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Malaysians Share 7 Silver Linings from the Coronavirus Pandemic

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One of my favourite quotes is: change what you can, accept what you can’t.

That quote is more important than ever nowadays. It’s hard AF, but I want to choose to change my attitude to this whole coronavirus pandemic. I refuse to play the ‘woe is me, everything sucks’ game.

Don’t get me wrong. I am miserable. MCO sucks. Living alone and being away from loved ones right now sucks. Cancelled plans suck. Feeling helpless sucks. Not knowing when this will end sucks.

But I still want to try and live. Find the positives wherever and however I can. It’s the only way I – we – can cope with this without going mental. I’m already seeing predictions from pandemic specialists on how months of MCO may be necessary. How am I supposed to be productive and creative (and earn money during the recession) if I’ve lost it at this early stage?

The thing about feeling negative is it makes it hard for you to think positively. So I turned to the RoR audience for help.

And omg, did you DELIVER. What amazing perspectives you had. Thank you so much. I love it so much, I’ve decided to compile them here, so everyone else can also see the silver linings that you saw.

#1 – The Environment takes a breather

Many of you mentioned how the air is fresher without all the pollution. And you can now hear birds chirping more frequently 🙂

Honestly, I think it’s the time for us to stay at home n let the earth breathe, rejuvenate, rebirth n rebuild the nature. Human beings have taken too much from mother nature without letting it breathe from logging, air pollution, and sea pollution.

Its a time for us to all reflect and think for all of us to come together as 1 to build a better world. There must be a reason to why this crisis happen, right? To stop everybody from doing what they do, stay home and really look at what’s happening around us. – Prescila Cleopatra

#2 – Being part of a historic moment

Nothing like this has ever happened before. This is THE defining moment of our lifetime. Innovations are happening as we speak, to solve problems that we can’t postpone to another day.

The fall of established businesses, but an opportunity to kicktart/restart a new venture, they are forced to be creative with limited resources to survive (afloat),and explore possibilities they never would’ve thought before.

If they can get through this,they can sustain their businesses in the future, or making their business recession proff.. It’s an acid test that can be an evolution (or innovation) in IR4.0 – Psyche Says

What we’re experiencing now will be something we share for DECADES to come

Stories to tell grandkids about how we survive this “world war 3”. Think about it, every generation will have their own “war” to fight, pretty sure our grandparents pùn didnt see their world war coming. Conclusion is, expect the worst and always be prepared – Niq Nazmin

And since we’re spending so much time online, we’re also discovering and appreciating the many variations of art in different formats.

People are realizing the importance of the arts – Diyaa Mani

(Found this image frequently shared online. Not sure who is the creator – let me know if you know, would love to credit them for this image)

My prediction is, after we browse long enough and know what we like (including creators we like), more of us will start paying for premium content. There’s so much browsing one can do before one gets sick of looking for free stuff, when the paid version is exactly what they want.

#3 – The opportunity to test work from home

Some of you hate it, but some of you are loving the opportunity to test out work-from-home or telecommuting lifestyle!

As for workers who are ‘force’ to work from home, it also gives them an experience on what they can accomplish outside the cubicle, and give them time to think and explore other possibilities beyond their normal workdesk. – Psyche Says

#4 – Generally more time and more opportunities to save money

Eliminated: work commute (for employees in ‘non-essential’ services)

Introduced: The opportunity to learn new life skills. Cooking. Baking. Grocery-shopping. Cleaning. Some of you have never done this before, or very rarely, due to your hectic work lifestyle. Now you can, and you are reaping the savings.

No appointments, no events, no need to conduct interviews (for writing articles). As a self-employed writer, I still have my writing & submission deadlines though.

But now, I got more time for myself. I get to prepare my meals & cook more, because I don’t order delivery. I make it a point to exercise once a day. I save money coz not going out – no need to pay for toll, petrol, parking, etc – Khor Hui Min

We’re also learning to plan ahead, an essential time management skill. With everything but essential services closed, we have no choice but to learn that life skill, don’t we? It’ll be useful even beyond this.

#5 – Re-prioritising what’s important in life

I’m happy to see many people took the opportunity to form better relationships with loved ones and good friends.

Making up for the lost time. Busy parents got to spend time with their kids, rekindle their relationship and stronger the bond. No need for luxury vacation, it is free. Also it is much cheaper and healthier to cook at home, eating healthy snacks while watching movies together, and to stay fit they can exercise together at home. – Psyche Says

Realising my “strong” friends are just human beings. We started forming community instead of breaking the bonds. Our friendships are now stronger the result of isolation and needing more human touches.

I think I talked to my friends more now and know more about them than the years I have known them. Knowing some faces more difficulties than you humbles you in more ways than you can imagine.

We made a pact that after this is over, we are gonna be stronger and support each other more. Witnessing your strong friends break down during video call and knowing full well you can’t be there to hug and comfort them has been an eye opening to me.

Never assume someone’s life by the public portrayal they gave to you all these while 😞 – Nuralia Mazlan

People are getting back in touch through messaging and phone calls, my whatApps group are buzzing all day – Fong Wan Kit

Community spirit seems pretty strong too! Our shared fears and hopes and appreciation for frontliners unites us!

We sang Negaraku last night. Our neighbourhood came out together on their balcony – Nur Hidayah Abu bakar

#6 – Bringing out the best in humanity

Oh my God. I have ugly-cried so many times. Generally speaking, people have been on their best behaviour. We know we’re in this fight together.

The virus and MCO brought out the worst of human qualities-greed, selfishness and apathy.

But it did bring out the best qualities in us…generosity, altruism, and being colour blind.

Generous volunteers donated their money and time to help the needy and vulnerable affected by MCO. #kitajagakita

NGOs stepped in to help Healthcare workers make faceshields to protect them (Refer to the Malay Mail NGO volunteers make 1000 DIY faceshields for frontliners”)

Volunteers donated their time and money to prepare food for hungry healthcare workers.

Hotels and apartment owners near hospitals opened up their rooms to allow healthcare workers to stay rent free and rest instead of worrying how to commute home.

A local business paid their own staff to help the elderly and people with mobility issues to run errands or do grocery shopping (myBurger Lab lends helping hands to senior citizens)

It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. The darkness may be overwhelming. But if many lit candles come together, we can find our way through this darkness – Lee Jun

Personally, I’ve been keeping myself busy with volunteering as Social Media lead coordinator for Malaysian Health Coalition, ‘an apolitical coalition of Malaysian health professional societies, health professionals and citizens dedicated to improving the health of Malaysians, strengthening the Malaysian health system, and supporting Health in All Policies.’

Basically, I help to distribute #messagefromdoctors across all social media platforms.

It’s nice to know my copywriting and content creation/management skills are not useless in this situation.

I’m proud to say that I managed to grow the Twitter account from 0 to 10k followers in 3 days 🙂

All I want to do is help disseminate what doctors want you to know. Need your help to grow further. Please follow us at Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn

#7 –  And of course, the memes

And if all fails, when things are at its worst, there are always memes to distract myself with. Is it okay to admit that memes is part of my coping mechanism?

Memes are more high quality – people are using this time to be more creative – Fong Wan Kit

Meme page admins, thank you for working tirelessly to keep us entertained.


View this post on Instagram


They’ve done their part 60+ years ago, let’s do our part now meme by @wan23danny

A post shared by MGAG (@mgagmy) on

That’s the end of the list.  Thanks for reading this far. I hope any or all of the above will help you cope with this bleak situation. Let’s all hang in there and help each other. Remind your friends and family that there *are* silver linings from this situation – I listed 7 but there may be more. Share in the comments section, we could do with more silver linings.

Until next time, stay safe and healthy and indoors,


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