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By Alia Noel
It’s safe to say that the true nature of human beings are revealed during trying times.
As the country grapples with the pandemic, cases of citizens panic shopping to the point that there is nothing left for the older people or disabled, shoppers fighting – both verbally and physically – over the last piece of chicken wing have become the norm.
But there’s also good to note here. I’ve come to realise that there is still the capacity to do good no matter how selfish or thoughtless we can get under stress.
So here are five proofs that Malaysians still have a heart as seen from my perspective:
Getting A Haircut From Your Neighbour
How well do you know your neighbours?
I can assure you I knew almost nothing about mine till recently when I was in my backyard working from home, and I noticed my next-door neighbour stepping out with an apron and chair.
He was then followed by a lady who, as it turned out, came over to get a haircut…in my neighbour’s backyard — one of the last places on earth you’d think of as a makeshift salon.
There were three customers altogether — not too bad a business considering we’ve been forced to stay at home — all in the back lawn of someone’s house when the sun was at its highest point.
No sweat, no complaints. Just a couple Malaysians trying to make the best out of the worst.
Putting others ahead
By now you might have seen or even experienced the longest queues you’ve ever encountered at the grocery stores.
As we panic buy and hoard the most of what our limits allow us to, we may only realise that we’ve forgotten an item or two from our shopping list while already halfway through the queue.
I’ve come across such a scenario where a few people who allowed others back into their lines after having to rush back out to get their forgotten essentials.
The way I see it, kindness, most of the time, is about saving one the trouble.
The sad thing about the whole panic buying drama is that the elderly and OKUs were robbed off the opportunity to stock up.
Fortunately, there were kind-hearted netizens who volunteered to either chauffeur or take the vulnerable out for their grocery shopping.
It is also worth noting that several supermarkets have adjusted their business hours, allowing the older people through their doors a few hours earlier than their usual morning opening time.
Ride-sharing is caring
Businesses — from large corporations to entrepreneurs — have begun feeling the pinch resulting from the outbreak, and times are expected to get tougher in the weeks or even months to come.
Bravely, our ride-sharing and food delivery drivers/riders can still be seen on the roads, picking up passengers who urgently need their rides or delivering food orders to people who are self-quarantining.
Our local heroes, exposing themselves to potential carriers and braving the hot sun — all for the sake of putting food on their own tables.
Turning wedding woes to I-Still-Can-Dos
Now, before you get excited, the King has urged all those getting married to postpone their weddings till the pandemic subsides.
While it is still unclear just how long it will last, experts have come forward to say it would linger for at least the next few months.
Meanwhile, couples who have planned to get married soon now find themselves at a crossroads.
Wedding planners, bridal boutiques and hotels generally have either closed temporarily or are operating partially.
For several lucky brides-to-be, a few bridal designers have kept their online consultations open. This way, they are still able to plan and deliver sketches, and even the final product, once the Control Movement Order is lifted.
What have the rest of you seen so far that reminds you the world is still a good place to live in?
To all fellow Malaysians, do stay safe and healthy.
In difficult times like this, we’re being sent a clear signal to prioritise some of the things in life that matter most, be it our own wellbeing or family time.
In the meantime, get well soon Malaysia!
For more stories like this, read: Advice From An Introvert: 5 Tips to Survive Social Distancing and Working From Home: Ups And Downs Of Remote Working.