Oi! #chooselocal

by Anthony Dylan

The impact of Covid-19 globally has been tremendous. We have, at the time of writing exceeded a total of 6 million cases with over 360 thousand deaths and over 3 million cases still active. This is truly a pandemic that would seriously cripple the global economy.

Many have started new norms in their lives and others are still indifferent claiming that the pandemic was blown out of proportion. However, you also get analysts looking at possible mathematical and statistical inference in predictive trending. Some have stated that in history, this pandemic claimed lesser lives than other occurrences. Regardless, fear has been instilled by something we cannot see nor have any idea of when a vaccine can be found. Until today, a simple case of Dengue has no vaccine effective enough as an anti viral solution. While many virus infections are carried by a set vector, one which has the ability to cross and create a human to human infection is worrisome.

In this time and day, we have suddenly been plunged into a world of enforced change. But, would this change our habits? Only time would tell. The days of when we shook hands, head to concerts, visit friends and family, take trips, visit shops or eateries and social get together have changed. Today, precaution takes precedence. But the irony is that this fosters a reality check. The basic needs are now amplified more than ever. “Less is More” has now become a reality. Quality stems from the little things you do and create.

Technological adaptation has sped up. In Sarawak, the quick thinking saw the Government instituting restrictions to entry from the outside world as early as 1 February 2020. That was just 9 days after Wuhan locked down on 23 January 2020. All those entering Sarawak would have been required to be quarantined for 14 days and had to wear a QR enabled wrist band.

Today, Sarawak has 2 mobile apps which are still being used to combat the infection. The Qmmunity app https://qmunity.app/  is used for your QR check at business premises and enabled contact tracing. The other is the CovidTrace app https://covidtrace.sarawak.com.my/ which aids in contact tracing of imported cases. Selangor has SELangkah https://www.selangkah.my/web/, Penang has PGCare https://pgcare.my/home and Sabah has SabahTrace https://sabahtrace.my/ as contact tracing mobile apps. It just shows how local collaborations work when pressed for the better good.

Times are hard and it would only get harder as we head into the following days, weeks and months. In retrospect, I think many of us have taken for granted of what is really important to us. We tend to spend more than what we need and sacrificed value for convenience. Many of us also took in the rhetoric of what is not tried, should be condemned. The MCO changed this as we took to going to supermarkets, wet markets as well as online shopping or call to order and deliver in earnest. Many of us have discovered the tremendous savings we had cooking at home.

Options of Grab, BungkusIt, FoodPanda, Beepit and Lalamove and even their own delivery systems have made it all the convenient. Variety is no longer an issue as stocks are available. There had been more hits than misses in experience. You have the options of connecting with them via mobile messaging apps like Telegram, Whatsapp, Messenger, Instagram and Facebook.

But, I would think those who are in real need of our help are the hawkers. They have limited access to such technology and rely on e-wallets; and call and order for self pick up. They have been eking out an honest living and the MCO period has hit them hard. The current CMCO gave some respite to evolving more. Let us continue to support our nasi lemak, curry mee, wan tan mee, char kway teow, chicken rice, nasi kandar, roti canai, banana leaf rice, char siew rice, nasi kerabu, chap fan and all our hawkers. Bring a tiffin carrier as it also helps them with the costs of buying packaging materials. It would be good to know that you would play a part in assisting the environment too. Kopitiams would be glad to still have you tapau your favourite drinks in flasks too.

#chooselocal #choosehawkers #saveourhawkers.

They have been providing us with value for money offerings for many years but previously we also chose indulgence with a conditioned mindset of belief that price denotes quality. A fallacy we should snap out of now. How can you compare char kway teow of a hawker with one in a polished environment; and pay near 2 times the price or more for a portion one can never finish? Anything made or consumed more than required would always be bad for your health and mental state. Remember, “Less is More”

Having to save our hawkers should be made a priority. I cannot dream of one day not having to be able to partake in simple food which amplified taste and honest work over creative plating. If you are thinking of not cooking on some days, do keep them in mind. Choose local. Choose to buy from hawkers. Choose to buy from as many hawkers as you can to spread it out.  They need you to remain. We cannot afford losing our hawkers. It is a choice we can easily make.

We have celebrated Hari Raya Aidilfitri recently in this new normal. Those in Sabah and Sarawak would be celebrating Tadau Ka’amatan and Gawai Dayak on 30 to 31 May and 1 to 2 June respectively. Let us remember the roots we came from and the simplicity of life rather than the excesses.

The CMCO which began on 4th May 2020 is expected to end on 9th June 2020. Would it be extended? No one knows. However, what began on 18th March 2020 would be 84 days on 9th June 2020.

#staysafe #kitajagakita #chooselocal #choosehawkers #saveourhawkers

Let us pray we get through this together. God Bless