BY SUFIAN MOHIDIN

They, who are not happy at home, will never be happy elsewhere. Them, who are not loved by family, are surely loved by none. Those who waste today, they will waste tomorrow.

– Uwais Al-Qarani

At home and not allowed to go out? Coping hard to figure out what being home is all about?

Welcome to day 17 of the MCO. Yes, who would have expected April 1 to be a day of movement control order in Malaysia. This is probably the planet’s April’s fool prank on us all? With parts of the world known and unknown, the whole world is going through countless efforts to fight such a miniscule threat yet the most malicious menace to what mankind has come to identify as Coivid-19. Today, you and all the other 2 million Sarawakians should be a little bit more attuned to staying at home, responding to the order of the government, imposed and obliged all to be confined to only within the walls of our homes.

So what happened in past 15 days? Did anyone go crazy or develop a psychological tantrum for spending full swing of time at home yet as some claimed would happen to them during the first five days of the MCO? On almost all social media popular to Malaysians – FB, Instagram, TikTok, snap chat, Twitter – in the past two weeks there developed an algorithm that’s also new to the Facebook AI.

Yesterday, my wife, an independent visual artist, meaning that she has a network of people, who are not your common type of people, uncommon even to my own preference of followers and friends, shared with me something from TikTok.

Little did I expect from watching that 15-sec video, which was of clips of people performing a current ‘online trend’ on TikTok apps presenting an epiphany. Though their aim was for humour, it is a matter of fact that these ‘grounded’ people demonstrated a specific skills in production and post-production, which are unique and technical sort of. Watching the rest of the TikTokers, it became obvious that people who were stuck at home, were going all-out to produce stop-motion-real-life-animation clips…not leaving out the fact that they were impressive! Obviously, people are tuning in to their creative side.

So I asked her to show me all the entertaining things available online that she had, at which she shared two other clips. They were separate in terms of purpose but in terms of content, well, my peripherals confirm that these clips were a showdown of creative talents on a degree that is worth mentioning. Specifically, these acts were uploaded in response to another’s upload, expressing opposing opinions online, which in today’s age of technology, with a standard smartphone, you can virtually experience the grandeurs of multimedia motion graphic possibilities.

I know this for a fact because when I was doing my university degree in film production, it was the era of the first apple I-phone. Coming from there and seeing the evolution of computers and communication until today, the average man knows the least of what his smart phone is capable of.

To preview the videos I mentioned, one can simply google #wanitacegahcovid, #workathome and #tiktok-kenapawak videos.

Having said that, let’s reflect on the MCO that is upon us now. Earlier, I pointed out that during the past 14 days people have yet to fully unlock their a personal talent at manipulating their mobile phones for video effects in terms of acting, producing, and performing effortlessly.

Have you ever thought that the MCO is actually the best thing you actually wanted without realising it? Modern living has made more bosses and directors out of dads, and more moms have been forced to miss out on opportunity to cook her best dishes for herself or her family. The MCO is getting those bosses and directors to be great fathers at homes and moms are unleashing her cooking skills for the family!

Today, frontliners, health officers and essential service workers are putting their lives at risk, performing their duty fighting an enemy none of us yet fully comprehend. The truth of the current challenge is that we (mankind) are faced with a deadly mutant virus out to claim someone’s life, anytime. This is why staying at home is the only thing we can do as citizens and the best thing to do if you want to live.

So if you are asking what can you to do at home, the answer is simple: spend time with the children to do what you have not been able to do for a very long time – read, write, play games, make toy boxes, spring clean the house, learn new things and explore new ways to learn more about each of your family members – together. Think creatively, it should be in you. As Sarawakians we are biologically creative, all you have to do is challenge yourself.

Yes, the whole Malaysia is under the movement control order, which allows you to be at home for your very own MCO, which I like to introduce here as the more creative operations period! Take this from me, an essential service worker today, and a full time visual artist with no commission art projects at the moment at home with our three year-old-daughter, who too carries her share of sacrifices. So for those of you at home, be kind to each other and help one another to experience the family presence you are blessed with.

The struggle outside there is real and the threat is more than frightening. It’s brutal. Our dear frontliners are watching each other’s back for your safety. Everyone else’s part is to stay home, so please be that ‘everyone’ and benefit from it all by being creative the MCO (more creative operation) way.