In the beginning, we all sort of thought that the Restricted Movement Order (RMO) due to the current COVID-19 pandemic was going to last only for a little while. Well, that was what most of my friends and I thought anyway. But it has been almost 3 weeks, with no real sign on what it might look like in the near future. Everyday the news posts something terrible - someone is dying somewhere, the death rate steadily increasing, people are struggling with the shut down of small businesses and loss of employment, the healthcare frontliners are struggling to make ends meet with the lack of manpower and proper safety wear, and the government is desperately grasping to manage everybody and everything.
On top of that, a quick glimpse into the social media world and you could see what this survival-mode has truly unraveled - all emotions are amplified. We are getting angrier than usual, internet bullying more than usual, criticizing more than usual and are more desperate than usual. I find myself feeling exasperated seeing social media ‘celebrities’ struggling to be relevant during these trying times. Unfortunately, selfishness is also extremely liberated while we are all confined within physical walls.
So what can we do, us sitting at home, jaded and waiting? Eventhough we’re not frontliners, revered philanthropists or charitable millionaires, isn’t there something we could do to help this situation? Each person has the power to make a difference, and although they may be small in comparison, understand this - our acts create a ripple effect. They pay it forward, and whatever energy or contribution you give out to this world will carry on ahead and beyond into other things.
So maybe to start, we can all ease up on polluting the social media space. See something or someone you don’t like? Then don’t give it/them anymore attention that you don’t think they deserve. Remember that attention is power - making something ‘viral’, whether it is a good or a bad thing, gives it power. If you disagree or disapprove of something, stop commenting or retweeting or spreading it around (unless of course, it requires the intervention of authorities). Stop giving it power.
Next, how can we directly support the good cause against COVID-19, while sitting at home? Here’s an obvious thing; LISTEN TO THE AUTHORITIES. Doing that alone is already a contribution. You’re helping control the situation, not spreading it around, and not adding to the number of nuisance the authorities has to deal with. Isn’t it amazing to think that just by complying to the current law, we’re actually assisting in a big way? On the other hand, not cooperating or thinking that you’re the ‘exception to the law’ immediately makes you a dick. So there you go.
Thirdly, let’s talk about financial distress. A lockdown equals small businesses shut down, and people in services (your cleaning lady, the masseuse, the local handyman etc) are not able to make the usual payroll. There are people who are financially struggling to make ends meet at this time, and I don’t need to tell you these things. You read about people not able to afford meals and baby formula everywhere. So let’s contribute, even if it’s RM10. More if you can afford it. Imagine this - RM10 is hardly noticeable by you sometimes, but that could mean a meal for an entire family somewhere else. So please donate. Cut your makeup budget in half. Maybe you don’t need that steak dinner this month. If you really, really, really can’t afford to give financial aid, here’s something else you can do - spread the awareness! Share information on donation outlets in your social media and within your family/friends. This is so much better than doing nothing at all.
And lastly, when ordering our food takeouts, let’s try our best to order from local eateries and businesses. They are being hit hard by this as the purchasing power plummets, so since we’re all ordering in anyway, why not support them while we’re at it? The same goes for fresh produce - get your fish, meat and vegetables from local vendors if you can.
Let’s help each other. Let’s do SOMETHING. Aren’t we sick of not doing anything? Often we have a tendency to not feel like we’re responsible in helping our community, but we are that community! We are part of it. So let’s spend our energies on the positive things, and not only will that contribute tremendously, it will also lift our spirits and chins up during this uncertain time.