Separated by distance, connected by video calls thanks to internet

24 May 2020 / 21:00 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Despite the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) to curb the Covid-19 pandemic which left many ‘stranded’ in the city, people managed to stay connected to keep alive the festive cheer – thanks to the smartphone.

Young and old they all used video calls to make up for the traditional visits to relatives and friends back in their hometowns or nearby, which have been rendered impossible by the social restrictions in place.

People from various backgrounds and age groups have been utilising the technology to see the faces of their loved ones, and feel as if they were physically close to each other.

Screenshots of video calls have flooded social media today, compared to various kinds of Raya selfies in the previous years.

For Nur Habibah Abdul Halim, 25, who has not returned to her hometown in the last three months following the implementation of the MCO on March 18 and CMCO on May 4, video calls were a new way of ‘meeting’ her beloved family.

The intern at a factory in Johor, though sad for not being able to greet and hug her family today, received her surprise for the day when she saw an incoming video call from her mother in Kuala Berang, Terengganu.

“This morning when my mother made a video call to wish Selamat Hari Raya, I was so excited because she was not good with technology. I felt so relieved although I can only see her face via telephone. At least I know my family is well over there,” she said when contacted by Bernama.

Meanwhile, Mohd Zaki Md Yakin, 30, said his house in Kampung Bubul, Semporna, Sabah would usually become the gathering spot for relatives and friends, but this year, he could only accept visitors on the first day of Eid.

However, that did not stop him from virtually meeting his good friends since university days who currently live in Kuala Lumpur and around Semporna.

“We can still celebrate Eid together via video calls and apologise to each other without having to meet face-to-face. Like people say, absence makes the heart grow fonder,” he said.

For civil servant Aisha Hani Nor Azmir, 24, who has not been able to see her family the last four months, the mobile phones have a lot more to offer besides video calls.

Using a video editing application, she created a family portrait using the cut and paste technique and a green screen, to ‘bring together’ her family in Ipoh, Perak, closer to her. — Bernama

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