Updated: Apr 23, 2020
When the Prime Minister used a description like "unpresedented situation" it is indeed appropriately and factually described the many government encouraged new way of life and practices now in Malaysian homes, in work places and elsewhere outside. They are becoming the new Malaysian norms. Before Covid 19, did you ever imagine your wedding would take place without your groom or without your bride? Well, that happened to Malaysian couples Muhammad Don Haadi Don Putra and Nadatul Aishah from Wangsa Maju. They exchanged their marriage vow online yesterday. And they are grateful and happy because they are finally and legally married. Never mind if they do not see each other or be with each other. Thats probably will become the new wedding norm in Malaysia. Can you envisage a funeral of your loved ones without you and without his or her family members and friends? That is a tragic norm now for all Covid 19 departed souls not only in Malaysia but in all countries affected by Covid 19.
Never before Malaysians find themselves washing and sanitizing their hands countless times daily just to feel assured Covid 19 is far away. Never before we are forced to keep our distance from the people we care to be with. Before we shook hands or extended our hands to Salam. Now we greet and show respect only by slapping our hands on our chest. Never before we saw the government utilized its several media platforms to directly deny and counter the many fake news flouted everyday in social media. Their TV stations are being told to monitor and to fight fake news head-on. Never before government had to directly intervene in helping to salvage economically dying hotels in Malaysia. The government actually pays RM150/per night per room for Malaysians to stay in hotels while they are being quarantined. Never before the government scooped up RM250 Billion in addition to the RM20 Billion to relieve the sufferings of almost all strata of the Malaysian population from medium and small size companies whose income went down the drain overnight and workers, mostly youth, who lost their jobs to the other end of the spectrum made up of pensioners and housewives. It was a norm for the Military and the Police to be territorial and protective of their respective tufts but what we see now is the Military personnel and the Police personnel are enjoying their meals together and working hand in hand in the streets and suburbs of Malaysia to protect Malaysians from violators of Movement Control Order. No more work outs at gyms, no more jogging and nice walks in the parks, no more parties and hanging out with friends. No more window shopping in malls and football matches in clubs. No more kids cycling and having fun in parks and no more congregations in mosques and churches. No more drinking and cheers in pubs. No more "good morning teacher" and lessons in classrooms. Offices are selectively opened for essential work activities only as most people work online from their homes and communicate though Zoom or Skype. All these places quietly stand still gathering dust, just waiting for some real life of normality which they were used to. Alas these are yesterdays norms which many miss and many wish they are back. The new Government machineries are working tirelessly to ensure people have enough food to feed their families and dependents, supermarkets and shops are told they would get into big trouble if they take advantage of Covid 19 situation by profiteering, homeless folks relocated and fed and disinfected, hospital beds and equipment's are enough and available for all confirmed and positive Covid 19. Private hospitals chipped in to volunteer. Front liners, doctors and nurses are separated from their families for long hours each day because their days and nights are dedicated primarily to help patients, monitoring and treating them. These are among a long string of new norms not only in Malaysia but the world over.