By ILONA ANDREW
PUTATAN: Markets would usually be packed just a day or two before Hari Raya Aidilfitri where people go all out on last-minute shopping but unlike the previous years, many choose to limit their movement to the markets to stay away from crowds.
Based on a survey by Borneo Today, a day before Hari Raya, queues were seen formed in front of the entrance of the Servay Hypermarket here as shoppers wait for their turn to go inside.
While lining up, the people were seen adhering to the standard operating procedures (SOP), keeping safe social distance and wearing face masks at all times.
Several police and the People’s Volunteer Corps (RELA) personnel were present to monitor the situation, making sure no one is ignoring the coronavirus guidelines.
Even though the number of visitors was more than the usual days of the conditional movement control order (CMCO), the crowds were still much smaller compared to the previous years during the same period.
Inside the hypermarket, a lot of people were seen browsing through the items at the fresh produce and meat sections.
Last time, most shoppers would be seen overloading their carts, buying as much as they could to make sure that they would not be any kinds of shortage during the celebration.
However, this time, it was obvious that most of them were shopping moderately, considering the small number of items, usually basic necessities, in their cart as they checked out.
It might be because of how minimal the celebration would be this year – no mass festivities, no balik kampung, no praying at the mosques, no visiting of graves, and only 20 people under the same household are allowed, depending on the size of the home.
Hari Raya might feel a little gloomy for many as it would be celebrated on a much smaller scale; but it should not be less of a festive.
Despite the allowances to have small gatherings, the public has been reminded to continue practising social distancing and good personal hygiene.