What’s It Like Living Under The Movement Control Order (MCO)


It’s been three weeks since the movement control order was implemented – since the current pandemic transformed the lives of millions of people all over the world. Urged to stay at home unless absolutely necessary, the past few weeks brought an unprecedented shared experience that will connect a whole generation of Malaysians.

As of 3 April 2020, there have been 3,333 cases. With numbers surging, Malaysians are constantly worrying about their loved ones that are at most at risk, paired with the constant news updates about the coronavirus worldwide. It can easily make anyone feel negative about the current situation.

Just a week and a half into what was supposed to be just a two week self-isolation period brought on by the Malaysian government’s movement control order (MCO), the citizens of Petaling Jaya have been, for the most part, taking it in stride.

Petaling Jaya is currently the leading area with the most cases due to its geographic location, situated in the middle of the busiest states in Malaysia. The majority of the residents in this high-risk area are making sure they are doing their part to flatten that curve, to stop the spread of the virus.

Quarantine Activities

While citizens all over Italy are doing their best to keep their spirits high by making music and hosting neighborhood dance parties from the safe distance of their balconies, Malaysians are filling their time and tummies with good, wholesome local delicacies and posting it online. You’ll easily find yourself snacking as every single person you’re following is making something sweet, salty or both.

To no one’s surprise, a new popular trend has emerged and captivated the attention of coffee lovers in Malaysia – the Dolgona coffee. Comprising of three simple ingredients, you can easily whip up this delicious beverage in under 10 minutes. It’s simplicity and saccharine taste skyrocketed coffee-making as one of the top things to do during quarantine right after skyping with friends and before binge-watching an endless list of Netflix movies and television shows. Even humble dishes like nasi lemak with fried chicken and a variety of different kuih-muih are also prominently featured by Malaysian Instagram users on their stories during this time.

Self-isolation during this uncertain period provides many Malaysians with hectic schedules an opportunity to slow down. Many have deep-dived into self-care. Pampering oneself with an at-home spa day has helped pass the time and has been a great relaxing activity. Malaysians are taking necessary steps to be conscious of what they need during this time to keep their mind, body, and soul happy while waiting for the pandemic to pass.

Keeping fit at home, or trying to implement a workout routine has never been easier then it is now for Malaysians. Groups of friends communicate through video calls or join fitness classes that are streaming for free.

Quality Time


There is no doubt that we all have a lot more time on our hands now, more than we know what to do with, and that’s one of the self-isolation problems that arise early on. But being the positive people that Malaysians often are, this time has been used as quality time to catch up on life.

Families, unshackled from the time-consuming routines of work and school now have the luxury of time to reconnect, through activities that range from playing games to having more meals together at the dining table. Households with pets are also savouring the extra quality time.

Through technology, the internet, and social media, the term social distancing has never felt more ironic. Physical interactions are no longer a necessity to socialise with our loved ones. Our days are now spent on video calls that go on for hours on end, wishfully talking about how we’re going to hug one another tighter and the simple pleasures that we won’t take for granted anymore once this is all over.

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