Life with Rona — Day 2

I wake up to the Oura telling me I got all 3 crowns — 97 for readiness, 90 for sleep, and 87 for activity. It practically never gives me all 3 when I’m in KL and do a daily spin!

It does not take long for a couple of my friends to want to do a WhatsApp video call, and the three of us shoot the shit for a bit.

I’m supposed to be in Singapore today but thanks to the lockdown preventing me from leaving Malaysia, this isn’t happening. Besides, Singapore also requires you to have a 14-day stay at home if you arrived after Monday night, so it is not like I was given much choice. Folk spent some of Tuesday trying to get an exemption, but that didn’t quite work.

We get the first clue that Malaysia might deploy the army to uphold the lockdown from one of the ministers. There were calls to shutdown Bursa Malaysia, and the Securities Commission replied that they would not, and then the same people that called it claimed that they never called it. The circus is not just in the current ruling government, but much of her institutions. Anyway, Bank Negara also reduced banks Statutory Reserve Requirement (SSR) down to 2% from the previous 3% to free up about RM30b in liquidity. In finance news, the US Federal Reserve also started some swap lines with some key central banks (something they did in 2008 after maybe many months; this was much quicker action).

Our new Health Minister was either pandering to his audience or is a complete idiot when it comes to his portfolio because he went on live TV to tell people that the “virus loves humans”.

In London, some tube stations started shutting down. However, nature reserves are staying open, they are encouraging you to go out and breathe some fresh air. Springtime in London is truly quite beautiful, and it is a smart move; something I wish Malaysia learned from.

I will naturally be focused on places that mean a lot to me besides just KL. I have friends in London, and it might as well be my second home. Portland yesterday, but NYC, etc. all matter. So Life with Rona is my life during this time, and what I care about.

Just as I was planning to go to bed for some reading, I noted that Dr. Mahathir is in self-quarantine as he was in close contact with a DAP MP (young chap, 33?) who tested positive for Covid-19. Imagine that. A 95 year old elder statesman. Let’s hope he get’s well soon.

I was not planning to link to things as this is a dump of my thoughts at the end of each day, but you have to see this message from Arne Sorenson, CEO of Marriott International. Marriott is my 2nd hotel chain preference (they were never a preference but they did purchase Starwood, and SPG was my 2nd preference after Hyatt always, largely due to footprint). It is 5 minutes long and is a great example of how you can deliver poor news. Shows clear leadership in a tough time. What did not hit me as hard was how bookings are down (I know this, I’ve been knowing this since February as I talk to hoteliers and spent the last few weeks in Bangkok/Tokyo), but the fact that they consider this worse than 9/11+2008 crisis combined; and we are literally just starting this journey with the SARS-CoV-2/Covid-19.

The answer is not lockdowns. The answer is frequent testing. Isolation when necessary. Life has to go on as we can’t stop the world this way.