WE’VE spent the last two years at home to avoid Covid-19. While at home, we have found different ways of keeping busy and entertaining ourselves, one of which is starting a hobby – gardening.

What used to be a sparsely planted compound has now turned into a beautiful garden with lots of plants to keep us busy pottering around all day. Space runs out for more plants. Yes! The backlane is hardly used and has the space for more planting. Why not? Everyone does it and no one makes a fuss about planting some vegetables or fruiting trees at the back.

For a while, planting is carried out vigorously. New pots (and Styrofoam) boxes get placed in the backlane; filled with soil and then finally new plants get introduced. For two years, we enjoyed the front garden and the backlane “extended” garden. The effort bore us fruits and vegetables; reducing our need to go to the market or grocery store for our greens and fruits. We are safer at home!

Two years later, the Covid-19 threat has reduced. We have regained much, if not most of the freedom of mobility we once had. We start going out, sometimes spending the whole day shopping with friends. We even start making trips outstation. We start eating out and less cooking is done at home. The need for greens and fruits can be easily fulfilled by dropping by at the grocer.

What happens to the garden? Is anyone watering it? Are the plants being cared for? Or are the pots and boxes you placed at the back now mosquito breeding spots? When was the last time you took the time to check every nook and corner of your garden for stagnant water? Noticed more mosquitoes flying around and biting you? That will probably make you avoid the garden. The garden will be neglected and start becoming home to the Aedes mosquito. Is it safe now at home?

Think about it. I have joined too many Search and Destroy campaigns organised by community groups with the Subang Jaya City Council. Every time it’s the same old problem. People plant; people forget but mosquitoes especially the Dengue kind don’t forget. They love our complacency.

Dengue drains you of energy and could also kill you or your loved ones. Do you want to risk it just because you couldn’t be bothered about your old abandoned garden at the back of your house?

It’s time to clean up and make it safe be it at home or outside.

With many leaving for their hometowns at the end of April for the Raya holidays, all the more important it is for us to clean up our garden (front and back) before we leave the home empty for the duration we are away. Don’t leave it to chance that the mosquitoes will be on leave too.

Let’s clean up and keep safe.

Here’s wishing everyone SELAMAT HARI RAYA. Maaf, Zahir dan Batin. If you are heading to your hometown, drive safe; have fun and come back safe. Bring along your SOPs on your holiday.