What has the Lockdown taught us?

Unless you have been living under a rock, the entire world seemed to be in a momentary pause by the rapid spread of COVID-19 throughout the globe. Malaysia isn’t spared from this pandemic visit. On March 18th 2020, then Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had announced the first phase of the Movement Control Order (MCO), after Malaysia had reported 117 positive COVID-19 cases in multiple states.

Ensuing this MCO implementation, no social gatherings were allowed. Movements in and out of the country were strictly regulated. Everyone had to abide by the ‘stay at home’ rule at all times or you’ll risk being fined. The roads and buildings were empty and quiet. People started discovering or rediscovering survival skills at home.

It is at this moment that we found out: the internet conquers everything. We started seeking solace through digital entertainments. For some, social media was the only way for them to experience any ounce of social interactions. Countless ‘Internet challenges’ sprouted like mushrooms after the rain; still remember when your newsfeeds were flooded with pictures of Dalgona coffee, Banana cake, Yoga tricks, TikTok dances and Animal Crossing screenshots?

i. Dalgona coffee. Image by asianfoodnetwork.com

And then…. the month of Ramadhan came looming in. For many merchants and small business owners, this would be one of the most lucrative time of the year. But with everyone being ordered to stay at home at all times, is there any hope to save the business?

The realization hit us- the show can’t go on without internet. Gyms and fitness studios have started opening up virtual workshops. Universities, schools, and even tuition centres rely heavily on Zoom calls to continue their classes. Bazaars and hawker stalls have moved their operations to Facebook groups (or e-bazaars). More and more restaurants have popped up in our food delivery app. Abang posmen have doubled their workload.