Today is the second time I’ve left the house this week since the Restricted Movement Order (RMO) came into enforcement. I notice my heart rate rise at the thought of leaving the relative security of my 1,200 square metre apartment.

Editor’s note: Please see the end of the article for a list of Covid-19 community-based relief initiatives that you can contribute to and/ or support. We hope that the list may be useful for those who may wish to donate their resources during this time of need. If you would like to be on the list, please speak to us at

Today is the second time I’ve left the house this week since the Movement Control Order (MCO) came into enforcement. 

I notice my heart rate rise at the thought of leaving the relative security of my 1,200 square metre apartment. 

I tell myself that I’m only leaving to get groceries as if to placate my anxiety. 

The stark difference between now and two weeks ago is that I, we, weren’t told of an uptick in Covid-19 cases. Two weeks ago, we could still move around freely.

The stress is palpable. With being told to #stayhome at any cost, the thought of stepping foot outside makes me scared. 

I do a quick check in with my emotions. I remind myself to be grateful for the ability to stock my fridge and pantry. 

As if privilege should grant me reprieve from stress, I also ask myself: so, what about the thousands of others out there who live in a completely stratosphere? 

If there’s one lesson everyone should learn now, more than ever, is that where you sit on the social ladder can determine whether you live or die during this pandemic.

In Ranau, farmers were forced to throw out their harvests meant for sale until volunteers came in to mobilise distribution for them into the city.

In Kuching, a desperate father walks around the city centre collecting edible food scraps to feed his family of four.

In the Philippines, for many, social distancing is not an option. I quote the article, “Yes, we are afraid of the virus, but I think hunger and insanity will kill us first before we die from the virus.”

Now meditate on that thought. Translate that thought to the high density squatter areas all around Sabah. Families stuck with no food, no electricity, no water and no job. No way to escape.

It’s not sad. It’s reality. And my conclusion: I have none. 

I can only remind myself to spare a thought for the vulnerable, the undocumented, the immunocompromised, the elderly, the prisoners and the ones without access to clean water, electricity and a full fridge.

In Sabah, you may support these Covid-19 relief initiatives:

  1. Save Our Prisoners (SOP) Initiative by the Human Rights Committee of Sabah Law Society is calling for donations of soap and personal hygiene products for prisons around Sabah.
  1. Sabah Pharmaceutical Society is calling for cash donations to purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for hospitals within the state. 
  1. The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) Board of Visitors is organising a donation drive to collect funds to purchase PPE, medical equipment and nursing items.
  1. JCI Intan and JCI Moyog are pooling contributions to send care packages to our frontliners in Sabah.
  1.  Remember our animals. SPCA Kota Kinabalu is calling for rice donations to feed hundreds of shelter animals.
  1. Harvest Borneo Centre is an alternative learning centre for marginalised children. They are currently fundraising to help out parents whose incomes have been affected by the RMO.