As we returned from another day of sightseeing we saw the news coming in, Malaysia entering lockdown due to the rise of Corona Virus cases. To prevent larger spread happening the government here decided to close all businesses and local gatherings from the 18th of March until the 31st. Only medical facilities, (public) transport , grocery stores and the airport will remain in business. For us this meant that all the sights are closing down too.
We had a few options, leave the country and quickly find a place we can go to before the lockdown starts. This would probably be the obvious choice for most tourists but there is a very big chance the neighboring countries will soon close too. Then also had the whole visa situation, for most countries you receive a 30 day visa in which you have to make the most of your days. In Malaysia you get a 90 days visa on arrival, at least us lucky EU people.
Then there is also an option to return home, but the situation in the Netherlands s even worse right now and we might bring more people at risk by traveling back to Europe.
The last option is to just lay low and ride it out. We chose this option as we can stay in this country for at least 70 more days and we like it here so there is just hoping that in two weeks we can continue to enjoy the country. We are in the very fortunate position to have plenty of time to just wait. This way we also bring less risk to any other people by not traveling as much and it gives us some time to see what the virus does next and plan accordingly.
We decided to leave the hotel we were staying at early. Officially we had one more night there but we figured that it might have been wise to change location before the lock down starts. We booked an apartment through AirBnB which had everything we need for the upcoming two weeks like internet, washing machine, supermarket in walking distance and just some living space.
After booking we decided to head for the supermarket to get some water and some basic breakfast supplies. We were uncertain at this time if any of the food courts would remain open during the lockdown so we at least wanted to buy some simply stuff like rice and instant noodles.
When we arrived at the supermarket we could see the effect for the imposed lockdown in full. It was very busy with a lot of the shelves even being empty, and it was only 12 o’clock. It was all very orderly though and people were generally in a friendly mood. Everybody stood in line properly and there was no pushing or pulling. We managed to get some basic stuff and got out of the supermarket about an hour and a half after walking in.
So now we are in our apartment overlooking George Town for the next two weeks. Posts will be slow here on our website, just like the days. But I guess that goes for most of you who read this back home. Be safe and take care of each other and we’ll keep you posted.
Love, Tim & Ellen