Our CMCO (Conditional Movement Control Over) is coming to an end this 9th June 2020 and while we slowly move to the next phase of recovery, precautions and social distancing are still essential for everything we do.
As we embrace the new normal, we decided to talk to one of our close model friends, Rain Shuaiyu (@rainshuaiyu), who has just recently returned from London during the MCO period, to share with us her experience in the United Kingdom, her journey home and what she experienced on her arrival, entering the quarantine in Malaysia.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic began, you were based in London. How was the situation like over there when the breakout happened?
Before WHO declared the pandemic, everything in London was pretty much the same. Most didn't concern themselves much about COVID-19, thinking it is just a flu happening in China.
I returned to the UK right after Chinese New Year and that was the beginning of the spread of Covid-19. Upon my arrival at Heathrow airport, there was no temperature measurements or no advice from any immigration officers on my arrival.
But to be on the safe side, I did decide to self-isolate at home for 14 days. It was when Italy went into lockdown mode that people here started to realise and believe how vicious was COVID-19!
You have returned to Malaysia recently. Why did you decide to come back?
The situation in the UK was rather bad. Cases were very high and death tolls became top three in the world. UK government had imposed lockdown and encouraged people to stay home to save lives, but most of the people aren't wearing their face masks in public, which made me slightly nervous whenever I am out for essentials.
I have a feeling that the lockdown will last for quite a while, so I decided to go home until things get better in the UK. Also, I feel safer to be in my homeland - Malaysia.
How has the current COVID-19 situation affect you as a model?
I was very busy working in London until the UK government imposed lockdown mid-March. Since the lockdown started, it was pretty much all dead silence within the industry unless you have a huge following on digital platforms like Instagram.
Clients are looking into doing more social media collaborations and agencies are trying to go as much onto digital as possible! Everyone is adapting to a new way of working but to be honest, it has been very tough!
When you returned to Malaysia, you had to go through a 2-week quarantine process. What was the experience like?
To be honest, I was a bit worried about this intense 2 weeks quarantine, because I'm not so sure if I could do it! (Staying in a room without a kitchen is very tough for me).
But after speaking to a few friends and I changed my mind and decided to take it as a challenge! I walked into my quarantine with a smile and left it with a smile too! The whole quarantine process was well executed, professional and efficient!
Police, army and medical team were all very caring and helpful. I did two sets of COVID-19 tests to make sure I am safe to go home to see my family. So, kudos to Malaysia for working hard to fight the pandemic and keeping us safe. I am truly impressed by the professionalism of the frontliners.
And since then you are to stay in the designated hotel for 14 days. What was your daily routine like?
My daily routine was waking up at 7.30 am as they would make breakfast announcements and I would be able to collect my breakfast which they left it on the table outside of my room.
Then I'd go back to sleep (I had been sleeping quite late due to my jetlag). By noon, I would keep myself busy with my daily HIIT workout and pilates; studying online; and researching for my upcoming personal projects. During the evening, I'd be on Zoom calls with my best friends and that helped me a lot as I don't feel I am in a quarantine situation at all!
During the quarantine, did you pick up any new skills or discover something new about yourself?
I developed a new routine for myself! I haven't skipped my workout since day 1. I also discovered that things that are truly matters to me. I love being in nature and nothing is more important than health and family. Freedom is a luxury and we must not take it for granted.
My daily workouts really helped in maintaining my positivity! I stopped reading the news for a while, dancing in the shower after everyday yoga practice and speaking to friends and family, mindfulness practice like meditation keeping me sane!
Were there any funny or interesting stories during the quarantine?
I'm not sure if this story is funny enough but here you go: One morning, the team forgot to send me drinking water. So I quickly called them to remind them again to bring the water to me during lunchtime, (they could only come up to our floor during our mealtime).
Because I am a tea person and I can't leave without my tea. A little worried, I decided to leave them another reminder outside of my hotel room to REALLY make sure they got my message. In the end, they sent me a box of 24 bottles of mineral water, which is A LOT MORE than 2 bottles of water! I guess from my messages, they thought I was dying to get hold of some water (laughs).
Now that you are out from quarantine, what are your plans?
I am continuing my daily workout routine to try to be fitter and stronger. I am waiting for the government to ease further lockdown restriction on 10th June, so I'll be able to travel interstate to go back to Pahang to see my parents and spend some quality time together.
Given the chance to pass one message to the rest who are in quarantine or staying home, what would it be?
Stay home, stay safe, save lives! Be responsible and understand our social responsibility.
I know this is a strange time but guys... whenever you feel anxious/sad, remember to speak out and reach out. You are not alone in this. Quarantine is not a jail, it is a mind game. If I can do this strict quarantine, you can too. It is not as scary as you think!.
Also, we have a little video diary of Rain's quarantine journey right here: