25 Mar 2020 - 5 min read
Seems like everything we’ve been reading for the past month is about COVID-19. Most of us are probably keeping a tight watch on the number of cases and deaths that are rising each day. But, gloomy news aside, let’s not forget that there are still so many good things in this world, and we’re here to serve you some positivity. We’ve rounded up some of the best things that happened in Malaysia and around the world that you might have missed, down below!
Malaysian author Hanna Alkaf has initiated a movement with the hashtag #KitaJagaKita to gather organizations and individuals to assist those badly affected by the movement control order. The movement was started to create something positive amidst the feeling of helplessness that most of us are experiencing. Hanna first shared a list of organizations that needed funds on Twitter using the hashtag #KitaJagaKita. Since then, the hashtag has been used widely to remind others to take care of each other by staying home and to not panic buy. Faith in humanity restored!
For more information on #KitaJagaKita, visit https://www.kitajaga.us/ or email the team at email@example.com.
Many communities that rely on social enterprises and NGOs for aid, especially the homeless and the marginalized, are struggling during these trying times as many organizations are facing financial disruptions. We know that Malaysians are generous, and many have come up with crowdfunding efforts. If you want to join these efforts, you can lend a hand to these organizations by donating what you can, be it food or monetary aid. Here are some organizations that you can contribute to:
Despite the non-stop calls to stop panic buying, Malaysians are such a kiasu lot that they often forget the elderly and vulnerable shoppers who can’t compete with younger, more able shoppers. To curb this problem, some supermarkets have introduced ‘elderly hour’ where those in need can shop for their daily needs in a safe and worry-free environment.
Here are some shops allocating special opening hours to those in need:
Credit: Jaya Grocer/Instagram
On the other hand, Giant supermarket has introduced special lanes for the vulnerable which includes the elderly, pregnant ladies, mothers with infants and the disabled:
Credit: Oxford University
Synthetic biology Ph.D. candidate Lim Boon Chuan is part of a team of scientists from Oxford University that is developing a revolutionary rapid testing technology for COVID-19. The team at the university and the Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research (OSCAR) are currently developing a COVID-19 test kit, which can produce results three times faster than the current method. The new test kits can produce results in 30 minutes, unlike the current tests which will take three days. This would certainly help with recognizing infected individuals and help to minimize infection!
Video credit:Seán Michael Wilson/Facebook
If Italy has the singing balcony, Malaysia has a light show balcony. The Seasons Garden Residences in Kuala Lumpur started a flashlight event to cheer each other up. The light show lasted about 30 minutes and the residents are saying that it’ll continue during the movement control period. It’s quite heartwarming to see Malaysians coming together and having fun, despite being stuck at home.
Technology and consumer electronics company Xiaomi donated thousands of masks to the Italian government last week to help the epidemic-stricken country tide over difficulties and relieve the pressure of medical resources shortage. The best part of all is that the shipment crates featured a quote from the ancient Roman philosopher Seneca: "We are waves from the same sea, leaves from the same tree, flowers from the same garden". Xiaomi shared the incredible gesture in a Facebook post saying that the masks are a token of gratitude for welcoming them into the Italian market and that they felt "loved and deeply integrated into the life of the country" since it arrived two years ago. If this doesn’t make you go “Awww…” we don’t know what will.
Good news to the rest of the world. Wuhan, the Chinese city where the COVID-19 outbreak began, has closed all of its 16 makeshift hospitals last week as the number of new coronavirus cases drop. The central Hubei province reported less than 200 cases of new infections for the first time since January. This gives hope to the world. If China can report a decline in their cases, so can we!
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed on March 23 for an "immediate global ceasefire" to protect vulnerable civilians in conflict zones from the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic. This comes after Syria reported its first case of the COVID-19 virus, a country already torn by 10 years of war, and after cases have also emerged in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Afghanistan. The virus can wreak havoc in countries in conflict, which often are very poor and with fragile health care systems. Hopefully, the ceasefire can open the opportunity to deliver life-saving aid and focus on the true fight of the new decade.
The COVID-19 outbreak has undoubtedly launched us into an uncertain time where things change rapidly every day, but good news still prevails. If this list has proven anything, it’s that we are all in this together!