#cucukMYAZ: A New Hope

We have joined the Resistance. This is epoch with the Emperor (that’s what Son No 2 dubbed his mum) being the last in the family to be admitted into the Resistance.

Not that there was resistance within the family, the final cucukMYAZ for my wife is considered a development of epic proportions. Joyful we are now, because the Force is strong in the family!


With the Death Star in variants of Covid-19 mutating and growing exponentially, this cucukMYAZ couldn’t have come at a better time.

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It is not that my family has been tempted over to the dark side by the new versions of stormtroppers that we know as cybertroppers doing a good job for their anti-vaxxers masters with campaigns to seed mistrust and create confusion.


We are more ruled by the heart rather than the head to be one in wanting to join the kitajagakita resistance. Overarching is the need to protect our elders and particularly young ones like our Princess (the latest addition to the family whom I wanted to name Leia but was unsuccessful… but, that’s another story).


Unlike the old, young and those with comorbidities who are vulnerable – the able adults can now mount the resistance for the herd immunity that inevitably will shield and protect those dear and near from the coronavirus Death Star.

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But the snail pace of growing the needed kitajagakita resistance has been disappointing. Conversely, the penetration by the death stars have been wreaking havoc and capturing territories marked now as red zones under EMCO (Enhanced Movement Control Order) or MCO.


So when the Administration in Malaysia decided to take the purchased AztraZeneca vaccine out of the national immunisation programme and instead turn it into an opt-in voluntary vaccination for Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, in ONE FELL SWOOP, it marshalled 268,000 to sign up as resistance fighters within a matter of four hours!


Now cheekily coined and popularly referred to by the double entendre hashtag CucukMYAZ, this opt-in voluntary vaccination has by coincidence rather than design turned the tables on the lukewarm response to registration for immunisation.

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The sudden herd mentality of people rushing to sign up for CucukMYAZ has heightened interest in vaccination. Fence sitters and those tidak apa became kiasu (literally translated as ‘fear of losing/missing out’) while spiking numbers of infection have made more kiasi (fear of death).


Missing the boat in the first opt-in voluntary vaccination, some are known to have flocked to World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur, one of the venues for the jabs, for the by-chance opportunity to fill up the slots left vacant by the no-shows.


The increasing noise level questioning why the privilege for Selangorians and KL-ites only for CucukMYAZ is also evident of new demand for vaccination and this time around, by design, spurred the coming May 23 second round of opt-in vaccination extended to those outside Selangor and KL as well.


With interest heightened and winning over more to the resistance force, CucukMYAZ became strategic as the New Hope for the intended herd immunity that the laggard national immunisation programme laboured to gain traction and ground.


While this development augurs well, a battle-scarred Covid survivor who joined the resistance is saddened by the state of affairs that needed to be rescued by an unintended never-in-the-plan opt-in programme.


“Infections and death are just numbers; statistics that people can’t relate with, or are not bothered because it isn’t me!” J said, his tone changing reflecting his frustration as he shared the reasons behind his no-hesitation for the AZ voluntary vaccination soon after being Covid-positive.


“Just foolish!” he gritted his teeth. “To wait… Or to choose a better vaccine. Can you beat it that people can be taken in by what others say about effects of vaccination. They’re just chunks of info… probably, taken out of context or used in favour their arguments.”


Lamenting how some people became overnight experts, J posed this question: “Have these people ever considered what it means to be Covid-positive? The harsh truth is recovery from even a mild infection can have long term effects.


“I’m already feeling it, what some termed as Long Covid. Others who recovered too also shared with me that they experience shortness of breath, get easily tired… We’re not the same anymore. Our respiratory tissues are scarred. And we don’t know for sure how things will pan out in our lives.”


Common long COVID symptoms have been identified to include chest pain or tightness, brain fog or problems with memory and concentration, insomnia, heart palpitations, depression, etc


J said other than such physical after-effects, another concern is the mental well-being which depends on one’s mental strength. “Inevitably, we’re stigmatised. I know of colleagues and friends who avoid having lunch with me or feel uncomfortable in my presence. I try to understand that it stems from their fear. But I’m human and their ignorance too gets to me.”


His dad chipped in that even though he was not infected, he too is incensed with Covid-shaming. He related of inquisitive neighbours asking for the house with Covid infection to be identified when the residential area’s Facebook alerted of a case within the Taman during MCO 1.0.


“Fortunately, the FB Admin person didn’t accede to the request. It was as if those neighbours want to mark that house with an ‘X’ and probably not go near or walk past as if breathing the same air then would get one infected.,” related Papa John.


He also took to task a serial forwarder in a WhatsApp group, who without thinking forwarded a message of avoiding a certain cake shop and another restaurant in a commercial area as the service staff in those outlets became infected.


“It was as if the infected staff was still in the cake shop and restaurant and posed a danger to all. By naming and Covid-shame the outlets, the clueless serial forwarder was simply heartless and his perceived good-intention gesture would affect business in already difficult times.” added Papa J.


As pointed out, the battles are on many fronts. Winning the war with the vaccination offensive depends on the kitajagakita resistance. May logic and common sense prevail for more to be better informed to dispel ignorance.


May the New Hope of cucukMYAZ be the harbinger of a Force Awakens and the end of Death Star, Covid shame and shambles.


Kitajagakita, we shall!


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