Getting job done by others
Published on: Monday, June 22, 2020
By: Sylvia Howe
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Food delivery services are hot stuff in the UK and elsewhere and have been going for a long time.  Instead of going to the supermarket in the middle of a long day you order online and choose a time for delivery and that’s it.  The van turns up, the nice driver takes your shopping into your house or apartment, and that’s it.  You have paid, you can return anything you don’t like the look of, and if they don’t have stock you don’t pay.

Perfect for busy working people. But there seems to be a resistance in Sabah. I am thrilled at the prospect of someone else going to the market for me, or the supermarket indeed, and doing the mask and social distancing and waiting to be let in. There doesn’t seem any kudos to be had by doing it yourself – don’t you have better things to do with your time? Read, bake, paint, play with your children, go to the hairdresser or beauty salon (although there is a strong argument to have those services delivered to your house too). In these Covid days, the less contact with strangers the better – I’d rather receive a delivery than poke a potato (that lots of other people have poked before me). 

Hair dressers are open and soon, I expect, beauty salons too. I have asked if there is anyone out there who will come and paint my nails and so far have met with a resounding ‘NO’.  Why? Social distancing can be kept up (after all there are only two of you in this equation, not the other customers), you are in charge of the cleaning before and after, and I would have thought that it widens the market. Please think about it. I once asked someone to come and have a look at my computer because I wanted advice on my blog, and I was told by the woman recommended to me that she didn’t feel comfortable coming to my house.  I was aghast.  What did she think I was going to do – sell her into slavery?

My computer, a rather large and heavy Apple iMac desktop (the clue is in the name, love), is in my office in my apartment. I was not going to lug it across town to some busy coffee shop! I have since found someone who does come, and if he can’t, will do what he can remotely. Thank goodness. I use him a lot – and recommend him a lot too, to a group of happy customers. Think about it, Sabah merchants. If you can also work at people’s houses, at times that suit everyone and not just during opening hours, it would really help. And widen your client base and your income. What don’t I know?

The end of the story!

For those who have lived through the Saga of the Shirt, it is closed. The garment has arrived, the lady in Pos Laju was very helpful (which proves that having some real person to deal with works), I have worn it, and told the sender of my joy.  Six flippin’ weeks – registered post.  Why on earth?


Covid – still

Coming from a country that has been spectacularly incompetent at dealing with this horrid virus, I am so impressed with the score in Malaysia. It is a different place, the population and its spread is not the same as UK - but still. The numbers are low and I keep my fingers crossed that they will stay so. One Covid death is to be deplored, but 41,969 as of 17 June is truly horrific. Again, all sorts of reasons and we are not the same, so comparisons are not entirely fair, but whatever the case, the difference is terrifying. Testing, tracking, tracing – all has, it seems to me, been mismanaged and continues to be so, giving us the highest death toll in Europe. The US beats us, I believe, but again, an unfair comparison. 

A real medical breakthrough

But good to hear of the very recent discovery that the common or garden steroid which has been around since the Sixties has an effect on the sickest people with the virus: dexamethasone can reduce deaths of those on ventilators by about one third (which is a lot) and of patients requiring only oxygen, by about one fifth.  Effective and affordable, as BBC News says. The first drug in the world to make any real breakthrough in Covid treatment, dexamethasone has been used as an anti-inflammatory but now shows itself to be able to reduce the risk of Covid death. 

UK scientists can still hold their heads high in the world for their successful research – thank goodness. Although the disease remains active, dexamethasone can and will be used immediately and can start saving lives. 

The benefit was only seen in patients seriously ill with Covid-19, and was not observed in patients with milder disease. 

“This is the first treatment to be shown to reduce mortality in patients with Covid-19 requiring oxygen or ventilator support,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “This is great news and I congratulate the Government of the UK, the University of Oxford, and the many hospitals and patients in the UK who have contributed to this lifesaving scientific breakthrough.”


Richard Horton, the Editor of The Lancet (the publication for the medical profession in the UK) calls it a major breakthrough, only possible to have been trialled thanks to the wonderful National Health Service. I take my hat off to them, as I always have. I wish they could hear my clapping.

Quarantine rules – updated

I have found the following information about quarantine for arrivals in Malaysia, just FYI:

The Government of Malaysia has imposed a new policy on all individuals entering Malaysia through International Arrivals. Effective 10 June 2020, all Malaysian citizens and foreigners including Permanent Resident or/and their Dependants, Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) pass holders, Diplomats and expatriates will be able to undergo 14-day self-quarantine at their own homes instead of government-approved quarantine centres. This is subject to them being cleared from Covid-19 by the Ministry of Health after undergoing health screening upon arrival.

Sounds OK to me…


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