Although adversity may inflict hardship and misery on people, it also has a knack for bringing humanity together, transcending not only political divides and religious barriers but also geographical boundaries.
The human response in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic bears striking resemblance to the response after natural disasters such as tsunamis, earthquakes and hurricanes. The only difference is that the misfortune from extreme weather events is usually over a shorter period.
History will show that the pandemic was a calamity that brought out the best and the worst of humanity in many parts of the world. Fortunately, the former surpasses the latter by an enormous margin.
For every inconsiderate and selfish hoarder jostling into shops and supermarkets for essential items – and sometimes non-essential stuff – many more all over the world have tirelessly and passionately served humanity. In their service, they have discharged their duties diligently and fervently during these critical times.
For every belligerent individual out there, there are thousands of frontline staff making us feel proud to be part of humanity. Doctors, nurses, cleaners, ambulance staff and janitors, they work round the clock on our behalf. Men and women, they toil beyond the call of duty, serving their fellow human beings – a far cry from some politicians who frequently create a chasm among the people.
Over the past year, we have come across so many heart-warming initiatives from all over the world in the wake of this crisis. These have brought people around the world closer together.
Malaysia is no exception. Apart from frontline workers, NGOs and residents’ and home owners’ associations have also played their part.
Recently, the Bukit Damansara House Owners’ Association provided delicious daily lunch packs for two weeks to 200 frontline staff in the Covid wards of Sungei Buloh Hospital. The association paid almost RM12,000 for these lunch packs. This was a gesture of appreciation and gratitude for the frontline hospital staff at Sungai Buloh Hospital for their dedication and sacrifice.
The people are humbled by their selflessness and unswerving efforts in containing the pandemic, often risking their own lives for the people’s wellbeing.
The pandemic has been challenging, placing a burden on the healthcare system. Yet, health workers, like those in Sungai Buloh Hospital, persevere with passion and zest, devoting their energy to contain the pandemic.
These frontline staff have placed service above self in making Malaysia safe again. True patriots, by any measure. We salute you!
We are obligated to them and must tell them in no uncertain terms that we are constantly thinking of them as they embark on their tedious battle daily. Most of them are making supreme sacrifices, being away from family and friends, unable to even take their annual leave.
The distribution of foodstuffs at Sungai Buloh Hospital was the second community service initiative by the Bukit Damansara House Owners’ Association during this movement control period.
The first was on 2 May 2020 when the association distributed food provisions to 208 low-income households (both local and foreign) in the poorer areas of the Segambut constituency.
The distribution was carried out in collaboration with the immensely popular local MP, Hannah Yeoh. The association sent six volunteers to assist in the distribution – a noble deed by the residents of this old and well-known residential suburb of Kuala Lumpur. Hopefully, other residents’ associations all over Malaysia will emulate this initiative.
Now is the time to familiarise ourselves with prevailing realities and to make fundamental changes to our existing ways. Globally, we have witnessed humanity’s unwavering spirit, resilience, dedication and tenacity, especially the frontline workers.
They and many others in Malaysia and across the world have worked relentlessly to provide medical services, food and other amenities to the vulnerable.
This pandemic looks to have at least altered the moral fibre of many people around the world. Crisis often brings out the best in humanity; it is a time when we look upon all as our fellow human beings, irrespective of race and religion.