Some 18 months after China recorded its first death, more than 3.8 million people worldwide have lost their lives to Covid-19, a disease that has now touched every continent and shows little signs of abating.

In Malaysia, the death toll as at time of writing is 3,968 and the AFS MAS Family is saddened that the coronavirus has claimed two of its own recently.

Col. (Rtd) Zulkifli Yusof passed away in Kuala Nerang Hospital recently, followed eight days later by his beloved wife Hajjah Zarinah. The couple were host parents to Aki Yamamoto (YPscSH14) when she went on her AFS exchange to Sg Petani, Kedah.

Aki remembers her host parents as kind, supportive and attentive. “My host father whom I called Walid (Arabic for father) really regarded me as his own child. When I won a medal at my school’s Sports Day, he was the one who was more excited and happy. Both he and Ummi (Arabic for mother) took time to explain to me about Malaysian culture, especially the food and desserts. I really loved his infectious smile because it always cheered me up. I cannot thank them enough for their hospitality and now I am devastated that both my host parents are gone. May their souls rest in peace.”

AFS extends its deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Col (Rtd) Zulkifli and Hajjah Zarinah. May the Almighty expand their graves and give them eternal peace and grant the grieving family and loved ones patience and peace.