EDITORIAL: Keeping Sane During a Lockdown

FOLKS in Subang Jaya are beginning to find themselves climbing up the wall during this season of Conditional Movement Control Order. Having tasted freedom during the Recovery MCO and going through another lock down at home during CMCO 2.0 is a bitter pill to swallow.

People suddenly found themselves lost at home; not knowing how to occupy themselves once again. This has caused anxiety in those who got used to kesini kesana during the RMCO and it has bred a new group of netizens who complain about everything and anything. Worse still is the fact that these netizens have resorted to spreading rumours and unverified news over Whatsapp; causing widespread worry and panic in the community.

On Oct 28, news started to spread that the Ministry of Health had set up a Covid-19 testing facility at Good Year Court 2 in USJ6. By the afternoon, messages started floating around that 25 positive cases had been discovered at the same area. By the morning when the tests were being carried out, messages claiming 11 positive cases had been discovered at the testing facility; and by the evening, messages went around that barbed wires were being put up to cordon off the whole apartment blocks in the neighbourhood.

I was having lunch on Oct 29 when I was asked if what was being circulated was true. I honestly said messages claiming this and that had been going on since the day before. I asked if anyone had bothered to verify the authenticity of the forwarded messages to which I was told no. I must have received almost 50-60 messages over the two days bearing the same topic and questions. By the end of the second day, I was frustrated and mentally exhausted. I decided the best way to stamp out this unnecessary nonsense was to contact our new Subang Jaya OCPD ACP Abd Khalid to seek some clarification.

ACP Abd Khalid was swift in his reply and confirmed that there were no orders to lock down the Good Year Court 2 flats contrary to the claims on social media. The rumours died as fast as the clarification from the police. I finally had a peaceful evening resting my tired mind.

Sensational “news” appears to be the favourite past time of many while locked down at home during the CMCO 2.0. I suppose people are bored at home and too afraid to venture out. So their next best entertainment is to “exercise their fingers” on their mobile phone sending and forwarding anything and everything to friends and their friends. These are signs of a community that’s reacting to the sound of a sewing pin dropping on the floor. I wouldn’t be surprised if they start a viral message claiming someone just got killed by a sewing pin!

Come on folks. We have been through this before. It’s now the 8th month since the Movement Control Order was introduced for the first time. During the CMCO 2.0, we are allowed to go out to buy essentials and run important errands. We can venture out of our sanctuary to treat ourselves to something nice at the shopping malls around us; treating ourselves to a nice lunch or tea break while complying with the SOPs.

I have been dropping by at the shopping malls in our neighbourhood – Da Men Mall, ss15 Courtyard, Subang Parade, Main Place, Mydin and also Sunway Pyramid. While the usual crowds are not there, the retail outlets are open for business. They have sales and the food and beverage outlets are having loads of promotions. I certainly felt safe walking the shopping malls as their SOPs are strictly enforced and adhered to. Certainly worth checking out but please observe the SOPs while you are doing so.

During October, we started SJECHO LIVE UPDATES on Telegram App to encourage Subang Jaya residents to join to stay updated on major stories and issues which are relevant for our community. This is a group which does not allow messages from members and is free from advertisement. It will form the crux of keeping residents updated with news flash stories to keep everyone updated on authentic and genuine news. We have now 1,000 members subscribed and expect the numbers will grow. Check out the visual on this page to find out how you too can stay updated on your smartphone.

Have a good month ahead everyone. We are still observing the CMCO until November 9 and we hope that the situation improves in Selangor to allow us to step back into RMCO. Until then, STAY HOME; STAY SAFE and only share messages which you can verify as true before you forward them.