Exercise is one way to remain mentally positive and staying negative, Covid-19 wise, but yet we find many parks were closed
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit us last year, one of the earliest casualties was an old boy from my school in Penang, who was also a cardiologist.
No, he did not contract the virus – he was caught jogging alone, and “without a valid reason” and was charged in court under the Prevention of Control of Infectious Diseases Regulations 2020. He was also charged for “obstructing a public servant from discharging his duty” when he insisted that it was within his right to be at the park to exercise for health reasons.
He took the case to court but in the end, he pleaded guilty and was fined RM1,000 while the charge of obstruction was dropped.
Now, you would think being a doctor he was merely practising what he preaches, except that the authorities wanted to teach him (and the public) a lesson.
Now the newspapers are saying experts are advising that prevention is better than cure. To beat the virus, we need to continue to keep fit by enhancing our immune system with proper natural diets and exercise.
With the lockdown, the state of our mental health is also key and getting out of the house to exercise is one of the ways to remain mentally positive and staying negative, Covid-19 wise. Yet, we find many parks were closed.
In Bukit Antarabangsa, a popular recreational park for joggers, walkers as well as cyclists (which has become an increasingly popular activity) was closed to the public. The cyclists have labelled it Stelvio Pass @ Bukit Antarabangsa, after the famous Stelvio Pass in Italy bordering Switzerland. In Italy, there is an annual Stelvio Bike Day for cyclists to take the 25 km winding road challenge up to more than 2,000 meters above sea level.
Hire enforcers to caution the public
Well, the narrow and super mini winding road Stelvio Pass @ Bukit Antarabangsa is nowhere compared to the Italian one but it still is a challenging slope for cyclists to navigate, if not to enjoy a panoramic view of the city of Kuala Lumpur.
With the closure, we were back to using public roads, which can be dangerous since there are no real bicycle lanes in the city. And for joggers at Bukit Antarabangsa, the call for the authorities to provide jogging tracks has for years fallen on deaf ears.
Instead, they are quite happy erecting giant plastic signboards of the various residential areas in the whole of Ampang. We all know the political reason for wasting good money on these signages, instead of using it for other priorities during these pressing times.
However, recreational parks in Kuala Lumpur such as the Taman Tasek Danau Kota were open daily. One simply needs to follow the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to scan and taking one’s temperature before entering the park.
Well and good. The point here is the awareness of prevention can only be successful if we practice it in every aspect of our lives during this crisis, so it becomes second nature to us.
We need to have more enforcers to advise the public to follow the SOP instead of simply issuing fines. Campaigns in the media alone will not be effective. Frontliners in this massive education campaign should be from RELA, the police and the military.
Wherever there are crowds of people such as at the malls, LRT stations, places of worship and so on, these frontliners must be visible and be seen as a friend to educate the public.
Importance of a healthy lifestyle
Yes, the lockdowns are killing the economy. If we have to live through this pandemic for the next couple of years, we have to start practicing the new normal and take responsibility for our actions. And that means enforcement through positive education, both formal and informal.
We have to learn to live as responsible members of the community. If we continue to arrest, fine and jail offenders, it will be counter-productive. We have seen the anger and frustration among the public due to the inconsistencies of the law and enforcement.
There should also be a campaign to practice proper nutritional diets and the importance of a healthy lifestyle so that we can beat the virus with our enhanced immune system.
Those who were infected and cured can tell you that during their quarantine in the hospitals they were monitored for fever, sore throat or flu symptoms before the common Panadol, vitamin C tablets or other relevant medication was given to bring down the symptoms.
Others simply took honey and herbal or kitchen remedies and warm water to enhance their immune system besides having enough rest. Many were also asymptomatic and only when they were tested did they find out that they were positive.
Information is now available that vaccination alone may not be the only way to contain the spread of the virus.
China and India seem to encourage the practice of inhaling steam daily or when taking a hot bath, adding cloves in a hot water kettle and inhaling the boiling steam.
Easy enough, and for all these tips which I practice daily gives me all the positive confidence I need to stay in the negative territory, Covid-19 wise.
Ultimately, it is all about personal hygiene and a healthy lifestyle. — The Health
Footnote: Upon the lifting of the MCO to CMCO, the Stelvio Pass@Bukit Antarabangsa is now open with the Menteri Besar of Selangor visiting the site on March 7, 2021.
Adi Satria, a marketing communications veteran, is an avid cycling enthusiast who feels that positive health education awareness and enforcement is required to enhance the community’s role and responsibility in combating the pandemic. Recreational parks should be kept open to enhance mental and physical health as staying home is counterproductive.