The coronavirus – creeping onto the world’s scene only a few short months ago and then exploding into our day-to-day lives. Every day we hear about the impact of corona and COVID-19 on – well, almost everyone. But how is it affecting disabled individuals? Today on Blind Abilities we explore just how blind and visually impaired individuals have experienced and adapted to corona and COVID-19 around the world.
This is Chee Chau, from Malaysia.
My name is Elise Lonsdale, and I’m from Northern Australia.
Hi, my name’s Steve, and I’m from England.
Hey everyone, it’s me, Marlon Parieaho, from Trinidad and Tobago.
Hi, my name is Nick D’Ambrosio, and I’m from Montreal, Canada.
Hi, my name is Lori Thompson, I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which is in the United States.
Brooklyn Rodden Kelly:
I’m Brooklyn, and I’m from Sacramento, California.
Greetings everyone! Brian Fischler, from New York City.
Hello, I’m Sherry Molengraft, from Jacksonville, Florida.
On today’s episode we present Chee Chau. Chee Chau will share his perspective on the coronavirus, and COVID-19, from his country, Malaysia. Of course you will recognize Chee Chau’s name, as he is a major contributor to the Blind Abilities network with his beautiful music. And now, please welcome from Malaysia, Chee Chau.
Hello Blind Abilities – this is Chee Chau, from Malaysia.
British Newscaster (Male):
Malaysia has confirmed its first locally transmitted case of the novel coronavirus. The patient is the sister of the Malaysian man who attended a conference in Singapore and later tested positive.
COVID-19 has affected us in a lot of ways, particularly the blind people. So today, I will tell you how it affected me, and people around me. I am very fortunate, because I stay with my sister, and I like technologies, so I know how to use apps like Grab, which is like Uber in other parts of the world. And because of that, there are many of my friends who also are blind and know how to use the app and that actually help. As a lot- we are in the midst of Movement Control Order, that’s what they call it in Malaysia – basically, it’s a restricted movement control, every household can only have one person go out for the necessary grocery things, so my sister will do most of that. However, there are some blind people in Malaysia who are not being exposed to this kind of modern smartphone technology, so they are relying on the manual method, I call it. And during this time people are kind, so they send them food or necessary aids. Some even help them to do a bit of grocery shopping, and because of that they are having a good help from a lot of people from all over the place. At the same time, their movement is really, really limited, because they cannot go to the shop that they are familiar with, they cannot go to the places that they are familiar with.
At the same time, because we have restricted movement, there are many people who start to learn things with their computers, with their phones, and that’s enabled them to learn things that they never did before for the past few years. And that also gives them more independence, in that sense. I have many more people who call me to ask me how to do this, how to do that, which, in the long term, I think is going to be great. On the other hand, in Malaysia we do not have a proper place, especially in the blind organization, to ask for information, to ask what we can do or what we cannot do, basically how to deal with this COVID-19 crisis. We only have supports from NGOs, separately, individually, they are just doing their own thing and not regulated places where you can get all the information. So the information, the news, you have to be alert and gather yourself from the normal, mainstream TV and radios or internet, and that is if you have those access or you are able to access the internet or you know how to navigate through news and things like that. I know a few people who still stick with their Nokia that use Talk, that you can’t update anymore, you can’t do much with it anymore. So they might feel a little difficult to keep up to date with what is the latest happening in the COVID-19 world.
So that is my side of the story. I hope everyone stays safe. Take care of yourselves, and your loved ones.
Coronavirus is around the globe, so just be careful, and just- that’s why I wear a mask.
This concludes our second episode in our new series Around the World With COVID-19 From a Blindness Perspective. It’s always nice to hear Chee Chau’s fantastic and beautiful music, and now it’s nice to hear from Chee Chau personally. We’d like to thank him for sharing his thoughts on COVID-19 from his country, Malaysia. Stay tuned for more episodes in our series, and from all of us here at Blind Abilities, through these challenging times, to you, your family, and friends, stay well, stay informed, and stay strong. Thank you so much for listening, and have a great day.
Music] [Transition noise] –
When we share
-What we see
-Through each other’s eyes…
[Multiple voices overlapping, in unison, to form a single sentence]
…We can then begin to bridge the gap between the limited expectations, and the realities of Blind Abilities.
For more podcasts with the blindness perspective, check us out on the web at www.blindabilities.com, on Twitter @BlindAbilities. Download our app from the app store Blind Abilities, that’s two words, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for listening.
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