Day 1 - Stay home, yes, you

— 3 minute read


Malaysia started its nation-wide coronavirus movement control today. I thought it’d make a good, arbitrary reason to make a daily journal entry, given the circumstances of being home bound and this being an irregular situation. I’ve been thinking of writing (something, anything) for some time now and this is as good a time as any.

Will we run out of rice? Will the cats reveal their secret lives? Will we come up with a solution to climate change? Stay tuned to find out!

Being the case that we’re both freelance and working from wherever, the shock of the partial lockdown to our daily life is minimal. For the time being, we can’t go to the cafes that we usually work at, and our favourite makan places. We moved the dining table to my study so that both of us can work in the shadiest part of the house when the sun gets too intense (the living room faces the west). Two days before the movement control order we braved the crowds to get supplies, so we have enough to eat for at least a week, probably more. I’m finally spending more time in the kitchen, cooking and cleaning, and it feels great. I’ve missed this.

I’m on my phone a lot, compulsively checking the latest news updates, and reassuring hapless friends who are cooped up at home with their restless boomer parents who are ready to defy the order at any opportunity. I suppose there will be a transition period before everybody’s nerves get to some sort of homeostasis. Good thing that I already spend most of my time at home with Leo and we’ve gotten most of our issues on space sharing out of the way.

But I’m gradually weaning myself off the phone because I sense that all this buzzing is draining – there is only that much of doomsday and petty considerations that one can take before sinking into existential depression.

Out there the world is spinning fast, fast, fast. When one person infects two or more people, the growth in cases is exponential and we’ve seen this happen in China, in Italy, and now it will be in Malaysia. In a few days, the boomer parents will eat their words and respect the wisdom of social distancing. I know, because I too was in “let’s not overreact” mode just last week. Things are happening by the hour. Inept politicians are u-turning, borders are closing, markets are tumbling.

And in here, within the safe confines of our home, things are slowing down to a crawl. All overseas travel in the immediate horizon has been cancelled or postponed, which blasts my schedule wide open until July (there’s an important event in July that I am hoping against hope that I’ll get to go to – but things are not looking so good). I am finally getting to dig my heels into this lovely place we call home, without being uprooted every other week to go for some work-related trip and having to build my routines over and over again. Somewhere within the folds of my heart, there is a small, but clear, sigh of relief.

So there is some incongruence between Outside Time and Inside Time, and that is creating some vague unease in me. A feeling that we are in the calm before the storm.

I try to live day by day. I’ll write again tomorrow.