Save us from politicians and the pandemic

·4-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

JUNE 29 — The world, I think, has given up on fighting Covid.

Airlines no longer ask for pre-flight tests and most workplaces in Malaysia simply do not ask their workers to test periodically.

However, just the other day I saw someone complaining that a certain insurance agency was not letting anyone unvaccinated inside its premises despite the government lifting the MySejahtera requirements for entry.

I suppose the number crunchers over at the company decided the risk just wasn’t worth it.

Alas, I can’t even avoid anti-vaxxers on Twitter, much less in real-life. I had a friend whose supervisor somehow got herself exemptions from the workplace vaccine mandate on religious grounds.

Apparently people like her love admonishing Covid-worriers with “Trust that the blood of the Lamb will protect you!”

Lady, if that were true, churches would be zero Covid zones and as South Korea will tell you, that isn’t happening.

What else is also not happening? Our politicians getting a clue. On one hand, we have Rafizi Ramli returning to blame inflation on giving poor people handouts.

Then we have PKR with its constant scheming to make a certain person prime minister and the usual familiar desperate names from Umno trying to make the general election happen tomorrow.

Meanwhile, hospital and ICU admissions are up and the spectre of the latest variants of Covid-19 loom like a nosy auntie.

I am into my fourth week of recovery from Covid-19 and it is not comforting to know that the next strain is even more infectious, and unlike the Omicron I caught won’t primarily target my upper respiratory system.

Instead if I catch the next variant, I could develop pneumonia and here’s a public service announcement: getting Covid does not protect you from reinfection.

Anyone insisting that getting Covid will give you some immunity has not been reading the research and the only thing getting Covid will give you is around a 20 per cent chance of getting Long Covid.

With each infection, you are far more likely to get Long Covid for which there is no cure.

Instead you will be granted membership in the permanent disability club, congratulations! Now Malaysians will curse you for your non-existent privileges and for depriving them of prime parking spots.

I am not advocating lockdowns but we really need to work harder to decrease infections in sensible manners — discourage large gatherings, improve ventilation and make better masks available to all.

Some visitors opt to go maskless at the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park May 4, 2022. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Some visitors opt to go maskless at the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park May 4, 2022. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

Some visitors opt to go maskless at the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park May 4, 2022. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

Malaysians, however, are so gleefully embracing our attempt to roll back the clock that Malaysian men have again been spotted either not washing their hands after using the bathroom or skipping soap.

This is where I joke I should now start dating women who are statistically more likely to care more about hygiene.

The pandemic is not over, inflation is speeding faster than a VIP outrider and dear God, a former prime minister known mostly for 1MDB and being someone’s son has landed a cameo on an RTM TV show.

In other news I wish more people knew that after getting Covid, you should ideally be avoiding exertion for at least seven weeks.

Apparently, much like chronic fatigue syndrome, exercise might aggravate symptoms and harm recovery. So I have been a good potato and not moving much, which made regaining the three kilogrammes I lost as easy as inhaling fried chicken.

It does not help that my Apple Watch keeps screeching at me, telling me my heart rate has spiked multiple times a day.

Like it or not, all the data on my health apps show that I should still take it easy and some days I am too tired to do anything but lie down and think about ordering more fried chicken.

I have only stopped coughing a couple of days ago which is a relief as I was sounding like that chain smoking kopitiam uncle who coughs like he is hacking up his larynx.

The fragility of my health aside, I am more worried about the fragility of both our economy and the egos of our politicians.

Please, let someone get a clue before we can no longer afford chicken. That, or we all get Covid multiple times and by default, each parking lot will be a disabled parking bay because at the rate the pandemic is going, it’s not getting Covid that will be inevitable but Long Covid instead.

Sadly seeing how ineffectual our politicians are at managing the country, I’d be better off voting for a chicken. At least it will be useful and delicious.

*This is the personal opinion of the columnist.

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