A "Gentle" Reminder
On 18 March 2020, the Malaysian government implemented the Movement Control Order (MCO), also known as the “partial lockdown,” as a preventive measure to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The MCO prohibits the mass movements and gatherings across the country including religious, sports, social and cultural activities. To enforce this prohibition, all houses of worship and business premises should be closed, except for supermarkets, public markets, grocery stores and convenience stores selling everyday necessities.”
These photos were taken in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. I took a trip downtown by Light Rail Transit (LRT) instead of driving to avoid random roadblocks set across many popular destinations in Malaysia. The train stations remain silent and filled with echoes of my own footsteps only to be disrupted by the random Hindi songs that were blasted from an Android phone of a migrant worker. Apparently he was out and about getting his daily necessities.
I alighted at Bukit Bintang station and realized that I wasn't alone at all. Remnants of homeless people, security forces, cleaners and tourists stuck in KL can be seen wandering within the city which would otherwise be filled by thousands on a normal day, a stark contrast before the MCO was implemented.
I took a stroll down the famous intersection of Jalan Bukit Bintang in front of Lot 10 Shopping Mall. Headed to Pavilion where all the luxe brands were and walked all the way back towards Jalan Alor, a popular tourist food spot. While passing "Arab Street," I stumbled upon an elderly man sitting by the roadside, donning oversized sunglasses. While taking shots of this peculiar gentleman, I was startled by the blaring sound of the police siren. I guessed it was a warning and time for me to go as it was also getting dark.
On my train ride back, I kept thinking about this disease. Perhaps this pandemic is a "gentle" reminder from Mother Nature to not take things for granted. I have not heard the birds this happy before. Noise pollution from the ever crazy KL traffic is almost non-existent. People are staying indoors and spending more time with their family members.
Something to ponder. Perhaps we should revisit the way we live and give back Mother Nature its space when this is all over.
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