Chinese New (Normal) Year, Away From Home

The ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic crisis has made it very difficult for many people to celebrate the Chinese New Year which is just around the corner. Ipoh Echo got in touch with several individuals who could not make it back to town from another state, even country, for the festival celebration.

Eric Teh, 42, an Ipohite based in Selangor said that he has no choice but for him and his family to stay put, as most of the states are under the ongoing Movement Control Order (MCO) which prohibits inter-state travelling.

“Besides, I fear for the safety and health of my family and it’d be an unwise decision to come back to Ipoh to celebrate as we usually do annually. The celebration this year will only be with my wife and our children. 

“I can only hope for the entire pandemic crisis to be over as soon as possible,” he expressed.

JJ Wong, 42, another Ipohite based all the way in Arizona, USA, also stated that it is impossible to return to Malaysia to celebrate the occasion with his family here in Ipoh.

“Given the situation here which isn’t showing any signs of improvement in the nearest timeframe, I wouldn’t want to risk getting infected with the virus. All I can do now is to ensure that my children and I stay safe.

“Hopefully, the pandemic is able to be globally exterminated by next year. Only then we’ll be able to reunite with our family and celebrate the Chinese New Year in a merrier way,” he opined.

Loo Chee Seng, 64, a fellow Ipohite based in Melbourne, Australia, is also stuck there to celebrate the festival in a simple manner.

“My wife, children and grandchildren are all here in Melbourne. The situation of the pandemic in Australia has improved slightly, but we can’t afford to let our guard down. We’re fighting an invisible deadly enemy.

“We can wait out Chinese New Year this round. Hopefully, my family and I can gather with our family members in Ipoh once more another year. Health and well-being are top priorities at the moment,” he posited.

Be it a physical or remote (virtual) celebration, let’s keep the festival spirits high. The major occasion will be celebrated in a simple manner, but on the bright side, every one of us may gather and reunite once more when it is safe to do so.

Ipoh Echo wishes our readers a happy, healthy and safe Chinese New (Normal) Year of the Ox! Gong Xi Fa Cai!


Chris Teh


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