Malaysia previously saw a successful fight against the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in the number of confirmed cases dropping to a single digit on some days.
Unfortunately, the sudden spike in COVID-19 cases within the country has led to a Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) that will last till 27th Oct. Note that this is not a lockdown, as most businesses are still operational, and travel is allowed (but only if absolutely required).
As most of us are encouraged to stay at home once more for the good of everyone, here are some really beneficial things to do to pass the time!
Rest assured that if you manage to accomplish each and every item on this list, the CMCO will be over before you know it.
1) Refresh the living room
You might spend a lot of time sitting around at home, so make sure your back is well-supported and your bottom is comfortable.
Change or wipe down the sofa cushion covers, refill them with stuffing if needed, and wash the curtains to keep the environment clean.
Don’t forget to dust and wipe common surface areas like the coffee table, TV cabinet, footrests, chairs, and anything you might touch frequently like remotes and magazines.
You don’t know what kind of bacteria has been lingering there, so minimise contact and remember not to touch your face.
2) Clean up the dining area
If your household uses the dining area as a common place for work and play, it’s time to tidy up and keep it clean.
Sanitise the dining table (or island) and chairs, especially the edges and basically anywhere that can be touched.
Sort the table and put items back where they’re supposed to be, like food in the pantry, food covers in the kitchen, medication in the cupboard, papers and books in the bookshelves or drawers, and so on.
3) Keep bedrooms well-ventilated
Avoid stuffiness by letting some sunshine in, and draw the curtains and open the windows to allow fresh air to spruce up the room.
However, if you have sick neighbours, you might want to keep the windows closed to prevent bacteria from being potentially transmitted (airborne).
This is also a great opportunity to finally change your bedsheets and wash the filters for your air-cond and air purifier. While you’re at it, why not change your curtains too?
4) Organise your child’s bedroom/study room
If you’re a parent and you’re going a bit crazy with your restless kids at home, get them to work together with you to tidy up their room, starting with toys and clothes.
Place the ones they’ve outgrown in a bag, and keep it aside to be donated once the CMCO is over.
Use a child-friendly detergent to sanitise and wash the floors, bedding, stuffed toys, and more. It’d be good to wipe down all of their toys with sanitising wipes too!
P/S: If you have a spare room or study room instead of a child’s bedroom, this tip works the same. Air the room as often as you can, and make sure it’s clean.
5) Give the bathroom a good scrub
Did you know that the bathroom is one of the dirtiest places in a house? It’s time to work those arm muscles and scrub hard to remove stubborn stains and mould!
Make sure to close the toilet lid after flushing to prevent faecal matter from being sprayed all around, as there’s some evidence that the COVID-19 virus might remain in faecal matter.
Reduce clutter in the bathroom by throwing away unused and/or empty shampoo bottles, toothpaste tubes, and the like.
If you’d like to reduce your bathroom waste, you can opt for shampoo and soap in the form of bars instead.
6) Sanitise and organise the kitchen
Finding yourself opening and closing the fridge often, expecting a surprise treat to suddenly appear?
Here’s what you can do instead: sort your fridge and pantry supplies and remove expired food or those you’ve lost a taste for.
With a good cleaning cloth and strong detergent, sanitise the kitchen countertops, frequently used appliances, handles, and clean the sink thoroughly to ensure there’s no leftover food bacteria.
7) Keep the plants green and healthy
Although there are reports that the Klang Valley might experience a water cut, if your place is not affected, don’t forget to water your plants!
Always keep a pail of water ready in case of emergencies and keep it closed to avoid dengue and contamination.
Now would be a good time to clean and scrub your pots, snip off brown leaves or stems, sweep the porch/balcony, and do some repotting (transferring your plant to a new pot because even plants can outgrow their homes).
In fact, while you're at it, why not get started on composting too? This is where you take any food leftovers and turn them into natural fertiliser that your plants will love!
8) Start separating your waste to be recycled
Staying home means that more garbage is being produced, especially if you’re thinking of taking a short excursion out to takeaway food.
Minimise waste by repurposing it, like turning cooking oil into soap with essential oils of your choice, and composting food waste.
Separate your waste by categories: cardboard, aluminium, plastic bottles, tetrapak, and organic food waste.
Don't forget to properly wash and dry your recyclables first, then only drop them off at recycling centres once the CMCO is over.
9) Keep your emergency supplies and essentials close by
You don’t need to hoard toilet paper and instant noodles, but you can make your very own COVID-19 survival kit!
This includes non-perishable food, hand sanitiser, face maskss, bottled water, sanitary supplies, medication, and copies of important documents.
Also, take note to know and practice (if possible) the emergency route in your building or home.
10) Learn a new language or skill online
With so much time on your hands, use it to your advantage to improve yourself and learn something new!
Many organisations and universities offer professional online courses for free and for some, you don’t even need to be an existing student to enrol.
You can also pick up new skills online that might benefit your current and future career — common ones are digital marketing, learning a new language, graphic design, and being a content creator.
11) Complete your abandoned projects
Complete anything you’ve started previously and didn’t get to finish, like that half-read book lying on your table, organising your cupboard, or even something simple like changing a lightbulb and replacing batteries.
As it’s a great time to do anything you’ve been putting off, you can even wash your car and finally unsubscribe from all those emails in your inbox, perhaps even take down that 2019 calendar you’ve got hanging up.
12) Get physical and keep your body moving (indoors)
Stay fit and keep your heart rate up with easy home exercises that you can do without needing any gym equipment. All you need is some space, workout clothes, and your favourite workout music playlist!
Don’t forget that chores can be considered exercise too, so help to sweep or mop the floor. Your parents will definitely be happy to see you ‘exercising’.
13) Pick up a book or marathon-watch TV
Immerse yourself in the literary arts and reread existing books you have at home, or read new books that you can find online.
If you’re not a bookworm, host a watch party on Netflix with your friends or take advantage of Astro’s free movie channels during this period. Just remember to take regular breaks to prevent your eyes from getting tired and dry.
14) Get creative and try DIY/crafting
Look up DIY tutorials online for everything and anything that you can make at home, ranging from making homemade floor cleaners with essential oils (eucalyptus and lemon are classic favourites) to how to turn an old T-shirt into a reusable tote bag.
As schools are closed, this is the perfect time to try out cool craft ideas with your kids. At the same time, you can practice their writing, hand-eye motor coordination, creativity, and critical thinking skills.
15) Catch up with your friends and family
We know you may not like it, but you can’t avoid some family-bonding as you’ll be spending 24 hours with them for the next 2 weeks. Play some fun family games or teamwork activities like jigsaws and charades.
Keep in touch with your friends and their situations by checking in on them regularly. Not only will you feel less lonely, but you’ll also be entertained by each other. If you do need to meet for emergencies, practice social distancing!
*Bonus thing you could do!
Did you know there's something that's already quietly taking the world by storm (no, we are NOT referring to the virus)? It's called property virtual tours, and it could be just the kind of brief respite you need!
You see, when it comes to being stuck in the same 4 walls day in and day out, a property virtual tour will allow you to view properties to have a 360-degree look around.
Not only will you be able to escape from reality for a bit, you can also take notes as you "walk" around for inspirational interior design ideas – who knows, you can use all that spare time to redecorate your home with your loved ones!
If you feel unwell and think you've somehow contracted the virus, proceed to the nearest hospital to take a COVID-19 test.
We hope everyone stays safe during this crucial period, and please do not leave your home. Until the CMCO ends, practice social distancing and wash your hands/sanitise frequently.