#BahMariLah:The New Normal of ‘Going Out’

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by Amber L. Lanjuat

With the announcement of the Recovery Movement Control Order ending (hopefully) in August, many businesses, social places, and tourism spots are finally re-opening and more people are now coming out from the safety of their homes. But before you head out, it is important to stay vigilant and careful because we have seen how fast the Covid-19 virus  can spread. Future actions are very crucial in ensuring that a second wave does not happen in Sabah. 

Since the announcement of RMCO, there have been so many attractive deals offered by local tourism businesses. My friends and I took advantage of the deals as soon as we were given the greenlight from the Sabah State Government to travel. It was a unanimous vote to have a road trip to the Ranau Rabbit Farm. After three months of being cooped up in the house, we all needed some bunny therapy. 

It was refreshing to be out again. We made sure to pack extra snacks, and most importantly, our masks and sanitisers – sinks are not available everywhere and we wanted to stay safe even during our little getaway. 

The SOP process was still a foreign matter to us but it barely wasted any of our time or disrupted our plans. And if it meant that we could ensure everyone’s safety, why not just follow through?

How ‘Hot’ are You?

We had two pit stops, one was for breakfast and another was a toilet break. Before entering any premises, you will need to take a temperature check. If you are planning to hop into many places, it is best to prepare yourself for the constant temperature check. The seating process took us less than a minute, we wrote our names and got our temperature checked and in a blink of an eye, we sat down and was ready to have our orders taken. 

You can also download a few apps such as the Sabah Trace or MySejahtera to make it easier to check-in to places. You don’t have to worry about sharing pens / pencils and it will save the premises’ time to decipher your ‘doctor’ handwriting.

A Mask is a Must. 

It is very important to wear a mask especially with the Covid-19 virus still at large. Even if you have no symptoms or you’re as fit as a fiddle, wearing a mask can prevent you from catching any of the spread from other people and vice versa. To be safe, we made sure to wear a mask every time we exited the car. It can be costly to buy boxes of masks as it is for single-use only. Fortunately, you can now get reusable cloth masks that are washable and environmentally friendly to save costs and reduce wastage. During vigorous activities such as hiking though, you do not need to wear a mask.

With our tummies filled, we continued our journey to meet our bunny friends. This would be my first time visiting Ranau Rabbit Farm and I was super excited. However, it looked like a lot of people were in need of ‘bunny therapy’ too because when we arrived, there was already a long queue of visitors. 

Mind the Gap

The ongoing holiday local promotion prices may be tempting but do remember to keep your distance from other guests. It was a promising sight to know that people are not afraid to come out from the safety of their homes anymore, but it was quite worrying to see some people not take the SOP seriously. There were people standing in groups, not bothering to distance themselves; but my friends and I maintained our distance. It is important to remember that social distancing will only work if everyone cooperates.

After what felt like an eternity, finally it was our turn, and as per the proper SOP, the attendant took our temperatures and we wrote down our names and contact number. The only time our masks were off was when we took photos with the rabbits but it was always close to us.  

We were all so excited to meet our fluffy bunny friends, most of them hid under the shade because of the hot sun but we baited them with food.

The ‘Happy Birthday’ Rule

Covid-19 has one big enemy and it is the soap bar by your sink. To simplify, the molecules in the soap lather traps and takes the coronavirus particles apart, leaving them easier to rinse down the drain, which leaves your hands free from bacteria and virus. We practised the 20-second rule by ending our ‘bunny therapy’, with a mini concert by the sink, singing the full ‘Happy Birthday’ song while we washed our hands with soap and water. Washing our hands has never been so clean and entertaining. We’re pretty sure we inspired some kids to wash their hands while singing too!

Sanitise, sanitise, sanitise! 

It might not be easy to find a sink everywhere you go and there might be a time where you will be in desperate need for a hand wash. I always make sure that I have my handy-dandy hand sanitiser on standby in my bag. Although all sanitisers are anti-bacterial, the sanitisers that are recommended by the MOH should contain at least 60% alcohol. 

We arrived home with a peace of mind because we adhered to all the SOP set out by the government to beat the Covid-19 pandemic. (Had we not practiced the new norm, I’m pretty sure my parents would not allow me to come back home for two weeks…)

#Bahmarilah, whether going out for coffee or to take advantage of the amazing local tourism deals like my friends and I did, it is important to play our part as to help revive our economy and help our local businesses get back on their feet again but we must also remember our very important role to take care of our health and the health of those we love. 

Travel tips

It might be costly to continue buying boxes of single-use masks. Kadaiku offers reusable cloth face masks and sanitisers with adult and kid sizes. You can head over to Kadaiku, they are now taking orders from their websites, which means you can shop online and have it delivered to your doorstep! 

 

 

 

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