Musings during the Pandemic #38

How Covid-19 has affected me

No one could have ever anticipated the magnitude of change that a minute virus could bring to the whole world. When Covid-19 first struck the Malaysian shores in March 2020, the whole nation came to a standstill like never before. It was as if we are in a war where curfews were implemented. Anyone caught in public without a valid reason is punished with a fine and even jail. I remember one incident in the Perak Road market where a lorry was used to put people caught by the police with no valid reason to be in public, and this old lady was arguing with the police before being put in the lorry. In an instant, face-masks became a mandatory item in public until today and a phobia for fever and the common flu was established as someone sure to get Covid-19.

I lost a dear friend and his mum to Covid-19 in May and June 2021, when the vaccine was just made available and both my friend and his mum were yet to be vaccinated. I myself contracted Covid-19 in December 2021 and the experience of being the one who is positive shed some light on how our community is reacting to this pandemic, which is FEAR. When my neighbours found out that our household was on home quarantine and even though the quarantine period was over and we had our pink tags removed, they avoided us as if we are carriers of the plague. They would stop as they see us coming towards them and quickly move in a different direction. We were blessed though because our immediate neighbour had a heart of gold and cared for us when we could not leave the house to get food or provisions. They made sure we had food and provisions always. May God bless them for their generosity of heart.

I find this similar attitude even in church when we hear of some parishioner being tested positive for Covid-19. The immediate questions were usually “Where did he/she get it?”, “Was he/she in church last week?”, “Where was he/she sitting in church last week?”, “Why wasn’t I informed by the church?”. FEAR. How nice if the immediate response and questions were “I wonder how is he/she doing?” or “Does he/she need any help as the whole household is probably home quarantined and they cannot go out to get provisions?” How nice indeed. I am glad God allowed me and my family to go through this and protected us and keep us safe throughout the infection. Now I ask the right questions. Not the questions crafted out of FEAR.

With the majority of people getting their booster shots, the percentage of people getting Covid-19 under category 3 and above are less than 1% and the power of this virus to cause severe damage to us has been vastly diminished. By the grace of God, our churches are beginning to open to enable us to come physically for mass to receive our precious Eucharist, which sustains us and enables us to persevere and overcome our personal struggles in life. We are not made to walk this journey alone. We need our Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ to walk with us, for He said in 2 Corinthians 12: 9,

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.”

I look forward to the day when my parish mass is full again and our community is able to come together once again to vibrantly worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth.