The Covid-19 pandemic has undoubtedly put to a halt many things. We could no longer practice our regular routines, and we need to take extra precautions whenever we are outdoors. However, with ongoing large scale vaccinations, there is a glimmer of hope for our lives to return to normal.
Hoping that life would return to normal
We have to admit — the Covid-19 pandemic had immensely changed our lives forever.
Gone were the days when we could roam around freely without a mask on and accidentally bumping someone on the shoulder is not a worry. These days, we are afraid of strangers more than ever, and even the outside surfaces seem suspicious.
Spending time indoors for most most of 2020 to mid-2021, it can get a little suffocating. Honestly, I thought that staying at home 24/7 would give much comfort, but instead, I feel jittery. Of the many days I spent daydreaming at home, my mind often wanders to the years before the pandemic.
I’m not much of an intrepid. I do feel that comfort is at home. However, back in those days, at least I could fill my days productively and with more meaning. There were so many things I wanted to do, and continue doing but the rising number of local cases prevented me from doing so.
Indeed, I had taken for granted pre-pandemic years. I would push my to-do list each time I didn’t have the motivation to complete them. And when I’m tired, I would always think twice to go for an adventure. Even the little things that tire me back then — like a quick trip to ice-kacang stalls — I miss them all.
It has been more than a year since Malaysia implemented the first movement control order (MCO) on March 18, 2020, and it feels that my days since have been stagnant. It does feel as though as today is only April 2020, because all I ever do is stay home, if not to work.
But one day, when the pandemic is over, I’ve made up my mind that I wouldn’t take time for granted anymore. There are so many things on my list that I hope to do. Here are my top five:
1 . Travel — Instead of visiting nearby cities, or states, I hope that post-pandemic would see me venture to different countries. These days, whenever I browse through my old travel photos, I noticed that there aren’t that many places that I’ve been to and there were no solo pictures of me with a picturesque background. So now I aim to collect them, in case we go through another pandemic (I hope not!), so I could browse through my own photos instead just Google Streetview.
2 . Eat freely without worries — I miss the times when I had to queue and it was hard to find seats in a kopitiam because the food was really good. The pandemic has truly hindered me from visiting those places in fear of catching Covid-19. Nowadays, even when seated at a distance, hearing someone cough scares me. Though I still go out to eat now and then when the restrictions were relaxed, the experience has changed. I no longer search for food recommended on Facebook. Rather, I’d choose a hygienic location with fewer people visiting. I can’t wait to visit famous eateries once again, without wearing a mask!
3 . Meet friends as I wish — Meeting people during the pandemic has been limited to screen time. While there are periods during the months that we could gather, there are always its limitation. If we gather in a big group, there are fears triggering a new Covid-19 cluster. Hence, group gathering has been limited to smaller groups, which meant fewer people. What is a party with no guests? No longer we could invite people to birthdays, weddings and even steamboat parties. I hope that one day, we could all get together again as if the pandemic never happened.
4 . Visit Kuching Festival — Kuching Festival is a joy, not only to me but also to many Kuchingites. It has been a year without the festival since its inception in the 90s, and I doubt we could organise one this year. Maybe virtually to help local sellers, but where is the fun in that? If ever I could visit Kuching Festival again, I would certainly spend more time indulging in it. After all, it only comes once a year — but we missed the event in 2020 and soon, 2021.
5 . Take my kids to the playground — My eldest son has been to the playground many times. Most weekends were spent at the indoor playground. However, my younger daughter wasn’t so lucky, being born just right before the pandemic. Today, she watches Youtube celebrity Blippi exploring the playground, but she doesn’t understand that she could do it herself too. We have been avoiding the playground and arcades ever since the pandemic started. Despite some them being opened when the restrictions were relaxed, we resist going, in fear of the virus looking around. I think Covid-19 has not only robbed many of their livelihood but also childhood memories.