Greetings from all of us at The Habitat. As we continue to grapple with the dramatic and oftentimes mind-boggling changes to our everyday lives brought about by the current pandemic, it is increasingly easy to fall into a negative state of mind. That is why it is of utmost importance to continually remind ourselves to focus on the positive things in life if for no other reason than to maintain a sense of balance and to remain sane in these trying times. Whether it’s appreciating having more time to spend with family or simply enjoying the sunrise or sunset every day, we must remember that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that we can and will get through this.
We can also take heart from the tenacity of generations before us who faced similar circumstances and challenges. A case in point, is the 1918 Spanish Flu outbreak which resulted in tens of millions of deaths across the globe including at least 1,500 here in Penang and 35,000 throughout the Malayan Peninsula at the time (Source: “Learning from the 1918 Penang influenza Pandemic” by Wong Yee Tuan for Penang Monthly, February 2013). The resilience and fortitude of this post-WWI generation led to what is now known as the “Roaring Twenties”, one of the most prosperous decades of all time. So again, let’s not forget the importance of staying positive and looking forward to better days to come.
At the same time, however, we must not be complacent or allow ourselves to lower our guard at this critical juncture lest we lose all the gains that we have made through personal and community sacrifice this past few weeks in so-called “lockdown”. To win this battle, everyone must continue to play their part by staying home, acting responsibly when out in public, and helping to break the chain of infection. By continuing to do our part, each of us can and will contribute to beating the virus and come out of this experience stronger both as individuals and as a community.
Now is also the time to reflect on how we human beings can better live in harmony with nature and Mother Earth. Surely, if this pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we need be better stewards of our precious little planet that is home to not just ourselves but also a plethora of other living creatures, lifeforms and ecosystems all of which have an equal claim to this shared home of ours. We at The Habitat will continue to work hard to help realize the vision of a more sustainable planet and a more just and equitable world.
The Habitat Team are admittedly missing Penang Hill at the moment and are especially sad that we cannot spend more face-to-face time with all of you, our friends, and partners. However, as the saying goes, the show must go on and we have been working on ways to bring nature to you, virtually, in your homes instead. Over the coming weeks and beyond, we will be rolling out a series of online activities including virtual meet-ups, programming, check-ins from the park on Penang Hill, and all things Mother Nature to keep you engaged and informed during your time stuck at home. We will also be rolling out a series on sustainable lifestyles and sustainable living featuring a number of our team members and also partners in conservation and environmental education.
Do stay tuned and continue to engage with us through our social channels and we hope that you will be able to benefit from a daily dose of nature courtesy of The Habitat Team while you are all staying safe at home.
Till we meet again, stay safe, stay home, stay happy, healthy, and positive always.
The Habitat Group