● By Ahmed Wafi
It wasn’t all that bad…
What a year to be alive! It’s been a tough year for many around the world and we see the impact brought about by the coronavirus first hand in our own country from the lockdown, the closure of establishments, being separated from families, the list goes on.
2020 however did bring us closer to our families, made us appreciate quality time with our friends, and riled up the spirit of unity as a nation to fight this retched disease! Here are some of the best moments our nation saw in 2020.
Perhaps the brightest thing to come out of a bleak year, Ustaz Ebit Lew emerged from the shadows when we needed him the most.
The Muslim preacher first came under the public eye in the early stages of the MCO, after videos of him providing aid to the less fortunate went viral. These videos showed him personally going into the less-fortunate communities, providing the basic necessities to get through a near three-month lockdown.
Since then, Ebit Lew has been providing aid to the National Zoo, federal prisons, the people of Selangor during the water crises and he even opened up his own convenience store, Elewsmart, offering groceries at cheap. Not all heroes wear capes after all!
Malaysians coming together
In a previous article, we highlighted key moments that saw our fellow Malaysians show what we’re made of, and turns out Malaysia is made of a lot of heart.
Up until a few months ago, our healthcare system was regarded as one of the best in the world in fighting COVID. Obviously, the third wave of the virus is the biggest one yet with numbers as high as over 1,000 cases a day but everyone knows it wasn’t the fault of our frontline workers.
In fact, our frontline workers are putting their blood, sweat and tears into their work, ensuring that we’re safe, making us proud every day!
MCO being lifted
Only during times of war will we realise the true value of peace. In the case of 2020, we were at war with an invisible foe and the only way we could fight it was to be away from the public eye and limit the spread of it.
Once the MCO was lifted mid-May, a lot of daily life resumed and it was one of the brightest beacons during such dark times. Despite physical distancing measures in place, Malaysians can unanimously agree that going back to the mamak and enjoying a teh tarik with friends after months of staying at home was a breath of fresh air, a glimmer of hope that things can be as they were!
Traffic? What traffic?
Even months after the MCO was lifted and replaced with the CMCO, RMCO, CMCO again and many other abbreviations that I’ve lost count, the painfully slow city traffic had become a thing of the past. We could enjoy quick drives to and from the grocery store and experience the top-class infrastructure our country’s highways offer!
Something that many people have forgotten because of everything else that has been going on: The Great Smoking Ban in Malaysia! Finally, it has become punishable by law for Malaysians to be smoking in public areas. No more secondhand smoke, no more horrible smoke smells while you are trying to enjoy your teh tarik.
Not an entirely Malaysian moment but seeing how quickly Malaysian organisations adopted the WFH culture has been a breath of fresh air for working professionals around Malaysia. Having a better work-life balance, increased productivity, less stress and eliminating hours in commute time per week is a relief.
Our only question is will this new normal be here to stay? Tell us what you think by tweeting us @graduan
Picture from FMT