Oliver Ma is a rising sensation on Instagram, sharing lip-dubbed videos of pop-tunes to inspire our most colourful inner buds to bloom. His everyday goal shares a bit of light and laughter with his audience and followers. He spent some time with MaskZ of Sweden to share a bit more - his take on the importance of mask wearing and how we can continue to strive for the light despite the dark times we’re learning to surpass.
According to Ma, social distancing does not necessarily mean a total hermit-like shut-down of your life; rather, we have to focus on self-quarantine after travel and limit exposure to people who aren’t being careful. Avoid seeing people who haven’t been quarantined or who’ve been overseas.
“Self-quarantining takes over people’s quality of life. We shouldn’t live in such a strong fear that it takes over our social and work lives. Mental health is just as important.” The distinction is real. We have to prioritise our mental and social well-being.
Ma doesn’t ignore the salience of physical health, either: “People should be aware of their personal hygiene. Wash your hands before and after eating. Wear masks in public places like on public transport, in restaurants and make sure to sanitize yourselves.”
Recent circumstances under the pandemic change our perception of personal health on the daily. “It makes people more aware of having personal basic hygiene - washing your hands, covering your nose and mouth, not touching your eyes and nose with dirty hands - it reminds people of the basic things.”
Ma is cognizant of the link between three things: his personal choices, his body and his personal health. “My dad passed away when I was 1 from lung cancer due to oversmoking. [So] even when I'm sick, I try more natural remedies first like eating more fruits. I don’t participate in anything adverse to my health.” How different our own health would be if we all were to follow in his shoes?! We may not have his IG presence and charisma, but we can certainly align with his lifestyle choices.
Something so basic as cleanliness is now something so revolutionary. MaskZ of Sweden stands by Ma’s same principle: keeping track of our basic personal protection is a key element of moving forward post quarantine. Sanitation is practically a revolution of personal health care - and as a revolution, we stand behind it: personal protective equipment (PPE) is the gear of tomorrow. It should be counted among our daily basics that we pack in our pockets and stow in our purses.
His final message to us? “Find your own way. Find a balance of everything. We’re all human - we need to connect with people. We have our social and mental needs as well. Being healthy doesn’t just mean physically healthy, it means to be socially and mentally healthy. Don’t let the pandemic take over you.” Thanks, Oliver, we’ll keep looking to your joyful posts to keep the darkness out!