As expected, the new year did not miraculously solve the issues of 2020.
COVID-19 is still a big threat, in fact, it seems a bigger threat then ever with the number of new cases being in the thousands everyday.
There's a ways yet to go before vaccines arrives in the country and for enough people get it for Malaysia to be relatively safe from the pandemic.
Many of us are understandably frustrated, and have become lax when it comes to taking the usual precautions against COVID-19.
Unfortunately, this is not helping with the increasing numbers.
Clusters caused by interstate travels
On 4 January, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah had said
five clusters resulting from interstate travel have been recorded since 7 December last year.
The clusters are Inten, Semambu and Tembok Mempaga clusters in Pahang; Seragam Chepa cluster in Kelantan; and Ehsan Ibol cluster in Perak.
He added that nine clusters have been traced to social activities during the same time period.
MOH conducting risk assessment
The Health Ministry is conducting risk assessment on movement across districts or states, especially in areas the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) is enforced, Security Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said.
He said that the government has no plans on re-imposing inter-district and interstate travel restrictions for now, but encouraged individuals to take precautionary measures when traveling out such as going for COVID-19 tests before traveling.
"Before there is a decision, it is good for us as individuals to take care of ourselves and others besides taking voluntary action by doing a screening test before leaving if we are afraid of infecting others," he said during a press conference.
"For example, individuals who plan to leave KL, a red zone, for Pahang, they could go for screening three days before the trip, while those coming back from a red zone could also undergo a similar test," he added.
Since there aren't any guidelines from the experts as of now, here's a reminder of recommended SOPs and some suggestions on how to stay safe while keeping our sanity.
The safest thing to do at this point is, of course, stay at home. Follow what we did during the first Movement Control Order (MCO) whenever possible - leave home only when absolutely necessary and only one person at a time.
Practice the 3Ws
Wash or sanitise your hands often, wear masks in public places and warn self and others to avoid physical contact and practice good hygiene.
Avoid the 3C's
Avoid going to crowded places, close-contact settings and confined places.
Limit social interactions
No matter how introverted a person is, we humans need interaction with others. That's just how we're built.
If you do want to meet with friends and family, keep your circles small.
Gather at homes
If you are meeting someone, why not meet at home instead of a public place? It's more intimate and you're more in control of the number of people in the space and cleanliness.
Cooking and cleaning can be a bit 'mafan',
we know. But you can always bungkus
or order in!
Avoid going out during peak hours
While many of us are lucky enough to be able to work from home, some aren't so fortunate. They still have to go out for lunch, run errands after work or during lunch hours and generally have a more set schedule to follow.
If you can, try to time your errands and outside activities during off-peak hours to spread out the crowd.
Put off holiday plans
Trust us when we say it pains us to say this. Not only because we really miss traveling too, but also not going on vacations means the tourism industry will be further impacted.
However, the hope is that refraining from traveling for a few weeks will result in reduction in COVID-19 cases, which will mean we can go out again without constantly fearing for our lives and that of our loved ones.
Hang in there, guys. We'll get through this storm.