that time, The Reds only won the last season.

Can Liverpool repeat as champions this season? Perhaps, as it beat close rival Tottenham more than a week ago to open a slight gap at the top.

But in a packed Christmas-New Year schedule, it has games with West Brom (Monday 12.30am), followed by trips to Newcastle on Dec 31 (4am) and Southampton (Jan 5, 4am) and an FA Cup tie against Aston Villa (Jan 9, 3.45am).

That’s four matches in 13 days which is par for the course for all English teams.

Since most of us would be stuck at home anyway, that means plenty of football matches to consume.


If you are like me, you would have been stuffing your face the whole week. Here are some tips to help you shed some calories.


If you haven’t watched it, Last Christmas on Astro is a good movie. You can watch it on the Astrogo app or the Astro Ultrabox. It was certainly better than expected and I regret dismissing it by not going to the cinema to watch it last year.



I wanted to end the final ‘The MCO Diaries’ of the year with another John Prine number as it is one of my favourite songs.

Instead, here is a beautiful song by Jim Reeves, who is one of my mum’s favourite singers. She says “he can’t sing a false note even if he wanted to”.

Have to agree with her. See you next week when we enter a new year.

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