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Lock Down in Malaysia 2020: Day 81 – Going Back to Work And A New Normal

lockdown singapore covid19

Ever since the lock down (MCO) was announced by the Government on 18th March 2020, I have been working from home. Image source: Victor He on Unsplash

We were only allowed to venture out to buy the essential items or for medical needs. Then on 1st May 2020, the Government announced a more relaxed lockdown called CMCO – conditional movement control order. Then on 10th May 2020, this relaxed lock down was extended to 9th June 2020.

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A new month, new start so on 1st June 2020, I decided to go back to the office for work instead of working from home due to lock down. Further, I have an overseas implementation coming up this month so I need to work with the implementation closely. It will be tough to do that from home.

With the social distancing rules in place, I initially did not have a place to sit but the company found another place which was indeed better than my usual workplace.

lockdown military new york

The US, unfortunately, is having a double whammy – the highest number of COVID19 infections in the world and nationwide protest on the recent death of George Floyd. Image source: Alec Favale on Unsplash

COVID-19 situation as at todate

The situation in Malaysia has continued on a positive trend with the number of active cases has continued to reduce since the peak at 5th April 2020 with 2,596 active cases.

As at 5th June 2020, Malaysia recorded 1,540 active cases with the fatality rate stands at 1.40% whilst the recovery rate improved to 79.975%. We are now seeing single-digit new infections for Malaysians in recent days. Malaysians still need to continue to adhere to lock downs, adhere to stay at home order and exercise personal hygiene and social distancing.

Indonesia has an increased 18,308 active cases with 1,770 deaths making a fatality rate of 6.00% with 31.99% recovery rate whilst Singapore has a reduced 13,255 active cases with 24 deaths making a fatality rate of 0.06% with 64.29% recovery rate.

The US still leads others at the top with 1.1 million active cases with a fatality rate of 5.73% with 37.02% recovery rate followed by Brazil with 306,834 active cases.

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Back To Work From Office

There are several advantages of me returning back to the office for work namely working in an air-conditioned environment which means my laptop can run cool the whole day (at home, I had to put the laptop cooler fans and a standing fan just to make sure my laptop does not over-heat).

It is also easy to discuss with the project team on their progress although we had to keep our distances far.

Another obvious benefit was that my car will be under the shade the whole day at my office instead of under the hot sun if at home. Further driving to and fro the office and home will also beneficial to the car’s battery and tires.

And since the conditional lock down is still in place, the number of cars on the road is also rather less and it was rather pleasant to drive to work. There are in some places, minor traffic jam but it is acceptable.

lockdown new normal

The New Normal

Since we are yet to come out from the woods in this pandemic, personal hygiene and social distancing are the new normal. I also need to be a bit more paranoia especially when standing next to a stranger. Image source: TheStar

I no longer to opt to take a long walk from my car park to my office lift, just to avoid encountering anyone on the way. The lift which can take 20 people at any one time is reduced to just 4 people. So you can imagine the crowd if everyone decided to take the lift all at the same time. Good thing I come early to the office so there is hardly anyone in the morning.

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Back in the office, only half of the workforce has returned to office – I can see for every 3 seats, only 2 people at their place with the middle seat vacated. Prayer room for the Muslims is closed to avoid over-crowding & to adhere to the SOP set by the Government. Even going to the toilet had to be regulated with only 4 people are allowed to be in at any one time.

We still can hold face to face meetings in the office but the attendees are limited and only key people are called in. Sitting arranged in a way so that no one seats too near.

intermittent fasting lock down food health

Intermittent Fasting Again

I started intermittent fasting way back in 2018 after accidentally stumbling upon a video that explained the impact of sugar & insulin on body fat.

The more I started to understand the science behind body fat, the more I started to understand its benefit. It was high time I kept a closer watch on my food intake.

I even managed to sustain this to some extent when I was away on an overseas project. I have managed to shave off one meal (either breakfast or lunch) from my daily food intake and this is without me getting hungry. Slowly but surely I also managed to creep in the 16 hours of fasting (keeping an app to remind the remaining hours to fast).

Then the lock down happened and my food intake went south!

Holed up in the house for weeks, months just makes you hungry. In my case, it is worse as the storeroom (biscuits, junk-food and crackers), the fridge (plenty of soft-drink, fruit juice, chocolates and other easy to munch titbits) and of course, the kitchen (where things even overdrive with new menus during lockdown) is just next to my workplace at home.

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Resistance is futile so says the Borg.

Weeks down the line, I went to check my weight and acted surprised to see another 10 kilograms added to my already heavyweight. But now going back to the office, far away from the storeroom, the fridge and the kitchen, it was easier to resist the assimilation. And with an added factor of the new place is freaking cold (like sitting in an icebox), I found myself not hungry the whole day until I come back home.

Perhaps it is a condition of the mind that is not triggering my hunger senses. Perhaps it is the fact that I want to avoid going to the food stalls near my work in junction with social distancing that is still in place. Last few days have gone by and I noticed my weight has gone down a bit – a positive improvement indeed.

Future Plans

Moving in the coming weeks, God willing, I will be travelling overseas again for work. It won’t be easy to travel these days especially with the strict pandemic conditions but the show must go on and unfortunately, we are unable to do some things through remote access or Zoom.

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