KUALA LUMPUR: With millions of people being confined to their homes under the Movement Control Order (MCO) from March 18 - which has now been extended until April 14 -, Malaysians have come up with creative ways to keep themselves occupied and stay sane.
Many people have turned to the internet as one way to cure their boredom, but not solely to play games or shoot Tik Tok videos. Malaysians are drawing inspirations from the net to help them with their “projects”, ranging from painting to coffee-making.
Here are how some Malaysians are effectively spending their time during the MCO.
1. Space on earth
A Malaysian man recently became Internet fame for his creative art skills. Ahmad Fathil Zakaria shared a series of photographs on Facebook of him transforming a common dull room into a stunning spaceship that appears to be right out of a sci-fi movie.
The album, titled “Dekorasi Extreme Musim 2 Covid-19” (Extreme decorations during the Covid-19 period), which was posted on March 22, has now been shared 6.8k times and received 4.8k likes.
Fathil is a self-taught artist who is also known for drawing portraits.
“I thank you all for sharing this post and for complimenting my work,” he wrote on Facebook.
2. Chef in training
Netizens were quick to point out how their Instagram or Facebook feeds are filled with mouthwatering home cook dishes and recipes lately as their friends and families have taken to social media to showcase their culinary skills amid the MCO.
“For the first time in forever, I’m seeing all my following friends IG stories full of cooking, trying out new recipes and etc. It took MCO for everyone to start cooking (including me),” Juls who goes by the handle @fugtis tweeted.
“Coping with the MCO by bringing out the inner housewife. It's day 4 and I've cleaned the house, and baked 2 batches of chocolate chip cookies and an apple crumble. I'm also cooking dinner for the family tomorrow. This is fine,” Faith Ling tweeted.
Mona Abu Bakar wrote: “Downside of #MCO is hubster and son getting fat from home cooking #sayaorangutara #toomuchghee."
3. Barista Days
A new food trend has taken the Internet by storm, especially in southeast Asia - the Dalgona coffee, a frothy whipped drink.
Images and clips of the coffee-making process have been widely shared, posing a challenge to fellow netizens (even non-coffee drinkers) to see if they can achieve whipping the coffee to the required consistency.
The term “Dalgona Coffee” ranked top 10 in Malaysia in recent days, according to Google Trends.
“So I made #DalgonaCoffee. I’m not a coffee person but this taste so good, you guys should try it,” Nurin tweeted.
Azman wrote: “Side effect of MCO: Got a 7 or 8-year-old kid here complaining of palpitations after drinking dalgona coffee. Parents, jangan la bagi anak minum kopi. Banyak pulak tu.”
Dalgona coffee is inspired by the South Korean dalgona candy, a toffee sponge that resembles the creamy dollop that tops the ice coffee.
For a cup of this creamy beverage, all you need to do, is mix a tablespoon of instant coffee powder, sugar and quarter cup of hot water. Whisk it for a good five minutes or so until it becomes frothy. Then, pour it over a glass of cold milk. Voila!
4. Fit and fabulous
Some Malaysians have decided to use this time to stick to a work-out routine.
“Ok, since MCO extended, I’m gonna buy yoga mat, gotta get that abs again,” @swdhrw tweeted.
“Among things to be grateful for #mco: So many new things can be learn, Including new exercises! My yoga teacher gives out free yoga session everyday. My poundfit teacher provided weekly classes. And you can basically find any free fitness sessions everywhere,” Nana wrote.
“If need to exercise during MCO, run 20 times round your dining table or jog 10x around home compound. Look out for furniture obstacles though,” Lee Hui Seng wrote.
Book lovers saw the MCO as an opportunity to tackle their to-be-read pile of books and magazines to stay productive.
“Okay time to start reading, and I will make a thread of my personal review for all the books I will read in this MCO,” Iqbal posted on Twitter.
Naddo Coway wrote: “Haven’t been reading books for so long, only journals and dissertation. Gonna make full use of this extended MCO to read, like really read again.”
6. Green thumbs
Leading a busy lifestyle also meant having less or no time for our hobby or passion. Some Malaysians are using their MCO time wisely by attending to their garden, which happens to be also a time for them to bond with their loved ones.
“It's only the second day of MCO, my father and I have taken up gardening,” Luqman tweeted.
“I am glad we have our own edible garden to care for. Hence, we are never out of curry leaves, herbs and some vegetables like bendi and chilli, wrote another.
From Netflix to Youtube, Malaysians who finally have some time off are using it to catch up on their favourite shows and movies. Some even share their reviews and recommendations of movies to watch.
“Okay let’s make a thread list of movies we should be watching during this whole COVID-19 pandemic! I’ll start (thanks to my followers as well!) #stayhomechallenge" Lisa tweeted.
“Suggested movie for #MCO. On @Netflix. Just watched this movie. Its brilliant! You will have to deduce what really happened on your own.. based on a couple of visual clues towards the last 10 minutes of the show. Criminally underrated. Pure genius!” Shamsul wrote.
From video games, to mobile games, Facebook games, boardgames, traditional games and tagging games on Instagram stories, Malaysians are finding ways to have fun amidst the MCO.
“MCO made me do it....I never thought that I would have a bunch of games on my phone,” Shamiera tweeted.
“I’m just gonna use playing games everyday as an excuse to keep my sanity during this MCO,” Syufaiq wrote.
Clares wrote: “This MCO needs to end soon because the tagging game is catching up with me. I thought if I avoid interactions, I'll be safe. No one is invincible from the tagging game.”
9. A socially-distanced party?
Adhering to the MCO, a few Malaysians - presumably extroverts - have organised socially distanced clubbing at home. How it is done? Via Skype and Face Time.
One netizen shared he transformed his room into a party-hub with LED club lights and songs blasting through the karaoke set, while his friends joined him from their respective homes.
10. Sleeping beauty
Activities aside, some people long for a good rest - or long sleep.
“Mmg pun (True). But tidur lagi byak dari makan (I have sleeping more than I eat). Silap2 habis MCO ni sleeping schedule aku rosak (My sleeping schedule would be disrupted by the end of this MCO). Haha,” Nadzreen tweeted.
“*Me waking up at 2pm after Netflix whole night long until 6 am* Dad: Finally it’s 9 am la (sarcasm). Mum: MCO have been extended until 14th. Brother: There comes our sleeping pig. Me: I should’ve slept longer,” Abiii shared a funny conversation she had with her family on Twitter.