Malaysia is back into lockdown, thanks to the spike in Covid-19 infection which saw our situation spiraling out of control. Work life and home living now converge into a seamless whole, a new normal that people are still having trouble adapting to. People are having more time on their hands, now that there is less travelling to do, with most venues of interest being barred off. If this is you, then here are a few immediate activities you can attend to as the movement control order (MCO) grinds out its lengthy course.
Mini quarantine zone
Lockdown does not pertain to home imprisonment, and you will need to venture out occasionally to procure food or sustenance. Home may be a safe place, but you should never discount the possibility of bringing back the virus. Even worse, the enclosed space at home makes transmission easier and this may culminate with everyone in the household being infected. To minimise the occurrence of such a distasteful scenario, you may want to designate a mini quarantine zone, possibly at a corner a distance away from the doorway. Here is where you place all the groceries and shopping bags for disinfection purposes before moving them over to the kitchen. Have a table stationed there with hand sanitiser, alcohol sprayer and a supply of gloves for easy access. If you have children, then the area should be partitioned with a baby barrier. Check out our previous article on virus-proofing your house for more tips.
Now that you and your family are spending an inordinate amount of time at home, the quality of air indoor needs to be improved. Besides the general cleaning to keep the home in a livable condition, pay attention to areas that promote ventilation, such as the fan, vent, air conditioning or the window. They are usually neglected due to their position in hard to reach areas. House plants are another valuable addition to your living space as they function to purify the air while producing oxygen for the household. Note that different species of plants possess differing attributes, either in terms of survivability or function, so it pays to read up on them before making a commitment.
Mind the wall behind you
If your employment requires extensive video conferencing with colleagues or clients, then your room, now delegated as the home office, should also be in immaculate condition. Direct your focus towards the background directly behind the computer. Give the place a more professional feel by keeping the wall plain and neutral. Posters of movies, cartoons or idols in scantily clad attire need to be removed. Also, do not hesitate to give the wall a fresh coat of paint if it is marred by moulding, dirt or juvenile scribbles. If you have a cupboard, then fill the empty spaces with books, magazines or journals related to your current job as it helps in lending you an air of credibility. The same goes that you should remove any inappropriate reading materials from view.
Learning is a never-ending process
Confinement provides ample opportunity to pick up new knowledge to complement your repertoire of skills. Unlike in the past, learning is a click of a button away, and a computer with internet access can connect you to the world. Tune in to talks on video sharing websites, download free E-books off the ‘Net if the physical ones are unavailable, or join online discussion groups on social media platforms. You can also post relevant articles related to your profession as this helps expand your network and improve your credibility. As technology progresses, the future will hold more opportunity for knowledge-based workers while labour-intensive jobs are replaced by automation, so get learning.
Family time is scarce in a fast-paced modern world. Although the Covid-19 virus at large has been a negative force towards the economy and health of Malaysians, it does the occasional good by making us spend time with our loved ones. This is a novel opportunity and we should enjoy it while it lasts. Board games, cook-along sessions, and gardening are but a few activities to keep the family bond strong. Since school is no longer in session, mom and dad can also play teacher to ensure their kids are not left out in the learning process. Be creative and watch your family flourish in these tough times.