COMMENT | We will bounce back

James Chai

Modified 12 Jan 2021, 12:21 am

COMMENT | Dark clouds follow my steps as I take my evening jog. I could sense that it would be harder and harder to go outside, play sports and roam freely again – jogging may be the one last thing we could do.

We were right. Prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced that most states would have to undergo some form of movement control order (MCO). The worst-hit states like Selangor, Penang, Malacca, Johor, Sabah and all the three federal territories would have at least a two-week MCO. Closing borders, schools - and another phase of our lives.

Our worry and anxiety give way to a more educated dread. While we understand that rules and regulations are the only way to stem out the rapid rise in Covid-19 cases, going back to exactly where we were in March last year is not inviting. We are going in loops, returning to a place unfamiliar and dreadful.

You are not alone. This loop is studied by famous philosophers like Friedrich Nietzsche and Albert Camus, to highlight the absurdity of the eternal recurrence of events through the same sequence and pattern.

“Social distance” has taken a largely physical connotation, without accounting for the emotional separation that puts us in a worse state than before. In the last MCO, hundreds of lives were reportedly lost due to suicide. Stress levels rose, loneliness more apparent, and the sense of helplessness and confinement gave credence to our darkest thoughts.

The new standard operating procedures (SOPs) are likely familiar to us; only...

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