MCO 2.0: Surprised? Not Really

Choo Choy May/Malay Mail

As Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced the second round of Movement Control Order (MCO), the public have responded with mixed reactions as some of them already saw it coming from far away.

According to an interview by The Star with retail marketing executive from Kuala Lumpur, Effendi Elias, he had expected MCO to be reinstated and says that it’s inevitable that it happens in the fight against Covid-19.

He had also mentioned that he had to scrap plans of wanting to ‘balik kamoug and also “I’ve been going back to see them almost every other weekend since the recovery MCO, ” he says. “Both of them are elderly so I’d like to spend as much time with them as possible, and of course see my nephew and niece (sister’s children) too, ” says Effendi.

“But understandably, with so many cases –more than 2,000 daily – we need to curb the spread of the infection so it’s necessary to implement the MCO again and I feel that the Prime Minister made the right decision, although it may be an unpopular one and some people may object, ” he says.

Effendi is just one of many that will be affected by the second round of MCO, but Malaysians had earlier already stated that they wouldn’t be surprised if MCO was reimplemented, as netizens who had took to Twitter earlier to express this.

Shannon Teoh, the Malaysia Bureau Chief for The Straits Time said that the increasing number of daily cases was a clear sign that this was going to happen and it wasn’t a matter of “if” but instead a matter of “when”.

“I think many Malaysians saw this coming, the numbers from a few hundred to a thousand to two thousand. Last week, we went past three thousand.” Teoh said in an interview with The Straits Times.

“A lot of people started talking about if further restrictions was going to be imposed. There were also word leaking out from of official sources that the health ministry had recommended returning to MCO. 

“It didn’t really come as a surprise, in fact, many people were waiting for the announcement”. 

Although the news doesn’t come as a shock, netizens were quick to point out that instead of surprising the public with the news on a fine Monday evening, the government should’ve planned for the announcement earlier as most people and especially the vulnerable would have just a day to start preparing for the lockdown-like situation.

One in particular mentioned on how MCO was announced as if it’s a birthday party.

Wong Shu Qi, the MP for Kluang, Johor also led in voicing out the timely decision made by the government’s announcement.

Some on the other hand already expect MCO to be longer than the said two weeks and are questioning the proposed two-week period instead of a longer one.

Work From Home: Expectation vs Reality

Sebastian Gollnow/The Star

If you haven’t start working from home yet and expect it to be a breeze when it comes about, think again as you just might be setting yourself up for disaster.

As work from home became a new norm for us throughout 2020 and perhaps even for the majority of 2021, let’s take a look at a few misconceptions of working remotely and how unrealistic expectations brings out the worst of working from home.

1) Work schedule

Expectation: “Who needs an alarm clock when I can start whenever I want to?”

Reality: You still have deadlines to meet and colleagues to communicate with. If you don’t have a set work schedule for yourself, don’t expect the same for others as work from home means more conference calls than usual now that everyone is not seeing each other in the office anymore.

2) Resting hours

Expectation: “Yeah I’ll stop working whenever I want, who’s here to stop me from taking a day off anyway”

Reality: You won’t be calling it a week on Thursday and give yourself an early weekend. In fact, you might find work hours overlap with your resting hours since work and rest are all in the same space. Tasks that aren’t done before the weekend might just roll on over and take up your resting days, get a solid understanding of how you can maximize productivity while you’re still in the week.

3) Work-life balance doesn’t exist at home

Expectation: “I feel more productive today, I think I might as well work throughout the night while at home”

Reality: Burnouts happen whether you’re overworking in the office or at home. Take time off occasionally to tend to your own well-being and life when you find yourself taking off more than can chew. While overworking can be a might convenience, it is far too easy to slip into the dark hole of overworking yourself to the extremes.

4) Distractions

Expectation: “Home is so quiet, there should be lesser distractions for me when compared to the annoying co-workers I have in the office”

Reality: Even an everyday object such as a flowerpot is enough to stray your attention away from work. Don’t underestimate your senses as the teeniest tiniest bit is enough to break your focus, this reflects much more especially when you have pets that are constantly on the run or simply doing nothing, laying there in all that cuteness.

5) Alone time

Expectation: “Imagine all that I can get done with all this alone time! This is the ultimate work experience!”

Reality: Too much alone time may be the reality we are facing now, but it might just be the bit that breaks us as well during this whole pandemic situation. With long periods of time spent at home, face-to-face interaction is often taken for granted until one realizes of the overwhelming quietness of long periods without human interaction. 

How to Survive A Flood, 3 Things That Could Save Your Life

dhflood – Flood in Malaysia Credit: Persatuan Bangsa Johor##########1##########Persatuan Bangsa Johor

As thousands are evacuated while rain continues to pour down on already flooded areas in peninsular Malaysia, casualties continue to rise along with the roads we don’t get to drive on anymore.

There are many things that you should and shouldn’t do whenever caught in a flood. Here are 3 things that you absolutely should do to ensure that you’ll survive.

1) Stay informed

If you know of bad weather that is going to take place soon and of the areas that are going to be flooded, have a plan on where to evacuate to and prepare yourself. Bring in outdoor furniture and move important indoor items to the highest possible floor.

It’ll also be best if you disconnect electrical appliances and turn off your gas as this will all help prevent fires and explosions. In the event of a flood, know the basics of moving to higher ground and to avoid walking through flood waters as just 30 centimeters of water is enough to sweep your vehicle away.

2) Prepare for the worst

A disaster kit prepared well in advance could be a life-saver for when majority of what you need is underwater or swept away. Put together supplies made up of basic items and necessities as you may need to survive on your on after flooding happens. A few of those items would be water, food, emergency supplies and also communication devices.

Other supplies would be basic services such as electricity, or even gas as you might be cut off for days or even a week. Your supplies should be enough for you to survive this period.

3) Turn around, don’t drown

It’s that simple. If you see a flood and want to survive, turn around and don’t drown. Don’t attempt to walk or drive through flood waters as 15 centimeters of moving water can knock you down while 30 centimeters of water is enough to sweep your vehicle away. 

Only return when the authorities say it’s safe; even with that, you have to be aware of debris and any harmful objects on the ground brought by the floods.

Bukit Aman: Driving Through Flooded Roads Could End in Disaster

As rain continues to pour down on major parts of Peninsular Malaysia, states such as Pahang and Johor have seen flooding for almost days now.

At just the beginning of the year, many are rushing to start of their year with work and to get on with their lives after the year end break, even if it means driving dangerously through flooded roads.

If you’re thinking about doing so the next time you come across a flooded road, perhaps think again, as motorists are advised to no take the risk of driving their vehicle throough flooded roads.

According to Bukit Aman Traffic Investigation and Enforcement Department (JSPT) director Datuk Azisman Alias, the public must emphasize their safety since many major highways and small-town roads were flooded and the strong flood currents are a danger to all road users.

“Road users need to be careful and do not take the risk of continuing with their journey if the roads they are travelling on are under water.

“Be careful during this flood season. If there is no need to go out, just stay at home,” he said when contacted by Bernama.

As reported by Bernama, a man was believed to have been swept away with his vehicle at Batu 18 Jalan Kluang Kahang after helping his wife to get out of a flooding car as they cointnued driving down a flooded road.

On top of that, several videos on social media showed how various drivers brave the waters in their trucks and Myvi-sized cars; it is important to mention that more than half of these videos resulted in the vehicles being swept away by the flood’s current as well.

5 Ways Music Can Help Making A Pandemic That Less Stressful

As we continue to distance ourselves from one another, 2021 is beginning to not look any different as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to rage throughout the world.

While entertainment and literally anything in general is being canceled abruptly, people are starting to find more sources of entertainment mainly from devices such as using movie streaming services and also music streaming services among the many.

Times like these we need reassurance, we need the connection, and most importantly, we need to connect and share. We are all in this together and we are going to get better together no matter how long it takes. Here are five reasons to why music helps during a pandemic.

1) Music connects lives and stories

With streaming services such Spotify and Apple Music, music and playlist sharing are a thing and is easier than ever! Wondering what your friends are listening to? You can now visit their profile and check out some new artists. Want to share a playlist with your friend while he or she works out? You could easily do that now as well.

2) Sparks creativity and curiosity

Stuck at a seemingly impossible project and need new ideas? There are tons of music out there to help spark the mind into imagining and creating new content. Thinking about learning a new instrument? Well we don’t need to remind you that now is a better time than any to begin, especially with all the time spent at home,

3) Opportunity to try something new

Little did you know, that you don’t need to have prior music learning experience to begin mangling in music making. There are tons of beginner level music making tools out there such as GarageBand, Acapella, Djay and Beat Maker to name a few. Other than that, small instruments such as the ukulele and the Marimba are perfect to have around the house during this time.

4) Socializing and relaxing

Although tons of concerts and live events aren’t happening this year, a lot of them have been moved online. Take this opportunity to experience the new form of concerts virtually. In the meantime, the internet is full of recordings of concerts from the past that are perfect for any given time of any given day.

5) Stress reliever

During exceptionally stressful times, my is helps with decreasing our stress levels and also make our days that less depressing. Other than that, music therapy is something that’s y being picked up by many during these times and are proving to be essential when everyone’s locked up at home.

Malaysian Climate is A Perfect Recipe for Potholes, Here’s Why

A menace to both drivers and cyclists, the pothole issue isn’t a new one as road users in Malaysia know that manoeuvring the streets of Malaysia would require swerving around the ever-present potholes.

What started as a mere obstruction to many is slowly becoming one of the reasons to why road users are injured even killed, as seen recently with experiences from Science, Technology, and Innovation Minister Khary Jamaluddin who had been injured after falling due to a pothole and Ho Yan Fee who had died after skidding of another.

How are they formed?

Potholes are formed when water seeps into an existing small crack on the surface of the road and deteriorates further over time. Potholes varies in sizes and are caused by the expansion and contraction of water that has entered the ground under the pavement. 

This only adds on to the factors as road surfaces which develop cracks due to stress caused by traffic expands during daytime and contracts during the night. Roadway traffic only makes the matter worst as cracks are widen which allows more water to seep in and repeat the process. 

So why is Malaysia’s climate a recipe for potholes?

Unless you’ve been in doors all your life, you’d be quick to know that Malaysia has two kinds of weather, mainly hot and rainy. 

Throughout the year we see rainy days more than enough and scorching hot temperature on other days, higher number of potholes are developed when we experience the various flashfloods across the country and when the roads dry up later at extreme temperature causing cracks on the road surface which only worsens over time.

As the weight of cars and trucks pass over spots that have succumbed to way too much pressure, pieces of the road are quite literally shattered, creating what we know as the pothole we often see.

Irresponsible utility companies

Potholes are also mainly the work of irresponsible utility companies that dig up roads in order to lay down cables and pipes. After doing so, these roads are not properly patched up, eventually deconstructing the hard work done by those in the road maintenance industry. 

The lack of communication between agencies means that one would do the hard work of paving a road making it seemingly brand new, while the other digs a spot up for piping or other purposes. Unwanted cracks are created way before the weather comes into effect, which indefinitely speeds up the process of how a pothole is formed.

5 Ways To Improve from 2020

1) Detox and declutter

Treat a year as if going to be your body, whatever you take in reflects as a whole. Take a look around the house or your room, if you notice stuff you don’t need or stuff that has simply been there collecting dust for way too long, get it out. This doesn’t only work with stuff in the house but also works with your lifestyle, still holding on to that membership for the gym you don’t go to anymore or still have certain unhealthy practices? Well guess what? Now is a better time to detox than any.

2) Organize

Your schedule, your desk, your office or even your kitchen, 2020 was indeed messy and it’s easily noticeable with all the mess around you. Take the time to organize the mess that was 2020 in order to make 2020 a spacious and healthy one to look at.

3) Start small

You don’t have to start running every morning before work or quit your unhealthy snacking immediately, start small by taking one step at a time, such as taking a 10 minute walk after lunch or limit your sweet snacking to a bare minimum for the meantime; you could then move along from there.

4) Get out

We may have a pandemic going on now, but that doesn’t give you a reason to live off your work desk or sofa. An evening walk around the neighborhood would do wonders when thinking about the amount of time you’ve spent at home.

5) Meet someone new

This does not necessarily mean a romantic relationship as you have more friend-material around you than you think. The person that serves you coffee and the local coffeehouse or the group that plays badminton at your nearby sports center, relationships and communication are important during these times; all it takes is a simple hello to start something new.

World Introvert Day: 5 Ways to Live With An Introvert

Yes, the spotlight now is clearly on New Years Day and how it’s going to be the start of new beginnings, but a little known day comes just after the first of January which is in fact World Introvert Day.

A day to celebrate our friends and family who are the quiet ones and rarely the life of the party; World Introvert Day started when psychologist and author Felicitas Heyne published a blog post calling for a day for us quiet ones that are comfortable being out of the spotlight.

In a noisy world, those who are quiet are often overlooked, hence, a day to celebrate their uniqueness seems only fitting. In a bid to understand those who are less vocal and outgoing, here are five ways to live with introverts.

1) Accept

Even when you don’t understand their whys and whats, understand that people are different from you and that you can’t expect everyone to be out and about as you are. Nonetheless, introverts still want to feel welcome and you should do so in a way that isn’t too overwhelming.

2) Observe

Introverts pay extra attention to verbal and non-verbal cues around them, you should too. When coming on an introvert in a conversation, observe if they are too overwhelmed by you or if they are in anyway uncomfortable with the attention by noticing the various verbal and non-verbal cues they are sending out.

3) Space

Introverts love their space and have personal boundaries to wherever they go. Respect this by not pursuing or pushing them into a conversation or event that they don’t want to be at.

4) Spend time together wisely

Introverts aren’t the ones for pointless get togethers where the music is so loud that talking is almost impossible. When gathering with an introvert, keep things small and simple while avoiding places that could be too overwhelming for their sense; instead, opt for settings that allows conversation and space for introverts to simply be themselves.

5) Solitude time is essential

Every now and then, introverts would have to crawl up into their cave to recharge for the next big function. When your initiatives to gather together happen to get rejected more than usual, don’t insist and just give it time as you’d see them once more, whenever they’re easy to step out into the world again.

New Year’s Resolution? Here Are 5 Ways to Make Sure You Stick To It

How does one welcome new year? One of the ways is too create a simple New Year’s resolution to begin with, sticking to that resolution however would be the challenge as finding motivation became as hard as any especially since the downfall of 2020.

Fear that you might end the year forgetting what you had in store for the your schedule? Fear not though as here are a five simple ways you can create and stick to a New Year’s resolution.

1) Aim high but stay specific

Instead of wanting to “exercise more” or “eat more healthy”, consider options such as “taking a 30 minute walk before dinner on every weekday”, “avoid eating when it’s past 11pm” or “eating fruits before bed”. It’s important that these resolutions aren’t too vague as a little flaw in it could see you breaking that resolution even before the first month’s end.

2) Small steps are significant

Instead of jumping right to the finish line, take time to have those small steps. Sleeping early for an example isn’t a one step process as you have to organize your daily schedule for that first and also to consider cellphone usage at utmost. Break down your resolution and start small each day, this would help making your end goal that more reachable and reduce the chances of it being too overwhelming.

3) Follow a timeline and monitor progress

Very much like a school timetable, a timeline of your resolution would help keep you in place and also stop you from straying from it. Monitor it as you go while making sure that you hit your daily, weekly or monthly goals.

4) Accountability

When creating a resolution for yourself, you owe nobody a promise other than yourself. If that isn’t enough, consider a subscription that would aid your in your resolution such as a gym membership or audiobook streaming service; this way, the effort you gave to start this journey would help you see the end of it.

5) Acknowledge the process

If you think you’d make it in just days, you’re wrong. Whatever you set out to do, make it known to yourself that it takes time, just like anything else. Be patient and embrace the journey, you make it to the finish line in one piece either way.

5 Practices to Begin a Minimalist Year

Whatever the reason is, practicing a lifestyle of minimalism can in turn be challenging but also life changing at the same time. 

Gone will be the days of icky clutter and 2021 would be the year where less is in fact more. Like every other life changing decision, simplicity takes a few steps and patience to reel in while sometimes it takes a little boost to make that jump in order to see how happy the other steps would be.

Although you might not think of any, there are many things in your life that you can simplify, such as clutter, debt, home and schedule. These are a few ways to ensure that 2021 isnt going to be jammed pack out of the box.

1) Write stuff down

Visual aids are always a great way to begin if you want to take that first step towards making life simpler and more straightforward. What are the reasons that you want this change? Are you tired of looking at a messy cupboard or fed up of being stressed out at night? These are your whys, and they provide great motivation to keep you going, your reasons would help you remember when you need them too.

2) You really don’t need any duplicates

Grab a box, walk around your home, if you see something that you have two of, chuck it in the box. Two sets of the same hand-mixer, copies of the same book, two of the same mats for your bedroom, if you don’t see yourself using it for the next couple of weeks, chances are that you don’t need it.

3) Clutter-free zones

Clutter doesn’t only take up space, but it also causes unnecessary stress with many of this only adding on to what we’re facing right now in this whole pandemic. Declare clutter free zones in your home to ensure the utmost focus when needed. If you too enjoy that clean and clear environment, look towards expanding your zone each day in order to have that clutter-free home that you’ve been planning about.

4) Think less, do more

Whether it be eating, travelling or simply living, the time taken where you’re deciding on stuff is best spent doing it instead. Spend lesser time to decide on what to have for lunch, what to wear or what to make for your family dinner; try a healthy routine that you could use to rotate throughout the week where you’d have 2 or 3 dinner choices for example.

5) Travel light

Travelling on a holiday or simply travelling to work is best when you’re aren’t held down by baggage mainly in your pockets and your backpack. The next time you take a trip for the week, pack half of what you planned for initially; when commuting for work, take less cash if you don’t plan on using them all, especially with the amount of e-wallet choices we have these days.