By Ravindran Raman Kutty
How I enjoyed the COVID-19 MCO…. 25 things that made me feel great.
The COVID-19 did do a great deal of good to me. It was indeed a rude shock to be banned from going anywhere, and instead be confined 24 hours within your home.
The government order was challenging but I managed to weather it with 25 activities that I have done based on my affinity, liking and wanting to do for a long time.
I would like to share the list with all of you, and hope it will do you good as it has done for me:
1. Clean your home bedroom – for happier dreams
Cleaning your bedroom involves moving your bed to sweep and mop underneath, heaving large wardrobes to clean behind them, vacuuming the bed set, giving the windows a good clean wipe, and dusting off cobwebs in the corners of the ceiling.
2. Clean and rearrange your bookshelves – your mini library
Every home has bookshelves. Remove all the books and give the shelves a good clean wipe. Sort the books out and rearrange them according to read and unread, favorites and old. Discard the old and out-of-date books at recycling centers in exchange for cash. Place mothballs to prevent visits from moths and cockroaches.
3. Wash your bathrooms – nothing like the touch of your scrub
There is nothing like you giving your own bathroom a good scrub. Your scrub would also provide the bathroom with an extra shine. Scrub the corners and edges of the bathroom, also the shower curtain and bathroom doors. This will also help in making your bathroom tiles skid-proof, preventing you from slipping on those wet floors.
4. Check the kitchen cabinets – check if "uninvited guests" have overstayed their visit
Though the kitchen is not a man's den, it is the best time to check on the number of lizards and cockroaches that have made your kitchen cabinets their neighborhood. Remove the crockery and cutleries, pots and pans, and give the shelves and drawers a good sanitizing wipe with Dettol. You may use aerosol sprays like Sheltox to get rid of the unwanted residents, too. Rearrange your crockery and cutlery, allowing your cabinets to look spick and span.
5. Check the air-con filters and clean them – cooler breezes
Ideally, air-conditioning units need monthly maintenance. Ensure the filters are diligently cleaned to prevent any blocks in the airflow. The air-con filter is easy to wash; use a high-pressured bidet to gush out the dust and clean them. A clean air-con filter will help in ensuring a cleaner and healthier room, with a cool and comfy breeze.
6. Dry the pillows and comforters
Pillows and comforters must be sunned, as this will kill the germs that are living as parasites in the pillows and comforters. Pillow sunning helps reduce the problem of having a stiff neck, and also provides a more comfortable night's sleep. Sun your pillows without fail, keeping your necks safe and sound too.
7. Clear the store room – avoid hoarding
Give your storeroom a good clean and tidying up. Discard unwanted items like used tins of paint and other unused items. Never leave used paints in your storeroom, as they are inflammable and dangerous. Create a shelf or buy a cabinet to store your tools and sports equipment in an organized manner, thus not attracting any rodents into your home.
8. Clean the fans around the house
Hop onto a sturdy ladder and give those ceiling and wall fan blades a good and thorough wipe. Remove the frames of stand fans and tabletop fans and wipe them down, too. Fans usually retain a lot of dust. Regular cleaning of fans provides a longer lifespan of the appliance, as well as better generating of air when the fan is switched on.
9. Move the posters around in the house for a change
To give a new feeling within your home, you can alter the posters in your house thus giving a fresh feeling for the overall ambiance. Clean the posters while you are moving it around and ensure the string or the hook holding the poster is still strong.
10. Check the backyard of your home if yours is grounded one
The backyard of your house comes under the purview of the local authority. If you don't see the waste workers cleaning your backyard drain, please go down and clean it yourself. By cleaning you are making sure the backyard is clean and it is not attracting snakes, rodents or any unfriendly creatures entering your home through the kitchen. This will be also a great service preventing dengue.
11. Check the drains …clean them if they are clogged
Remove any silt at the base or around the sides of the drains around your house. This will allow running water to flow smoothly, thus avoiding the clogging of the drains as well as preventing Aedes mosquitoes from breeding.
12. Enjoy your garden/plants
Weed the garden, water and fertilize the plants with the right fertilizer. Enjoy the fresh green sights of nature, and the sounds of the breeze and singing birds in the garden. With fresh vegetables, fruits and flowers from your own garden plot; you will be rewarded with your fruits of labor.
13. Read books
Prepare a list of book titles and follow them religiously. If you have previously purchased books that you have yet to read, now is a good time to do so. Get more books that you can now purchase online from Amazon.com and other online book suppliers. Start reading and this will help you learn new things, and also keep your mind alert and active.
14. Help your wife in the kitchen
You can challenge yourself by helping out in the kitchen and being bold and ready to receive tons of comments from the mistress of the kitchen. Get a clear briefing from the boss of the house and keep to the given scope. Do not try to cross over the scope unless you have been given the nod of confidence and approval to do so. You can also make suggestions or even try different menus. Who knows, you may even be a master chef yourself!
15. Clean your cars
Washing my cars by myself saved me quite a bit of money. Vacuum the seats and interior of the car, give the dashboard a nice wipe and polish, give the screens a sparkling wipe, and the car a nice wash. The chore was certainly exhausting, but very rewarding. You will burn 135 calories when you wash your car yourself for 30 minutes. Imagine washing more than one car at a time. Both the cars and their owner will look chic and sleek
16. Fix up torn clothes
Get all your torn garments or clothes and give them a stitch or get a patchwork done, if you have a sewing machine. If you're good with the needle, spruce up an old piece or two. In my case, my wife was the seamstress at home.
17. Fix all your electrical equipment at home
This is the best time to check on all the electrical items at home, i.e. fan, blender, water heater, hair dryer, etc. List down the faulty ones and get them fixed after the MCO by taking them to their respective dealers or nearest electrical repair shops. If you are a good handyman, then try fixing them yourself. You will certainly have a great feeling when your appliances are 100% functional due to your own efforts.
18. Catch a power nap in the afternoon
Studies show that a power nap will boost your memory, cognitive skills, creativity and energy level. Yes, that was very useful for me during the MCO, which made me simply agile and active throughout the period.
19. Have virtual lunch or coffee with friends
My friend residing in Sydney mooted this coffee idea. He called for a breakfast session and together with two other friends in Kuala Lumpur, via Zoom, we had a fun and exciting chat over our cups of coffee. This way, we can keep connected virtually and visually. It was fun and exciting, where we managed to chat and eat for more than one hour, using Zoom. This really kept most of my friends virtually and visually connected during this time.
20. Drop a WhatsApp to inspire
This is easy and simple. As we are all familiar with WhatsApp, let's use that platform to cheer up our friends and family members. Refrain from highlighting deaths or admissions, but send messages about how the MCO has returned beauty and tranquility to nature — wildlife habitats returning, the ozone layer patching, the turtles coming to shores to lay eggs, the increase in the fisheries and number of birds visiting our housing area, and other wonderful news worth sharing which and bringing smiles to everyone's faces.
21. Write a letter to the newspaper
Write a letter to the media on any topic that you want to. Be it COVID19 or the frontliners, nature or your neighborhood, your friend or Grab food delivery man; anything that you wish to share. This will encourage humanity and increase peace among the citizens of our country.
22. Watch a movie with your family, check out the online movie libraries
Many thanks to Netflix, Amazon Prime Videos and Astro for having their online movie libraries and for bringing me successfully to the idiot box. I have watched and am still watching some fabulous movies accompanied by sunflower seeds and groundnuts, as my couch potato snack. Some movies are still lingering in my mind, as they were simply outstanding and spectacular. This is a great way to break the boredom
23. Start a hobby
If you have a hobby, get up to date with it and spend more time on it. If you don't, you can always find one today. Be it reading, drawing, baking or sewing, pursue your desires and see the rewards by exchanging them with your friends. This will really bring new friends and new experiences.
24. Get a pet
A pet is a genuine friend. They have no moods or seasons. If your time and wallet permit, then go and get a pet. One example of a great pet is a dog. Our Shitzu, named Unicorn, is indeed our star. He greets us whenever we come home, waits for fun games whenever we're around, and clings to us whenever it rains or there is a thunderstorm. You will never have a dull moment when you have a pet at home.
25. Reach out a helping hand
I was very lucky to initiate the Sungai Buloh Hospital care program, with the help of some friends. We managed to provide face masks, food and beverages for the Sungai Buloh hospital front liners and subsequently to the Teluk Intan Hospital. We were also involved with the B40 groups affected by the COVID19 at Old Klang Road and Bandar Sri Damansara. When you help the people who need help, you are definitely doing the right thing for the needy.
These 25 activities during the MCO made me fully occupied. This a simple guide for everyone, where the CMCO is still in force. Remember, you are what you think. Never think this MCO as a problem. Look at it as an opportunity to do things that you love to do.
(Ravindran Raman Kutty is an active social worker.)