On 11 February 2020, World Health Organisation (“WHO”) announced a name for the new coronavirus disease: COVID-19. Within a short span of about a month, WHO has officially announced that COVID-19 is a pandemic.
Ever since the outbreak of the COVID-19, the daily news is filled with sombre news. The daily task that I do first thing in the morning is to check on the website which I have bookmarked – a statistics table that shows the total number of confirmed cases and death cases by country. This is table that no country would want to be top on the charts. I would also read the related news that happen around the world, impacted by this invisible culprit, which is lurking around each and every country and is a difficult one to catch. Government and healthcare officials are working round the clock, racing against time to attend to and treat patients who contracted this virus. This invisible culprit has managed to adversely impact industries and sectors globally, crippling the economy, bringing stock markets down and most importantly affecting the daily lives of people globally.
To prevent this pandemic from worsening, there are a few ways we are encouraged to do collectively, namely, practice social distancing, have limited travels and have personal hygiene to prevent community transmission and “flatten the curve”. Hence, we are currently adjusting our daily lives in bid to contain this virus, for the greater good of the mankind and win the war against this culprit!
Below are some changes that I have made to my life to deal with the COVID019 crisis. Firstly, I am now working from home, which is the biggest adjustment that I have done as we spend a large part of our working hours at work. The company that I work in is one of the companies which have responded to the community efforts to fight the virus and protect the employees’ health safety, by announcing that employees are to work from home until further notice. As I do not have a study room, I am working in bedroom with my desk that is right beside my bed. In order to ensure that I stay productive and am not distracted by the cosiness of my bedroom, especially my comfortable bed which seems to be beckoning me to join it for a siesta, I have put a chair between my bed and desk so that I will not succumb to temptation. I have also re-arranged the items on my desk to make it more professional, gone are those personal desk ornaments and clutter such as unpaid bills and credit card statements. My desk now is solely work documents and stationery. To prevent myself from excessive chatting with my family members during “office hours”, I close my bedroom door. I will only open the door during my short breaks, which my family members are aware by now, that they can only chat with me when the door is open. I have also made an effort to keep in touch with my team members and provide them with timely updates, to ensure that we continue to work cohesively though we are working remotely.
Secondly, I have stopped going to the gym and am now doing my dance fitness and yoga workouts at home. I am still able to get my cardio workouts and am disciplined enough to ensure that I do not miss out any workout sessions. However, being a dancer since young, I miss very badly, the wall floor to ceiling mirrors in the gym studio, which provides me with immediate visual feedback to correct my posture and dance move. I also miss the huge space in the gym studio, which allows me to dance and express myself more freely. This is something that I have not gotten adjusted to yet.
Lastly, another adjustment in my daily life is reduced dinner and drinks sessions with friends and winding down activities with social groups due to social distancing. This is an adjustment that I can quickly get accustomed to, thanks to my mindfulness practice, I am fine to be alone and not feel lonely. In addition, with the current advent of technology, you are still very connected to your friends, though you are not able to catchup with them over dinner and drinks. Hence, friendships are not affected. On contrary, friendships are strengthened as we have learnt not to take meetups for granted. I am very sure when we have our first meetup after this pandemic end, we will definitely treasure the get-together and be grateful that we are able to have physical meetup and catchup. Winding down activities after work now is different as such. The positive result of change in winding down activities are new interesting activities that can also help me wind down and reduce stress, activities which I have not thought of, if not for this current situation.
The above are just some adjustments that I need to make to my daily life, though they do bring inconvenience but they are necessary especially at such critical times. This is the very least that I can do to be socially responsible to contain the virus. One very important tip which helps me cope with the current crisis is “This virus shall pass, meanwhile, stay grateful, be positive and not to take anything for granted”.