Today marks Day 28 of Malaysia’s Movement Control Order (MCO), a restriction put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19. There are another 14 days (and possibly more) ahead of us.
Had I known what the MCO experience was really like, here are 10 things I would have done.
1. Serviced My Home Aircons, Fridge and Washing Machine
The difference between heaven and hell, when it comes to being cooped up all day, is similar to the difference between 22 degrees and 30 degrees Celcius. Had I known the weather would be so hot (has it always been so hot? Or have I spent the last 20 years of my life in the office?), I would have gotten all my air conditions serviced and blowing blisteringly cold air before the MCO. A nice injection of gas, cleaning of the filters, some tender loving care by aircon technicians…. ahhh.
Should have also gotten rid of the maddening drip, drip, drip as the aircon leaks onto my wooden floor.
Had I known I would need to keep 2 weeks worth of food nice and frozen, I would have gotten my fridge serviced. A nice top-up of the freon, the smells removed, would have kept my food in better condition I think.
And who even knew my washing machine was so dirty and mouldy inside? Now that I need to wash everything in 70 degrees water (I told you that it was my CLOTHES that shrunk, not the butter cakes that I’ve been wolfing down), the hum of the washing machine and the knock knock knock of my jeans buttons as they bounce around the machine has become music to my ears. Should have gotten it professionally cleaned.
2. Repaired my Oven
Had I known I would discover an inner Martha Stewart inside me, sending me into baking frenzies everyday, I would have fixed the darn temperature gauge on the oven. It’s a lot hotter than it should be (e.g. cakes bake in 20 minutes rather than the 50 minutes that the recipe promised), and I have to open the oven door every 5 minutes to check that the top is not charred to bits. Not good for sponge cakes, but not bad as a sauna treatment for my face.
3. Repaired My Laptop Speaker
I realised that I’ve been Zoom-ing pretty much everyday! And because the speakers are spoilt, everyone sounds like Darth Vader. Which makes work calls a lot more fun, but it gets tiresome saying “Can you please repeat that, I think Zoom is lagging” 20 times to your distant cousin (who actually looks like a character in Star Wars so it’s doubly funny). So I would have made a call to iPhoneFix.
4. Bought Good Headphones
See above. Would have been useful on the days I actually need to understand what people say on calls. I think sometimes they could have a good point.
5. Created a Proper Workspace
Now that we’re all working from home, I see all my friends perched onto their kitchen countertops jostling for space with the cereal boxes, squatting in their store-room with their laptop balanced on the vacuum cleaner, or squished beside their other halves, I feel grateful that we invested in a proper working space. Mine’s the usual – IKEA tables, shelves, lights everywhere. But let me show you some working spaces that we’ve designed before.
Don’t you feel that you’re missing out on something now?
6. Installed a Lock on my Workspace Door
How many times in your work Zoom calls, has your kid come in, wailing because her brother has pulled her hair? Should have installed a lock so you can lock them out! It’s not too late, find a locksmith here.
7. Created a Reading Corner
Have you seen your friend on Facebook and Instagram in their reading corners, sitting on a large, lush armchair, light from the window streaming in and making them look ethereal and angelic, while they hold some book they probably didn’t read (e.g. Anna Karenina, Sapiens)?
Well, you can do it too! Quickly get your reading corner re-designed here and it will be ready for Raya!
8. Stock up on Entertainment
Any NOOB parent who only stocked up on food, and not entertainment or toys for their kids, raise your hand! I bought enough chicken to raise a small alligator farm, but I forgot to buy paints, art-blocks, marker pens, toys, educational worksheets, feather duster canes, things that would be useful to keep my brood in check!
9. Buy more Contact Lenses
It’s silly I know, but I hate wearing my spectacles. They sit heavily on my nose, restricting my vision to a tiny window and frequently need cleaning because of the manic baking sessions with a mal-functioning oven (see Number 1 above). So I wish I bought more contact lenses!
Where is the best place to order eye-related stuff? For sure Reliance Optical Centre in Bangsar. Good service, good price, they’ll even bring the stuff out to the car so you don’t have to park.
10. Go to see my Loved Ones
This is perhaps my biggest regret. Had I known that I wouldn’t be seeing them for a month (or more), I would have driven to their houses and said “hello”. And “keep safe, and I love you”. And “Here are some butter cakes I baked, they’re a little burnt on the tops, bottoms and sides but don’t worry there’s still a bit inside that tastes like cake”. I hope I will still have a chance after the MCO is lifted, and the COVID-19 virus goes away far far.
How about you? What do you regret not doing before MCO?