THE Covid-19 outbreak gives Malaysians one final chance to recalibrate their lifestyle choices.
It has clearly demonstrated the vitality of the human immune system.
You need no rocket science to know and appreciate the importance of food choices, hygiene and exercise that in its combination can give us a better immune system.
But it takes honest admission to state that we Malaysians have seriously compromised on these three pillars of good health.
Fruits and greens are not the preferred choices. Instead the fastfood eateries and processed frozen food rows in supermarkets tell the truth of our changed habits.
We had a rich culture of relying on ulam and humble kampung vegetables for our meals. But all that is lost as we now have become a huge meat importer and prefer canned food.
Obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cancer have become our prevalent challenges. The Covid-19 fatality showcases this truth. But are we bothered?
It is time that all segments of society – from politicians to religious to civil society and professional circuits, converged to craft a national agenda to help Malaysians to make a switch for a better immune system.
Slogans and preaching are futile. We need policies that can be supported by public and private enterprises.
We need to craft an economy that prioritises and thrives on healthy food, daily exercise, public hygiene and a cleaner environment.
We need to address the problems of obesity, diabetes, heart diseases and cancer.
We need to focus on our immune system.
We need to intensify our knowledge and understanding about food science, nutrition, exercise and good hygiene.
From the stall operator using recycled cooking oil to factories profiteering from undisclosed chemicals in the recipe, we need to take decisive action.
From farmlands relying on pesticides to make a killing to fish farms; from livestock sins to manufacturing pollution, we need to decide now what is our future path if we are to commit to improving our immune systems.
All the mortars and runaway successes on the stock market are no insurance for a nation of healthy citizens.
Without a good immune system, we will only count more miseries if another virus sweeps through our country.
We can change our destiny with healthy food choices, daily exercise and public and personal hygiene.
Is Malaysia ready?
J. D. Lovrenciear