Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Life on Pause

Has it really been 84 days since it began? 
9 days short of 3 months... 

On that fateful day, March 18th 2020, when Malaysia, together with most of the world (*some country/-ies was/were still in denial, that this pandemic was just another virus and it will miraculously  pass like common flu) declared a state of emergency and started the Movement Control Order (MCO), it kinda threw almost all Malaysians into a state of disbelief and anxiety. Chaos almost broke out in every supermarket, hypermarket, wet market, stock market, you name it. People scrambling for food supplies, sundries and groceries - instant noodles, rice, sugar, salt, food that will not expire easily - but the one item that topped the list was (you know it), toilet paper. 

Why toilet paper?! 

Some say that it is because once you are "infected", you will have the urge or need to go to the toilet more often. But still, we are no strangers to the tap when it comes to Asian toilet etiquette, no? Really need that much toilet paper, meh? 
Well, to each, his(/her) own, I guess. :P

Well, massive queues everywhere - even though the government already stressed that folks can still come out to buy their daily needs when necessary - supermarkets are still opened - people just need to adhere to the social-distancing and mask-wearing requirements. Well, I hate to say it, but i guess Asians being Asians, we will always have that kiasu-ness in our DNA, whether we like it or not. :P

I guess I speak for most of us, if not all, when i say that when it all started, everyone was really worried. So many questions, so little answers. Thinking how on earth can we go through this? How effective is working from home? How can our children attend school from home? How safe are our food-delivery services? Will my TNB bill sky rocket? 24x7 with my kids (and/or spouse)? Will I keesiao or not? How to cook every single meal 24x7? What to cook? If I do go out and buy groceries, is it really safe? Are the masks really effective? Is there really a radius in which i cannot go beyond (10km)? Can I cross borders? There was a shortages of masks - what if I cannot get a hold of masks? Can i still go back to my office? Well, honestly, the government scored poorly in communicating what can be done, what cannot, which website should we refer to - federal vs state rules, etc. Fwah, the first few weeks was havoc. 

"Duduk diam-diam di rumah."

It's almost like tell us, "do not to ask too many questions, shut the front door and sit quietly at home..."

I still remember - at times i had to queue up to 2 hrs just to get into Aeon to get our weekly groceries. standing 1 meters apart, from 1 end of Queensbay Mall, all the way to Maxis, at the other end. Fwah I tell you... I managed to finish up 4 episodes of Brooklyn 99. :D (It kinda reminded me of queuing up for the Toy Story ride when it first open up in Tokyo Disneyland... ) Then when we did finally get it, to our dismay, most of what we wanted to get were out of stock. All kena sapu by earlier customers... it was really beginning to look like one of those hollywood movies... 

Well, one of the many things that I really (and I mean REALLY) like during the MCO was the lack of traffic! Man, I tell you, it was surreal. Almost no cars on the road, on a Saturday morning. I really miss that first few weeks - when most people were still too afraid to leave the house. Well, I had to come out to get supplies. Driving from home to Pulau TIkus market took me less than 10 minutes, what would have easily taken twice as long. 

A quick shout out to Dallas and wife for supporting us in our vegetable and egg supplies during the first few weeks of MCO#1. Rombo nandre, brother...  

Control at the Pulau Tikus Market was also pretty good - temperature checks, clearly marked lines for social distancing and staggered entry to regulate the number of customers inside the market. This was during the days, when people were still not used to having the temperature taken, and not required to sanitize their hands before entering the premises. Kudos, MPPP!

At work. 
That first 2 weeks of working from home was also hell-ish. 
A whole lot of brain cells killed and a lot of sweat trying to make sure that our workforce appearing at work were strictly meeting MITI's guidelines. Also, as a responsible company, we also tasked ourselves to making sure that the workplace is the safest place to be, other than your home. I guess that is very important, i.e. to make sure that the workforce are comfortable coming to work, feeling safe, and not needing to worry about health/safety issues, so that they can fully focus in getting their work done effectively. 

I almost felt like the few of us who were working on the logistics to get everything in place - which employees need to be physically at work, which needs to stay at home, making sure we are compliant - that we did almost nothing else, except that. It felt like I was in HR... :D But what a nightmare, it was. 

Life really almost did come to a halt, a pause. It definitely slowed things down to a pace which was alien to most of us. Spending 99% of our time at home, not needing to wake up early, rush the kids to school, then formula-1 to the office, dive into cubicle and plough through work, meeting meeting meeting, then negotiate the rush hour again to pick the kids up, get dinner, work with them on their homework, some tuition, some music classes, get to bed, then repeat the next day. 

It was more like, waking up just-in-time to brush teeth and then jump into meetings from home (in my pajamas), wake the kids up half way through the first meeting for them to get into their Zoom classes, then continue on with meetings meetings meetings from home, cook, watch some TV, some night meetings, and then go to bed, and then repeat the next day. I felt that working from home has blurred the lines separating work and home. Unhealthy? I think so. 

We have this software called Wellnomics that helps keep track of our office ergonomics - capturing time on the computer, mousing activities, break compliance, etc. Mine was at high risk for 4 weeks in a row... definitely not healthy... :D

Then MCO#2 started, I thought, okay-lah, we've gone through MCO#1, sure can handle MCO#2. But how wrong I was. The nightmare from MCO#1 started all over again, with new rules, new challenges, new Excel files, pivot tables, macros, new players. Like next level of an Arcade Game... 
I was not until MCO#3 that things started to look better and settled down. 

MCO#1 (Mar18 to Mar31)... 
then MCO#2 (Apr01 to Apr14)... 
then MCO#3 (Apr15 to Apr28)... 
then MCO#4 (CMCO#1) (Apr29 to May12)... 
followed by MCO#5 (CMCO#2) (May12 to Jun09)...

And now MCO#6 (RMCO#1) (Jun10 to Aug31)

When MCO#5 was announced, fwah, people started flood the streets, traffic started to build-up, more and more people were seen at malls. I guess they are saying, they've had enough, 2 months being locked up at home is too much - unless if you have a home like Jack Black, that is. 

This, then raises the next logical question, will this then jeopardize our months of "hard work" controlling the spreading and successfully bringing down the numbers, risking the possibility of another wave? 

Honestly, at some places, e.g. the wet markets, some people just do not give a hoot about social distancing. "If I want that broccoli, I am just going to breach that social-distancing bubble and reach over to grab it." Now, that is a concern. People need to be reminded about the importance social-distancing, for the sake of themselves and the sake of others surrounding them. Maybe it is time to invent a proximity trigger gadget, something that we can carry with us, and when people come within social-distancing allowances, it will trigger and alarm, asking the other person to observe social distancing requirements. Bzzz!

Well, today marks the end of the MCO#5 (CMCO#2). And to be entirely honest, I miss those days of stricter MCO. Somehow, I am feeling a little uneasy and nervous as we move into the days of RMCO, with so many uncertainties, questions and doubts... 

... more stories to come... 


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

boon's mobile log 1230.03 We've gone mobile...

Blogger by Google has definitely come a long way, and now they even have an app for it on mobile. How awesome is that?! Only now did I realize that I have not been updating this site for a little over a year(!). Well, hopefully with this mobile app things might change a little.

boon out...

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Wednesday, July 06, 2011

boon's log 1128.04: Warzone!

The move by the Government to clamp activities organized by BERSIH 2.0 has really reached a new level. Just a few nights ago, we heard sounds of helicopter rotor blades hovering around the Sungai Dua / Gelugor area. Ab, eV and I dashed out to the balcony to see what was happening. eV is especially ecstatic when seeing flying objects - birds, planes... and helicopters.

Anyway, much to my surprise and disappointment, it what I believed to be a PRDM (Polis Raja di Malaysia) helicopter with a huge search light - no doubt searching for individuals wearing yellow T-Shirts, gathering together. I believe there was a PG Government Ceramah (not a BERSIH 2.0 Ceramah) that was supposed to happen at the Tapak Pesta - which was later pushed out, in accordance to the order from the Court. As they say, the PRDM believed to be ordered by their bosses down in Bukit Aman / PutraJaya, was shining their searchlights all over the place making it look like a warzone - it really looked like a scene from the movie Fugitive. They even shined into the balcony which were in and we were waving at them. Ab quipped, "Dad, luckily I am not wearing yellow, huh?"

Looking for the yellow Digi-man

I really do not know any more good things to say about the current Federal Government. Wait a minute... there was nothing good to mention about them to begin with...

boon out...

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

boon's log 1110.05: Randoms...

Here are some random shots that I took while trotting around town with my cellphone.

When not hard at work promoting his 1Malaysia concept, he focuses on his 2Maju restaurant...

Flavors or Favors? I'd like Vanilla-flavored Party please?


boon out...

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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

boon's log 1110.02: Randoms: New Year, New toy (partial), iPad and a Happy Birthday!

Wow, has it been 3 months since I last blogged? Seems like the social networks are really taking a toll on the weblogs, huh? ;) Well, at least for me, I guess. And laziness is probably another.

Anyways, a belated Happy New Year 2011 and Happy New Lunar New Year (of the Bunny). Hopefully the new year's been treating you all well. Our's zoomed past like the lightning. But we enjoyed it, especially with the new addition to the family. ;)

***New toy (partially)***
I've been scouting around for a SLR Battery pack/grip for a while, but the original Canon BG-E5 is priced at ~USD140 (!!!). Then I started to looked at the compatible/OEM ones and there's this one that just jumped out right at me. It's by Opteka, priced at ~USD80, almost half of the original Canon. Not only that, it comes with a bag of goodies - 2 battery packs, battery charger (with in-car adapter), mini-tripod (not useful for SLR, by the way), wireless remote shutter release, and cleaning kit. 1 week after purchasing it, the vendor pulled it out from the web. Works like a charm, and I'm really happy with it, so far - it received pretty goo reviews as well. Well, for USD80, what more can you ask for?

Opteka Battery Grip for Canon Rebel XSi

***Happy Birthday IL***
We were back at the HRC recently to celebrate IL's birthday. It was Ab's idea by the way. We still do not know why a 4 year old would like to eat at that place so much. Not to mention that we have to drive for >30mins to get there. Anyway, food was great. And the people are getting more friendly, compared to the last time we were there. And considering a weekday, the Cafe was more than 2/3 filled. Surprisingly good business for a weekday.

Back at the Rock.

***Fruit Ninja***
That has recently been the addiction in the family. It started with Ab's Aunt, then Ab's babysitter (a.k.a. Ab's grand-aunt) and Ab herself. NOW, even IL's hooked on the game. Even gone to the extent of considering getting the iPad :). Firstly, the iPad has a bigger screen so that Ab won't have to cramp her eyes into the small iPod Touch screen and secondly, the iPad has the duel mode which is not available in the Touch. Still under consideration... :) But I guess many would disagree in getting it just because of that game, I'm sure... haha.

Fruit Ninja in Action

And welldone Liverpool on the 3-1 win against Manchester United last weekend. The Red Devils may continue to brag about their rankings, but a win's a win. Kudos. Keep it up, Reds.

boon out...

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

boon's log 5210.03: Faith of a Child

One night Ab was talking to her Mom...

Ab: "Mom, when I was sick, we prayed to God and He made me well again!"
Mom: "Really?"
Ab: "Yeah, really really."
Mom: "How do you know it was God?"
Ab: "I just know la. It was God."

"Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it" - Mark 15:10.

May you re-discover that child-like-faith this Christmas and find the true reason of the season.

Oh... Mom continued to ask, "So, where is God?"

Ab: "He's in the clouds!" (Haha! thanks to the children bible story cartoon portraying God in the clouds - i.e. in the story of Moses meeting God in the mountain) :)

Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!

boon out...

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

boon's log 4307.07: Ab's Holiday/MC week...

The past week was supposed to be Ab's mid-term break from school. It was supposed to be a stress-free week for the Mommy and daddy, rushing from work to school and baby-sitter's, and of course, also a little break for the little one from school - but I think it is more of the former than the latter.

However, the Friday just before the school break, Ab caught a bad cold/flu bug from school - a few of her classmates were already down with the virus since the beginning of the week.

It was so bad for Ab that she shivered in the middle of the night, with fever up to ~39C, and we had to rush her to the A&E at 5AM... talk about a stress-free week. And the doctor gave her 9 different types of medicine (!!!).

Ab's 9 type of medicine...

Poor girl. At first we were afraid that it was H1N1 Flu-A virus. The doctor took a swab from her nostrils for the labs, and in an hour, we were told that the results were negative - what a relief!!!

Anyways, she got better speedily with the help of the medicine(s)... just in time for school to start again... what a school break. Good thing we did not have any vacations planned for this week, else it would have been a worse let-down.

boon out...

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