Tag Archives: covid 19

From Bad to Worse

Disclaimer : This is a rant, which voices out lots of my frustration with the pandemic management in Malaysia – so you might not end reading this feeling better than when you started.

July last year had The Mister and I cancelling our engagement ceremony. To be honest, it wasn’t all misery because we understood how serious the pandemic situation was. People were facing far bigger problems than rescheduling an event.

Since then, I had sent both invitation+cancellation cards twice for our wedding (once in Dec 2020 and another time in June 2021). Even then, I was not really bummed by the situation. It was, yes, a pandemic. People had it worse, losing their family members, jobs. I felt for those who have not been able to travel to meet their families and loved ones for a year. Many basically have put their life on hold.

When nations worldwide ramped up their vaccinations, all we received were statements of ‘what we expect’ rather than ‘what we are doing’. The vaccination rate, while recently is commendable, was far too low from February to about mid-June. We’re basically the sloth in the vaccine race globally. Registration had Malaysians going on what felt like Hunger Games, only to be frustrated at how poorly the website works.

These past month, however, has been absolutely exhausting and dreary. One cannot plan beyond the weekend. Personally and professionally, I felt as I was stucked in what seemed like an unending tunnel. All thanks to the incompetent, overpaid idiots in a very large, yet most useless cabinet worldwide.

Our Prime Minister (and his advisors) think it’s imperative to change his official name AND let the rakyat know of his diarrhoea situation in so much detail BUT refuses to resume Parliament sessions. Meetings about pandemic management often has to wait for tomorrow or the day after; but 1 am gatherings can happen when a supporting party of coalition withdraws. Power crazed old men, who care about nothing but staying in power.

Senior politicians and political appointees (poor old high risk, privileged clowns) go on to make fool of themselves. From suggestions to drink warm water as cure to COVID-19, to high-school like bickering and blame games of what industries can operate during lockdown. Number of cases keep increasing, and the man who has failed to manage the situation gets promotion and clocks in with a shameless, guilt-free smile on his first day as a Deputy Prime Minister.

I am not usually very opinionated about politics in general – but these past year has triggered a very bitter-youth in me, who’s appalled at the state of her nation. What’s more frustrating is that those are supposed to care and resolve the matter are playing deaf and dumb. Even if the PN coalition were to lose majority, there isn’t much hope our PH took over – because the race sentiment always will triumph competency.

Some glimmer of hope, we see, when Young MPs are doing more good for the rakyat in their constituents than the ‘seasoned’ bunch. Commoners have gone all out to lend a helping hand in whichever way possible. Rakyat are more vocal these days when it comes to calling out any failures (read: stupidity) of the governing gang of politicians.

But…. I find it difficult to wholeheartedly believe that Malaysia will heal, and regain her former glory. The future does seem bleak, in all areas, be it politics, economy, education, unity or development. It’s like we have literally gone backwards. It’s very difficult to feel patriotic about a nation that’s broken the mandate of its people.

To not end this so bleakly (just like my future is, oops), I should say – hang in there! Like really, talk to your loved ones, find a hobby, and try to keep your spirits up. The ride might be rough, and a little longer than we would have expected.

Until Further Notice

I woke up this morning to see the screen of my phone with a pop up from my Countdown app.

‘50 Days till Engagement Day’, it read.

My heart sank a little. Almost in autopilot, I showered, got dressed and turned on my louder than average blender to make breakfast. It was an unsuccessful attempt to drown the gloomy, mehhhhness (I’m pretty sure this is a legit emotion that’s on the List of Human Emotions).

I started scrolling my phone, and the thought just dismissed (if I have to be specific, I watched this video, and got distracted!) 😛

While I was at work, the thought of my now-postponed-engagement crept back to mind, and I sent a screenshot of the countdown to my Free Therapist a.k.a The Mister. His reply was, ‘I want birthday’. The date of our planned engagement coincides with his birthday – and I wasn’t even really thinking about his birthday. Oppsss? Typically, I planned months ahead on lame games, puns and funs for the big baby.

It clicked me how this wasn’t even something worth fretting upon. It wasn’t like I was prohibited to get married to this guy! Our wedding might just happen on the planned date *fingers crossed*.

I mean there are bigger problems in the world – like a pandemic with no vaccine, not-so-great economy, Trump and an incompetent cabinet of ministers in a certain southeast Asia country ruining, sorry, running a government.

I have bigger problems. Piling up workload with urgent deadlines. Or, the fact that I can’t just go home to see my parents whenever I want. Or, that it’s been over 60 days since I had seen my groom.

So, I chose to just write a blog post about this unnecessary emotion– and then, let it go!

I’m going to end this post with a reminder how we used to be a decent looking duo in traditional outfits – and truth be told, now we’re both *coughs* very far from looking half as good. I guess the postponement is somewhat a blessing in disguise, eh?

Once Upon a Time in Ipoh ❤

5 Ideas on How to Spend Your Social Distancing Days

If I could actually break into a song and dance right now, it’d be a favourite from my teen days. *sings ‘We’re all in this together’ from High School Musical* Globally, we are all coming together against a common enemy – the COVID-19, with social distancing as our powerful weapon.

In trying times like this, especially having to stay indoors, and some of us undesirably away from family and our loved ones – the mood can be dull and frustrating . Here are some ideas on how to keep you out of boredom coma, and find a silver lining whilst you feel deprived of content for your social media accounts.

1) Take Up Challenge(s)

There’s a plenty of things you can attempt as a challenge – and it doesn’t have to be very complicated. Think about some of the habits that you’d like to make or break, and use this time to work on it. Staying home gives you more control and less distraction (relative to your day-to-day life). I, for example, have taken the challenge 1) To drink at least 1.5 L of water, 2) Eat all home-prepped meals & no junk food and 3) Write 3 blog posts , in the course of these 14 days. Keep track of your progress, and reward yourself at the end (only if you stayed on track, baru halal ah).

3 days of meals that I’ve been preparing at home #alonelife

Tips : Keep the challenges to a max. of 5; and choose what really matters & is meaningful to you.

2) Learn New Things

Lucky for us, there’s whole lot of FREE courses available online to enroll in. Some sites available are Udemy, Coursera & EdX. Some of the courses require payment – but mostly it’s for the certificate & grading. The course materials are almost always free. The next best thing about these sites is that they have pretty structured syllabus from renowned universities -so you can learn systematically. If you’d like to invest in better courses, try FranklinCovey-OnDemand, which costs about RM1000 – has various impactful softskills 1-hour programs. I finished 2 courses on the site which I found very useful. (Disclaimer : My access to Franklin-Covey was paid for by the organisation I work for; you can request your HR/Training &Development too!).

Other simpler alternatives are CrashCourse on YouTube which offers a wide range of topics, or Explained series on Netflix. I used to watch these while running on treadmill (when once upon a time I went to gym). If you want to learn a new language, then use the Duolingo app – and you really can progress. I didn’t know that I knew that much French until I watch an ad recently and could more or less make out what they were saying!

3. Declutter

We all have that space or drawer in our house that’s a ‘Everything Corner’. I have a storage box which contains my stationary, some souvenirs, random notebooks, stuffed toys, certificates, paper bags, vases, candles and what-not. I’ve been adding more to this said-container, especially because I hoard at every city I’ve been relocating to. Whenever I move, I don’t really unpack this container, which really questions the essentiality (is this even a word?) of these items. This is a good time to Marie Kondo similar spaces and clear that mess you keep hidden.

You can try this for your online clutter as well. That email address that you use to sign up for EVERYTHING, and now you have 3705 unread emails in your Inbox. Spend some time unsubscribing to the newsletters that are irrelevant to you. You can do this on your social media accounts as well – unfollow the pages you followed a decade ago but find no longer your cup of tea, or the ones that are no longer active. This way, you get more control of what you see online.

4. Catch Up

While it’s relaxing that some of our critical tasks at work have been postponed; and it’s a breather to work from home – it is easy to get distracted and impact our productivity. Working from home can so easily be counter-productive. This is a good time review your To-Dos and work on what’s important. It can be that improvement idea that you have, or a proposal for a potential saving – the kind of things you never got around to doing because there were always more urgent things that needed your attention.

I’m almost grateful that I have this breather – to resurface from the pile I’ve been under – because at least 60% of the urgent items have been pushed; giving me time to refocus and catch up on work that add more value.

Tips : Use the Urgent-Important Matrix, and reevaluate your To-Do list; so when you return to office, you can focus on Q2 instead of burning out with Q1 and Q3 tasks.

5. Reconnect with Your Loved Ones

Other than the stories of hardships of how they struggled during commute to school and struggling childhood (most Brown parents tell these stories?), we rarely know our parents for who they are as individuals. Years ago, I sat both my parents (separately) for an ‘interview’ session and asked them a set of questions. I found out that my father wanted to be a teacher if he’ve had the resources back then, and finds it difficult that his girls have grown up and that my mother told me that she thought I could’ve been smarter – but still proud of me! There’s so many parts of their younger lives that we don’t know – maybe you could sit & interview them to find out more.

The same applies to your partner or spouse. Give a call and catch up with that friend that you’ve spoken to in months or years.

BONUS: Try Social Media Detox

Truth be told – this is a tough one. Being cooped indoors can already be frustrating – and scrolling up social media keeps us occupied. That being said, social media can also be a source of frustration – what with the bad news, increasing number of cases, fake news, repeated tweets about the same things and videos of our clown of a Health Minister. We all need a break from this constant feed of negativity. Thanks to the RMO, there’s no need for FOMO – because everyone’s home (at least they should be!). I am yet to try this one out myself – so I’m curious if I remain sane, especially because I’ll have to remain home alone.

That sums up my ideas for now. Do let me know in the comments if there’s anything else that you’re doing; would love to know. 🙂

Till the next post, stay home, stay safe and most importantly, stay sane! ❤