PETALING JAYA: With the Covid-19 pandemic showing no signs of abating, most parents are opting to stay safe during the three-week school break.
“My kids love the beach, but not this time,” said a mother of two who only wished to be known as Fasihah, adding that they planned to return to her hometown and stay put at home due to the rising cases.
Fasihah, 33, said it was quite a task caring for her children, especially during the earlier movement control order periods, adding that she looked forward to better days.
“We are getting to grips with the situation these days,” she added.
Fasihah said the school holidays was an opportunity for them to tone things down after the hectic daily routine of the past months.
“It’s still surprising to me how quickly the weekend goes by and we don’t get to recharge fully. With enough rest, we can reset and be ready to focus again until the next break comes,” she said.
Likewise, Sarah Kedah, a 42-year-old mother of three, is not planning to travel or do any activity involving crowds as their family had just recovered from Covid-19 towards the end of the Chinese New Year break.
“We were in a large crowd and weren’t able to practise proper SOP. So we will avoid such things for now,” she said.
Even so, the family won’t just stay idle during the holidays.
Sarah has planned some outdoor activities for her kids to keep them occupied in a healthy way.
“We have scheduled a few holiday camps for football, swimming and tennis lessons, and perhaps go hiking,” she said.
As an entrepreneur, Sarah said working from home with children around can be a mental and emotional challenge.
“After two years of adapting to the new normal, our children have learned the simple rule that we need our space to work. We will briefly explain how the day is going to be. If I’m busy that day, I’ll only see them after 5pm.
“If there is a meeting, I will inform them not to knock on the door, no loud screams and cries,” she said.
Yap Swee Sang, 58, a father of two, has made no plans for the school holidays due to the high number of Covid-19 cases.
“If it weren’t for the pandemic, I would take the family to Genting Highlands, Fraser’s Hill, or Cameron Highlands.
“We will just be staying at home this holiday. However, I will let my children attend some tuition for their next year’s schooling,” he said.
Fortunately, working from home with his children around this holiday is not a huge problem for this accountant.
“I have no problem working from home because my children will have tuition in the living room while I work from home in my study,” he added.
In Penang, some parents have come up with different ways to keep their children happy and safe.Entrepreneur Chan Kok Hoe, 45, has narrowed it down to an inflatable pool, gardening and learning about the metaverse (a network of 3D virtual worlds focused on social connection) to keep his two children busy.
“We got an inflatable pool as it is a great way for us to bond and for my kids to enjoy themselves. My 13-year-old daughter is into gardening as well,” he said.
Chan added that his five-year-old son enjoys playing online games and being at home as the pandemic started when he was three.
“To him, not going out is not a big deal. He was so young when the lockdowns happened, so he has adapted to being at home and has made friends online,” he said.
The school holiday break begins today and ends on March 20.