Taking a 15 minute break from work to talk about the MCO and some small things yesterday.
So the MCO started in the middle of the week last week, aka Wednesday, 18 March, 2020. Calling the first few days utter chaos is a massive understatement – we were only told to stay home but that we could go out for groceries and it wasn’t a holiday but no clear guidelines about how interstate travel would be handled and well…
Basically the first 2 – 3 days of the MCO saw a compliance rate (according to the government) of 60%, driven no doubt by confusion and panic. For the most part, quite a few restaurants that could afford to stay closed, did. Those that could not, remove their chairs to ensure people could not sit down to eat but only takeaway. This included the coffee shop restaurants near my home. But not all of them were open – there were only a few stalls that took the risk to continue operating.
So when I ventured out then to get some tapau (packed) food, the road was quiet but not too quiet – it reminded me of the streets during the recent Chinese New Year and Christmas holidays when people went travelling. Life goes on albeit with a soft kind of change, I thought.
Fast forward to yesterday.
My family and I stayed home over the weekend, and I managed to get my mom to stop her daily quick runs outside to get the weekly newspaper thanks to the Star opening up their e-paper so she could get her daily fix without navigating their website. On Monday though I needed to get groceries, so I went out to Tesco.
It was quiet. So, very, very quiet.
I was actually quite amazed when I stepped out from the front door on the way to my car. I had never heard the street so quiet before, even with the same amount of cars. It took me till today to realise why.
The highway was silent.
I never noticed before, but the highway less than a km away was actually really quiet, with nary a car on the road. Before this, there would be a low, below the threshold of conscious thought kind of hum that never quite went away. Yesterday though, it was conspicuously missing. I admit I was very confused when I stepped out of the house, wondering what was so different about it.
So I did a grocery run and for the most part, both the mall’s parking and most other parts of the lower ground floor was empty, except for the produce section for some reason. Got almost everything I wanted and then came home. It rained later in the evening, bringing blessed comfort from the hot sun.
A day later, aka today, I realised that I’ve actually never heard this area this quiet before. I grew up in this neighbourhood, in this taman that’s maybe about 10km wide? Maybe more, maybe less, but I’ve never actually heard… silence like this. It’s kinda nice, and a bit unnerving for a city girl like me.
And now I get what it would sound like if there’s a zombie outbreak.