On 28 June 2021, we come to the end of our FMCO 3.0 in our country. However, the number of Covid-19 cases has not declined drastically as hoped for. Instead, the figures are still fluctuating in the thousands daily, and we don’t see a steady decline either in cases nationwide.
In some parts of the world, we have noticed a curb in the rate of infections, as they have speeded-up the vaccination process and ensured compliance of the SOPs. Some countries, such as Belgium and the United Kingdom, have stated that they have vaccinated approximately 50%-60% of their total population, and life has slowly started to return to normal again. After some consideration, and taking into account the drastic decline in the daily infection rate, the Euro Cup 2020 organising committee decided to proceed with the tournament from 11 June till 11 July 2021. This tournament was supposed to have been held during the summer of 2020, but was postponed due to the surge of Covid-19 cases worldwide.
In Malaysia, statistics indicate that 1.6 million people have been fully vaccinated, and 4.1 million people have received their first dose (The Star, 21 June 2021). By end of June 2021, the respective vaccination centres hope to administer at least 400,000 doses per day. Initially, Malaysians were hesitating to sign up for the vaccination program after hearing and reading about the many negative reviews and its side effects. People have however come to a better understanding of the vaccine and realise the importance of getting vaccinated, in order to break the infection chain throughout the country. Hopefully, once we have the majority of our population vaccinated, the number of Covid-19 cases will decline drastically.
I was recently reading an editorial column written by Bishop David, J. Bonnar (The Priest, June 2021), who mentioned that the Merriam-Webster has added 520 new words to its dictionary. A few new words that captured my attention include those related to the pandemic, such as “Covid-19” and “long hauler” as well as the term “second gentleman”.
Covid-19: a word that is already planted in everyone’s head since the beginning of the pandemic.
Long-hauler: a person who experiences one or more long-term effects following initial improvement or recovery from serious illness such as Covid-19.
Second gentleman: was added after the United States election in January 2021. When Kamala Harris was appointed Vice President, her husband was addressed as the second gentleman. This term refers to the male partner of the vice president.
Language is constantly evolving and from time to time, new words are introduced into our vocabulary. These new words help us to communicate and express a language better. If you’re curious to find out more about the new words that were added into the dictionary, you can always surf the internet for the full list of 520 new words.
Since the start of this year, we have not only learnt new words and terminologies, but we have also gained new experiences in facing the challenges during this new-normal way of life. Due to this deadly virus, many of us are undergoing emotional, physical and financial crisis. We have been persistently praying as families and communities, for an end to this pandemic, and every individual should strive to become a “Good Samaritan” – to be a source of comfort and support through our works of mercy by reaching out to those who are seeking assistance. Let’s be united as a family of God and “be challenged to grow, pray together, live side by side, and serve one another” during this unprecedented times.
Rev. Fr. George Packiasamy