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THE government, in a bid to stem the second and third wave of the Coronavirus/COVID 19 pandemic, enforced a Restricted Movement Order for 14 days from March 18 to 31.

Despite a few hiccups in some initial announcements that resulted in brief chaos, particularly through panic buying and an eventually rescinded order for travellers to register inter-state movement at police stations, the order was relatively adhered to by most Malaysians.

Only businesses selling essential items such as food and medical supplies were allowed to operate. Restaurants though were only allowed to serve takeaway or delivery, hence the delivery boys from Foodpanda and Grabfood were just about the only ones on motorbikes racing across the city.

Only takeaway allowed at all restaurants, at least until March 31.

Malls were shut down, but a check with security guards manning the entrances at several malls, revealed that pharmacies operating within those malls were open. Makes you wonder how business is for them.

Entertainment outlets were shut completely, while hotels epitomised the gloom surrounding the whole crisis.

Police continued their patrols, checking on those still roaming the streets and advising them to return home as quickly as possible and stay there if possible. It wasn’t “operasi” as some made it out to be, as a police officer we spoke to explained. You would not be arrested just for being outside, but advised to go home if you had nothing urgent to attend to, he said.

Still 12 days to go, at the very least. Besides the claustrophobia and restlessness, the economy is well on an unstoppable slide and the ringgit closed at RM4.42 to the US dollar. Worrisome times ahead for sure.