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The mall magnet

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Written by   169
1 year ago

I confess... haven't set foot inside a mall since the hard lockdowns mid-March 2020 due to the pandemic. The last time I did was March 1, to celebrate my mother's birthday.

Do I miss it? Nope! Firstly, because I don't really like going to the mall. I only do because I need something that's only found there. If it's to dine out, okay, but that isn't everyday or a regular activity. Otherwise, I steer clear of them. And Christmas season at the malls? Horrendous!

If I go to the mall, I will do so when it opens and be out after my errand is done. Parking is a chore, and expensive. And since I like to shop in peace, I don't care for crowds.

In this country, people live for malls. Even when they don't spend. It's the cool air, no sun to burn the skin, the free Wi-Fi, the merchandise meant to entice, and that feeling of being seen in some posh place that draws them.

I am a park person. Or some open space. I rather like watching a movie in a near empty theater. I choose restos that have a few seats because it means I will be served quickly and can eat in peace.

When some relative from the US or Canada visits and are brought to our malls, their jaws drop at the sheer size of the establishments. It is mind-boggling to them that our malls are huge and crowded because back home, it's never that, especially on ordinary days. Besides, I don't think their malls are of the same size.

Malls are decked with all sorts of attractions during the Christmas season.

Why so massive? Well, the retail giants that put malls up want everything to be there - food, supermarket, cinema, recreation, concerts, arcades, medical and dental clinics, spas, hardware, and they even house telecom outlets. So, head to the mall and it's practically a one-stop shop.

And mall developers have become even smarter, offering to use their establishments as entry and exit points for train stations. This way, they have a captive market.

So, when restrictions were lifted and most everyone can go out, the first place people headed to was... the mall. It's now back to crowds, and heavy traffic. Are basic health protocols being followed? From the looks of it, not really. How can you observe physical distancing when so many people occupy limited space?

Thankfully, the number of infected by the virus is down, hovering around 500, compared to the thousands three months ago. Are the numbers real? Who knows? Government has been ramping up vaccination, and being prohibited from enjoying dine-in services is an incentive for many to get the jab.

Economic managers apparently think that malls are drivers of the economy and have been pushing to open these months ago. But is that really true? So many have lost jobs or their livelihood as a result of the pandemic. Most are simply getting by, so how much they will truly contribute to pump-priming the battered economy by way of malls is the question.

If more people had jobs or sources of income, then they can be active drivers of the economy. Otherwise, it is only the rich and those with enough money to spare that will get the economy going through mall activities.

The mall has a food court, plus an area for entertainment, where programs or shows are held. This is just one portion of this particular mall, which has a total of four buildings.

I remain uncomfortable going out and being in crowded, enclosed spaces primarily because most people take for granted that there is still a virus in our midst that has yet to be contained. They feel bolder going back to the old normal because they've been vaccinated, without considering there are still risks.

Even if the minimum health protocols are lifted, I'm probably keeping my mask on and still observe physical distancing of some sort. It is this absence of discipline, which I am certain was a factor for the spike in cases months ago, that pushes me to show my community that I can and do respect others and are considerate of their safety and comfort, pandemic or not.

As to malls, entering one unless absolutely necessary, isn't in my horizon. I shied away from movie houses for many, many years. And with cable and Netflix, I can watch those films later, in the comfort of my home.

Meanwhile, I will stick to parks and open space - heck, the cemetery sounds quite appealing where I get to visit our dearly departed - and enjoy fresh air.

As much as I want the economy to recover, I also want my environment, my community, my country and this planet to be safe. We're already suffering the consequences of our disregard for nature, so I'd rather do my share to keep my fellow human beings safe and healthy.

Discipline, compassion, respect, decency. It's what has to be brought back to this country (and world even) to set things right again.

All images are original

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Written by   169
1 year ago
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Comments

Good morning! We are two people. As you say, I'm more of a friend of parks than of shopping malls. In a park there is greater freedom and being in harmony with nature is priceless, not to mention listening to the singing of the birds.

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10 months ago

Freedom definitely. Not to mention fresh air! Thanks for dropping by.

$ 0.00
10 months ago

Before the pandemic, I didn't like going to malls and shopping. I wouldn't go unless I absolutely had to. With the pandemic process, all my shopping, food orders and even bill payments started to be done online. The comfort of this is too much on me and I think it will continue to grow from now on.

$ 0.00
11 months ago

First, thanks for the sponsorship. It was a pleasant surprise.

Second, good for you! While online shopping has its challenges, it does have many advantages especially if you're one who doesn't enjoy crowds and viruses.

$ 0.00
11 months ago

Hopefully the pandemic will be over and we can roam around without any restriction. Let's all wish it will gone.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

Yes, we all wish for things to go back to normal. But since it isn't yet, we should also be mindful of how we behave and be considerate of others.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

People are starting to feel safe and are lowering their defense guard. I like shopping malls but since the pandemic I've stayed away.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

That's true about people lowering their defenses. I wish they were more considerate of others, and not just thinking of themselves.

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1 year ago