2:11pm 23/04/2020
The virus is finding a new abode in us

By Kuik Cheng Kang, Sin Chew Daily

We have entered the 36th day of MCO without we realizing it, and I'm sure you all have some unusual experiences and realizations over the past five weeks.

The term "new normal" is becoming a new lifestyle everyone of us needs to learn to accept and adapt ourselves to.

Our world is no longer the same again even if the coronavirus outbreak comes to an abrupt end tomorrow.

In the past we used to live our lives in a hurry. We never slowed down to appreciate things and ponder the meaning of life. Many have relentlessly exploited the Earth's precious resources as we continue to ravage our vulnerable planet.

We keep facing retaliatory actions from Mother Nature. If we remain recalcitrant and are unwilling to stop our destructive acts, the price we are going to pay will only get heavier in the days to come.

Today, the virus has sent the entire world to a complete halt. In the face of such a virulent enemy, humans suddenly come to the cruel realization that they actually have no place to escape.

Their only safe haven is their homes!

We all need a home. So do Mother Nature and all other living things on this planet. When we force all other beings and viruses into a corner, causing them to lose their homes and habitats, they will now take on us for their own survival.

The novel coronavirus is now fighting back, vowing to build a new abode inside our lungs.

What kinds of reflections do we have for questions on ourselves, our families, our lives, jobs, humanity and the Earth over the past 35 days of lockdown as a consequence of the coronavirus?

I was thinking: many employees stuck at home might grumble about lack of freedom without seeing the imminent tide of unemployment.

And often business owners are feeling anxious, worrying whether their companies will go bust and how to carry on their lives thereafter.

And many hawkers and workers who have zero income throughout the MCO are beginning to face the problem of feeding themselves and their families.

And people with hardly any crisis awareness continue to allow themselves to be soaked in the world of virtual reality, enjoying all the conveniences and fun from fast Internet.

And very often men begin to complain about food prepared by their wives while women get increasingly frustrated their husbands are unwilling to pick up a broom or mop.

As a matter of fact, more often people still rack their brains to find ways to continue squeezing the last bit of the Earth's resources after this whole thing has come to a close.

Alas! We are destroying our planet, our homes, and are digging our own graves because of our insatiable lust and greed!

We don't really need this much in the very first place!

If we think we are not big enough to talk about saving the planet, at least we should have an introspection into ourselves, and think about our initial objectives and values of life we used to hold so dearly to when we first started our jobs or families.

Shouldn't we slow down a little to appreciate the flowers and greenery around us as well as the many beautiful things and people that have crossed our paths in life?

There are many heart-warming stories unfolding around us each day. Shouldn't we join these beautiful people in helping the needy, and infuse the community we belong to with more warmth and positive energy?

As for our families, have we forgotten the power of companionship that we won't mind fighting over trivial things at home all the time?

As for ourselves, perhaps we should start thinking whether we still allow our smartphones, Facebook and internet to keep hijacking our whole beings, absorbing all types of fragmented pieces of good-for-nothing information? We might argue it's for self improvement without realizing that we are actually putting ourselves in shackles.

The virus has opened our eyes to the fact our planet needs a much needed break. The momentary pause in human world is meant to give us room for contemplation and change.

We used to be tempted by all the good things in life such that we have lost our ways and imperiled our natural ecosystem. It is now time to heal and purge our bodies and souls of toxins.

Everyone—from ordinary citizens to the nation's leaders—needs to reflect on their past and seek to create new opportunities from this crisis in order to take ourselves and the nation further from here.

The MCO should serve as a crucial therapy that will determine how our future should look like based on the choice we are going to make.

Material wealth is not everything we should go after. Our health and lives shall come before it!



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