CoronaVirus Diary From Kuala Lampur

I've actually traveled a lot since the very start of the outbreak. I was in Australia then Kuala Lumpur ( Malaysia ) and then settled into Singapore early February. My grandmother passed away so I flew back to Australia for her funeral. Then back to Singapore. Once I knew borders were closing, I flew back to Kuala Lumpur and moved my onward journey to Australia forward but the planes stopped flying by then. So I've been in Kuala Lumpur since they started the #lockdown, which here is called Movement Control Order and began 18th March.

Kuala Lampur, Malaysia

I first heard about the virus in Australia. I was skeptical and distrusted the news. Australia has a huge problem with bias in the media and there has been false anti-Chinese stories for years.

I also believe the scientists didn't know enough at the start, so vague terms were used. I knew I would be in Asia very soon and was sure that if the virus did spread, Singapore and Malaysia would have early cases because of their strong ties with China. My partner heard early on that Coronavirus is a form of the common cold and believed that the fear in the media about it was all hype. It took too long for an authoritative voice to communicate why this version of the virus is much worse.

The way life changed for me, for us....

I've tried to limit news to no more than 15 minutes a day and only look at a few sources. I've been doing a weekly shop instead of just popping into the store when I need anything. Normally in Kuala Lumpur I'd eat out every day but the local restaurants are all closed because the owners went back to their village at the start of the Movement Control Order. For sanity, I keep following my normal routine as much as possible. Being a global nomad and remote worker, I've had to learn how to be okay being inside a lot so working from home is no different. I have always exercised at home and  spent the whole day with my partner. I'm feeling very blessed that I personally don't have to adjust to all these things but I worry about other people not coping.

Knowing what I do about pandemics, I think that it will be 12-18 months before we can say we are in the clear. I think this scares a lot of people. I'm worried about how hard it will be to get back to Australia after the Movement Control Order is lifted. The planes haven't flown from Kuala Lumpur to Brisbane or Gold Coast for the last two weeks. I'm able to fly to one of the other cities but domestic borders are closed and flights cancelled. 

My partner is concerned that society will diverge into two groups. Group 1 is self-determined and uses this time for self-development, career-development and health. And Group 2 will be self-gratifying and spend this time looking for entertainment, relaxing and boredom eating. Two weeks of this is wonderful. But 12-18 months of this could end up with two very different types of people and ways of living 

I'm really hopeful that the world will shift a little after this. We'll be a more global population. We'll work from home more often which is lowering pollution. I hope people reduce buying, and use things for longer after learning to cope without the stores for so long. People are being more careful about spreading and contracting illness which hopefully continues and in future years there might be less flu in general. I hope a global pandemic plan is put into place for any future outbreaks to not get out of control like this.

This #CoronaVirusDiaries post is by Kassandra Bowers

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