ARE WE CONFUSED, STILL?

By Sarawakian

The rather wet weather since the 1st of February 2022 has not really let up. We have seen sudden storms coupled with lightning strikes around Subang Jaya for the past few weeks. Trees have fallen victims causing a bit of chaos around the neighbourhood.

For most part of the first quarter, there has not been much going on in Subang Jaya. Even SS15 has gone quiet with many of the bubble tea rage coming to a sudden stop. The change came with some of them converting into yoghurt and then soya milk-based beverages. This could clearly be seen at Jalan SS15/4.

I took a drive towards the Holiday Villa Hotel, and it was quite a sad moment to finally see the hotel closed with my own eyes. This icon opened in 1988 and was finally shut on 1 October 2021. The only one next door still survives. The Grand Dorsett Subang changed names from its iconic Merlin Subang and then, Sheraton Subang before it is known as its current name today.

What was a bustling nook for the two iconic hotel properties in Subang Jaya, it has now gone eerily quiet. The only new hive of development is the extensions of the Subang Jaya Medical Centre. The Subang Ria Park remains a quiet spot needing a good makeover as an upgraded public space. It would be good if after so many decades, the park be rejuvenated. The largest public space seemed neglected.

There has been quite a lot of tussles between stakeholders when it comes to the Subang Ria Park, but new plans should now be quickly tabled again for the benefit of Subang Jaya. With the experience of Covid-19, many of us would love to be out in the open and a good park would be most welcomed.

At this moment, many of us have still not come out into public spaces as eagerly as before. This has a lot to do with the constant confusing messages coming up from the government. Are you confused, still? When asked, I am quite sure that we would quickly answer that we are just so tired with the constant changes.

Shopping centres have also taken quite a bit of a hit. It is quite easy now to find parking spaces even at pre Covid-19 peak hours. All the shopping centres within Subang Jaya showed this. The same goes to cinemas. This is not the fault of the shopping centres and cinemas though, as consumers have drastically changed their way of shopping and consuming. The internet and smart devices have certainly played a big part in this change.

Around us, the adult population have a high full vaccination rate. I do not understand the threat for changing one’s status from fully vaccinated to partially vaccinated if you do not get a booster shot. It has been a really nice campaign in getting people to be fully vaccinated initially, but with this last threat, I do feel the Government is throwing away all the goodwill created.

It is already hard to explain when many of us who have taken the booster had no choice but to mix the vaccine type. While we understand that based on studies this was acceptable, what we find wanting was the change against the Sinovac type in the government program of free vaccination. Alas, what has had done had been done. When first Pfizer was required, thereafter, a choice with Sinovac was allowed for the program. It does not matter now. The Government knows best, so we would just follow in good faith and trust.

We have also been informed that the borders would re-open, though the cases of the Omicron infections continue to rise. It seems that the variant is less lethal hence the stance. The current quarantine requirements and the need for self-testing discipline have seen quite a few changes. Yet, the need for home quarantine remains for specific cases. What is worrying is when the MAEPs facility for the CAC (Covid-19 Assessment Centre) reopens. Perhaps, we are over paranoid or are we confused, still?

The risk is real for those who have weak lungs as the virus would do some damage even if you have been vaccinated. As we said goodbye to the mandatory thermal scanning on Feb 11th, 2022, it has been a rather nostalgic moment after nearly 2 years. What is left is still the mandatory checks of the MySejahtera app on your mobile phones. Woe behold are those who do not have the smart devices. Would they then just carry their vaccination certificates?

We are entering the endemic phase, as we are told by the Government. This is based on research, they say. We must live with the virus, they say again. If that is so, then we would really need some clarity as we cannot be relying on face masks daily which would impair normal breathing eventually. We cannot also rely on spraying sanitizers onto our hands nor wash our hands so frequently in excess of what we would usually do. We have seen how crowds are allowed to gather and watching football on TV, most are without masks in the stadium.

I wonder if we would see the day soon enough where we stop scaring ourselves if the data was indeed true. Perhaps testing for Covid-19 would no longer be important unless you have shown severe symptoms requiring intensive care. This would be the point of actual testing. The MySejahtera app would likely be retired as well. I think what is clearly in danger is the mental health of everyone. Fear might just consume us. Are we confused, still?