Takeaway is easy during MCO but where to eat?

Being able to buy food but not have a place to eat is a problem for many who are working outside their homes throughout the Movement Control Order (MCO).

While those working in offices may have designated eating areas, others have been forced to eat in their vehicles, back lanes and sidewalks.

Without designated eating areas, there are also departmental store assistants who have been forced to eat standing as foodcourts and shops cannot accept dine-ins.

A friend lamented on social media that it feels like eating during the fasting month when you get takeaway meals and eat behind a workshop … but that is a for another time.

For most workers, mealtime is the only time of the working day to unwind.

I am not saying you can’t gobble down a sandwich, curry puff or vadai standing.

But unless you are creative, it’s going to be tough downing assam laksa, nasi lemak and fried chicken or even roti canai when you are on your feet.

While it may seem petty, it should be noted that the 1996 Guidelines on Occupational Safety and Health in the Office by the Malaysian Department of Occupational and Health states that welfare facilities like eating, sanitation and washbasins should be available for all employees.

What’s wrong with eating at your workstation, you say?

Well, a 2018 research by the University of Arizona suggests the average desk contains 400 times more germs than a toilet seat and it is also home to more than 10 million bacteria.

Failing to clean your workstation regularly with antibacterial wipes can also encourage Helicobacter pylori, Staphylococcus aureus and E-coli, among others, to breed.

Employees falling sick too often? There may be a logical explanation, after all, bosses.

Unlike the MCO in March, the economy remains open with many businesses operating as usual this time.

Besides flattening the Covid-19 curve, the latest MCO is a chance for employers to rethink how they can provide basic necessities to their employees during and after this pandemic.

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