I have to remind myself as I’m writing this, that I am supposed to recall the events of Monday, March 23, 2020. The first working day of the week, under the MRO/MCO/whatever it’s called. The kids are in a good mood, for which I am thankful. The internet has been holding up in this neighborhood, which is more than I can say for some other parts of the country, and which I truly attribute to the relative peace we are enjoying in this household. The moment the internet collapses here, anarchy will follow.

The street outside our apartment isn’t normally busy, but it’s been extra quiet, a sign perhaps that the people who live around here are adhering to the unofficial “lockdown” and limiting their movements. There are police checkpoints at major highways heading out of Kuala Lumpur, and interstate travel except for emergencies is severely curtailed.

We have no idea how long this situation will persist, and if this will be the new normal. I’m luckier than most, though. A prolonged lockdown will affect many people working in multiple sectors. Many have probably already lost their paychecks, if not their jobs, and the Malaysian government doesn’t have a clue beyond allowing us to dip into our retirement funds (which many of us have a paltry amount in). That’s what worries me the most during this virus scare – when people don’t get paid, they get hungry. When they’re hungry enough, COVID-19 won’t be enough to keep them off the streets and that would be a disaster I am too scared to contemplate.

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