MCO extended again? (Or maybe not) Here are the 4 things that we learned since the last one

2020, what a year! The year long rollercoaster ride that doesn’t seem to have a break on it. A year that saw some businesses thrive among others while most businesses struggle with holding power. A year that brought about new window of opportunities while many doors closed. 2020 has taught us that it is crucial for everyone to be agile with every situation and aptly since MCO is extended again. 

Just when we caught a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel, the number of cases spiked again. And here we are, MCO extended for most states in Malaysia in just the second week of the year. While most people have adapted with the new norm, it can still be tiring physically, psychologically, and emotionally for some.

Here’s what we learned since the last MCO:


Not everyone takes it the same way

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on people’s mental health. Some factors include the paranoia of contracting the disease, lack of social interaction, isolation, anxiety over uncertainties etc.

The government psychosocial hotlines received 11,791 calls between March and August last year, which was during the first MCO. Most calls consist of issues related to emotional support and counselling for stress, anxiety and despair. 

Although many are keeping themselves occupied with new ventures, new recipes and keeping up with TikTok trends among other activities, some do not cope as well with the causal effects of MCO extended in Malaysia as easily as others. 

We all need every bit of love and support that we can have during this difficult time. If you are struggling, reach out for help if you need it. Here are some organisations that you can reach out to: 

  1. Naluri
  2. Befrienders
  3. BAE Counselling and Therapy

We can still be productive while working remotely

The culture of working remotely started as early as 1995. Remote workers (mostly freelancers and digital nomads back then) get their work done in their home offices, coworking spaces (like PAPER + TOAST), cafes, and libraries. Now with MCO extended in Malaysia, it is the new norm for the mass majority. While it has its benefits, working from home takes some time of getting used to even for the most seasoned nomads when we are restricted to our own homes. Here are some tips and tricks we’ve picked up over the last year on how to remote work effectively. 

  1. Set boundaries between your personal life and work life. It can be hard now that your work and personal life are all in the same space. But still, find time to be with yourself and your loved ones.
  2. Set up a dedicated workspace for yourself and make it a conducive space. Clear out your table or get a comfortable work chair for you to be more productive.
  3. Meal prep in the morning. Use the time that you’d normally spend in the morning to commute to meal prep instead so that you can just throw in the ingredients and cook it during lunch, giving you more time to work or rest. Otherwise, you could just order your food online. 
  4. Go on a work break whenever needed. Walk around the house or shift your work station from time to time.
  5. Take turns taking care of your family members in need. If you have young kids or elderly at home, take turns with your partner or other family members to care for them.

Be adaptable to changes

When most of us started the year, we had a lot of hopes and dreams for 2020. The year marked the end of a decade and was the year of Wawasan 2020 we all had dreamed of. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned. Some of us had Plan B and Plan C, but with the unpredictability of everything, things were constantly changing.

Being agile, adaptable, and resilient was particularly important for businesses to change the way they were doing things in light of the new normal. To support this, many solution providers like Yezza came up with various solutions, such as doing business by only using Whatsapp, allowing more micro and small entrepreneurs to continue their ventures.


Humans are still social creatures at the end of the day

For the first time in most of our lives, we are asked to stay put at our own home for an extended period and keep social distance to curb the spread of the virus. Sure, voluntarily staying at home for a few days can be relaxing but the lack of social interaction for a long period of time may drive some into extreme loneliness.

We may think that everything would return to our pre-pandemic days after the MCO is lifted but it might take a while until we feel safe and comfortable to do so. Hence, we are seeing a lot of events going online emerging to cater to this growing need. So now, people can still have that social interaction while being at the comfort of their own home.

If you want to expand your network and have more meaningful conversations, check out Jumpa here! They also cater to corporations that want to enhance their virtual HR processes. 

2020 has been a tough year for most of us, but we shouldn’t lose sight of the lessons that the year has taught us. Although we can’t promise 2021 will be a better year, we can always prepare ourselves to face any challenges that may come our way. You know what they say, “Out with the old, in with the new.”. Let us all come together and brave through 2021 as a community. Cheers!