In response to the Covid-19 outbreak in Shijiazhuang, a city up northern China that homes more than 1 million people, a quarantine centre with more than 4,000 rooms is being built at full speed.
According to the European Space Agency’s satellite images, what looked like a flat land on January 13th is now lined up by prefabricated houses. The official People’s Daily newspaper said that more than 600 rooms were ready by the 19th and another 3,600 will be added by the time of completion.
State media reported that workers and materials were transported from all across the country to help building the centre; it’s common for China to utilize nationwide resources when natural disasters or other crisis occur.
In 2020, it took merely days to build the hospitals, Huoshenshan and Leishenshan in Wuhan, the place where Covid-19 had originated from.
China who is known to have curb the virus domestically is battling outbreaks again this winter in its northern regions. The National Health Commission reported 145 new cases on Monday, including 11 in Hubei province.
According to the China News Service, each room is designed to house one person only, stands at 18 square meters and comes with bedding, a desk, an air conditioner, television and WiFi.
The centre is located in Zhengding county, a surburban area north of Shijiazhuang. Hebei on the other hand is roughly 260 kilometers southwest of Beijing.
The whole of Peninsular Malaysia is currently under the second implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO), but decorations for the upcoming Chinese New Year holiday are still being put up in shopping malls although lacking in shoppers.
With high spikes of cases in states such as Selangor and Sabah, Malaysians are advised to rightly stay home and to refrain from any shopping trips that they may have planned prior to the festive day.
A local photographer decided to document this event even though if it means taking pictures of largely empty malls with no subject to keep his lens on. With his trusted iPhone 12 Pro Max and a tripod, Siva Kumar went out on a mission to highlight the major change the pandemic has done to once bustling shopping malls.
These images show malls around Malaysia who are donning the usual Chinese New Year decorations at this time of month and how the consequences of the pandemic can clearly be seen in terms of business that just not having the foot traffic that they used to have.
With majority of us unable to witness the festivity of the new year in person yet, this is perhaps the closest we could get to visualising what Chinese New Year could’ve been, for now.
As many have saw Trump’s indefinite ban on Twitter coming, especially since the various misinformation violations during the U.S. elections last year, it finally happened after groups of pro-Trump supporters stormed up the Capitol and into the U.S. Capitol building drawing all eyes to the U.S. for all the wrong reasons.
Although unsure if the ban is going to keep Trump from being vocal until the presidential inauguration of Joe Biden, the internet couldn’t but help to start having some fun themselves as people were starting to create fake Trump profiles, depicting the now banned @realdonaldtrump account trying tweet.
The first of many “Johns”, a Twitter user called John Barron, who is “just here to make some friends and also America great again” surfaced on January 9th after the presidential ban where he/she mocked Trump’s desperate attempts to get back on Twitter.
“Hello I am brand new to Twitter. What are you guys up to?”, the account’s first tweet said, with a picture of Trump donning a mustache and glasses. The first of the many Barrons have now gathered up to 427,000 followers on Monday.
Soon after, John Barron started taking over Twitter as more came about pretending to be John Barron pretending to be Trump.
At this point we’ve seen @barronjohn1946, @JohnBarron1946, @barronjohn19461, @JohnBarron1946_, and they all use pictures of Trump with either a moustache, a pair of glasses or both; Barron who had been through multiple cases of stolen identities now had a few things to say about this.
Of course, somebody had to create an account with a twist depicting the first lady even though she wasn’t banned.
Amid all these, the real John Barron was finding it all too uneasy by now.
And it didn’t take long for a John Barron Jr. to jump aboard the Barron train.
Potholes are such a common sight in Malaysia that when we drive on the streets, we are used to avoiding them with the occasional driving on them, resulting in various damages to our vehicles.
With all the news regarding casualties and injuries due to potholes lately, such as Khairy Jamaluddin’s incident, a story from the past about how a group of people are taking it upon themselves to fix these potholes.
Led by actor Azlan Sani Zawawi, also known as Lando Zawawi, “Ikatan Silaturrahim Brotherhood” is doing what DBKL were lacking in at times.
According to Lando, the Brotherhood bikers would act when complaints were made to DBKL and if their response were either delayed or lacking. Using their own funds, they would purchase their own equipment and materials and start fixing potholes themselves, leaving a “calling card” on their repair work when it’s finished.
In an interview with The Star, they shared that they have been doing this since 2007 and does this for other people to be safe. The work is done mostly by volunteers almost every night in several states using a cold mix of asphalt and bitumen membranes.
Other than that, one of the crew members himself was also a victim of a pothole back in 2012, when a car hit had him after hitting a pothole, resulting in him losing one of his legs.
With this act, many netizens are thankful and are offering donations; however, the group is reluctant to receive any and instead would be more than welcome to have them buy Brotherhood merchandise instead.
To learn more about Brotherhood and their work, click here.
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.
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.
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.
So, we’re days away from another new year and things seemed to have moved so fast that we could not even remember bits and pieces from this year even if we try too.
What started with the Covid-19 pandemic and pretty much ended with the Covid-19 pandemic as well, showed that a global health issue was perhaps too much to handle and we might just show gratitude by counting our blessings while we still have them.
Nonetheless, it’s still time to look back and what year seems more fitting than the year that has been filled with so much. Here are 10 things that we’ve learned from the somewhat infamous 2020.
1) We weren’t ready for the pandemic
When the coronavirus started to spread globally, we didn’t thought things would even get this bad. Well, it sure did, and we weren’t ready for it. The New Yorker traced the lack of action throughout the world and saw a lack of preparation in China that allowed the virus to spread and also all other nations who failed at what China failed initially as well.
2) Staying at home isn’t a problem
Now that all of us are forced to work, study or literally do everything from home, staying at home for long periods of time isn’t a problem anymore. Hopefully this too serves as a reminder that it’s okay to not have a full schedule out and that you are in fact well-prepared to be at home for all that.
3) Healthcare workers are a blessing in disguise
While the rest of us were either all snugged up at home having our virtual meetings and avoiding the outdoors, nurses and doctors were doing the exact opposite as they were out in reality facing a deadly enemy that they couldn’t at all see. Where would we even be without them?
4) Teachers, restaurant workers and garbage collectors, the list only goes on and on
Being able to learn, eat outside and to simpler things like throwing out our thrash, all these wouldn’t be possible without our essential workers who were making sure that important tasks in our lives were able to be carried out.
5) Change doesn’t wait till you’re ready
When things change, they change even without prior notice. Experiencing change firsthand when you aren’t ready might be challenging but life changing, in a good way.
6) Isolation creates anxiety or depression
Other than insomnia, isolation takes over our thoughts at times when we need our thoughts to be at its most healthy. All the what ifs can be deafening at times and getting out of them is a hard task but not impossible one.
7) It’s okay to not be okay
Let’s face it, this year was in fact challenging for some than the rest. Asking someone “how are you today” doesn’t feel right anymore and it’s completely fine. It also became a year when checking in with others became more specific which in turn made us rethink our sentences and questions before sending them out of our mouths.
There are always going to be situations that are out of your hands and control. Even world leaders had to face the fact in which that things were to happen as it wished. One way to deal with it though, was to fact the truth and accept it as a whole in order to have some sense of closure for the year.
9) The internet can be a tool for both good and bad
Fake news and reporting that causes panic are just the many dangers of using technology and the internet. Good thing though, we have the good that would balance it out, such as Zoom meetings, streaming services and keeping us in touch with family and friends especially when we need them the most.
10) We are much capable than we think we are
This pandemic made us dig deep and unleashed our utmost creative side for dealing with so much changes and the new norm. From homeschooling methods to cooking, we’ve perhaps just only picked on the possibilities where we can adapt to our surroundings.
Malaysians may have ended the year with CMCO still in place for certain areas, but 2021 is showing promises of being better as the vaccine is due to be arriving on Malaysian soil in February next year.
To add on to the various questions that Malaysians have about the virus, one lingering one is that who is going to get the virus first and when? Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin cleared the air by announcing that he would be among the first to be administered with the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine in a bid to assure the people of its safety.
Following that statement, he announced that front liners would be the next group to receive the vaccine.
“After the front liners, the vaccine will be given to the target groups comprising high risk groups including the senior citizens, those with noncommunicable diseases (NCD) and chronic respiratory illnesses,” said the prime minister.
Other than Pfizer, the government had also just inked an agreement with Astra Zeneca to secure 6.4 million doses or 10% more vaccines.
“This means a guarantee to 40 per cent supply of vaccines have been secured via the agreements with the Covax Facility, Pfizer and AstraZeneca.
“The government is also in the final stage of negotiation with Sinovac, CanSino and Gamaleya to secure vaccine supply increase of more than 80 per cent of the country’s population or 26.5 million” he said.
According to Muhyiddin, agreements with Sinovac, CanSino and Gamaleya is also expected to add value to the country’s science and technology sector that would in turn benefit the people and country’s development. All this would include the bottling process, research and development as well as the knowledge sharing and technology transfer.
The country plans to administer the Covid-19 vaccine as early as February while more would be acquired to cover more than 80% of the population.
Who would’ve known that we’ll be spending the holiday season at home this year?
None of us would’ve had the slightest thought that Christmas would be an indoor holiday this year, but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be worse does it? Yes, it’s easy to blame the pandemic who has caused all of this and changing our holiday traditions, but it comes down to us to make the most out of the situation and to do it the right way.
Other than being great for long distance, flexible, the ideas and possibilities you could experiment with virtual meetings are endless. Here’s a few ways where you can ice things up.
1) Christmas themed ice breakers
As it might be a little to overwhelming for new-comers and people that aren’t sed to virtual meetings yet, you’d might as well break the ice like at any other party. Share a hilarious Christmas memory, favorite Christmas songs or to describe their year so far in a few words.
2) Plan ahead for a virtual secret Santa
It’s pretty much the same way as in real life, the only difference that you’d be looking at your secret recipient through a small screen. Follow the usual rules in assigning a person to everyone, but this time, virtually or through lucky draw apps you could easily find on your app store.
3) Put those presentation skills to good use
Chances are that lockdown has made most of us that much more of a pro in making and presenting slides. Assign at random or let everyone choose a Christmas topic to present at the virtual Christmas meeting. Let your imagination run wild and remember this is all for fun and games.
4) Christmas cocktail night
A night off with a careful mixed-up cocktail to your liking? Yes, you deserved it, take some time off to indulge in your favorite Christmas cocktail while with your friends over Zoom and not at the bar. If you’re feeling that tad bit adventurous, make cocktails with you buddies over Zoom.
It might be easier in real life, but that doesn’t mean it will be all that bad if done online. Make sure everyone’s internet connection is up to par, especially since trying to guess while have a weak wi-fi signal is pretty tricky not only for you but for your audience. To help out with that, charades.net just might do the trick!
In an age of sharing ideas and being vocal through tweets, you’ve probably sent one out with a typing mistake that you wish you can edit without having the need to delete it; and if you’re new to the problem you’d be fairly surprised to find out that Twitter doesn’t have an edit button for tweets when it’s sent out.
The only real solution here is to delete the tweet entirely and send out a perfectly written tweet with the needed amendments, but why the hassle when you could just edit a tweet right? Well, that isn’t the case for Twitter as even after years of letting their thoughts be known, Twitter has stood by their decision to not give users that function but went the complete other direction and came out with a whole new story sharing ability in “fleets” instead, which too obviously hasn’t settled in with its users.
So why wouldn’t Twitter give its users the ability to edit tweets after their sent out?
Tech companies often stick with carefully worded statements to back their decisions up, but that wasn’t the case with, Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, who put it quite straightforwardly during a Q&A with WIRED, “The answer is no” he says.
“The reason there’s no edit button [and] there hasn’t been an edit button traditionally is we started as an SMS text messaging service,” explains Dorsey. “So as you all know, when you send a text, you can’t really take it back. We wanted to preserve that vibe and that feeling in the early days.”
Dorsey says that the ability to not edit tweets once it’s sent out remains essential to what Twitter is as users won’t feel pressured about whether certain tweets would be edited to show another message after retweeting them.
Although, that doesn’t meant that Twitter hasn’t thought of other alternatives. It’s still tricky, as finding a way to be able to correct spelling mistakes or errors without having to delete the entire tweet is practically impossible as of now.
He added that Twitter has been experimenting with a short delay between when a user clicks send on a tweet and when it is actually posted, similar to an “undo send” feature but was quoted as saying that the company would “probably never do it”.
“I hope that was helpful,” Dorsey concluded quite simply.. “If not, mention me on Twitter and I’ll see what I can do.”
Although we are yet to hear about an edit function, rest assured that Twitter has been having its own fun with what the users want.
You can have an edit button when everyone wears a mask