Stay calm, you are not alone

30 Mar 2020 / 18:21 H.

IN the current scenario where numbers determine how we react to the day when the sun rises, it is onerous to stay positive. Especially, when each of us is just a number and we have to do all we can to ensure we don’t contribute to the wrong side of the statistics.

Working from home, it has been almost two weeks since we received the movement control order on March 18 and let me tell you, I was horrified at first, but it has been an experience, which may not return in my lifetime and I pray it doesn’t.

Life is more regulated with work, lunch at home, work again, then workout at home, dinner at home, entertainment and recreation at home and then off to bed.

Eating home-cooked food has been healthier and I haven’t had the need to shuttle between offices and meetings, and in the process contributing to exhaust emissions.

It shouldn’t be bad at all, right? Wrong! Particularly for an extroverted person like me, my existence revolves around people.

I need to be in close contact, I need to speak to people face-to-face and I definitely need to communicate, converse and connect with people, with my bosses, colleagues, grocers, waiters, Grab drivers and whoever else.

For introverts who yearn to stay alone at home, quietly reading or watching their favourite TV shows, the movement control order is a dream come true.

For extroverts, it is a nightmare as we flourish in the company of others, we thrive in social settings.

Of course, we can communicate, I have learnt to use a range of virtual meeting applications and get to see my colleagues in online meetings, but the fun is lost and the excitement of life in action has dissipated.

In the meantime, we have the essential services, particularly the medical frontliners, who have been risking their lives attending to those infected and needing crucial treatment and care.

Among the many video clips that landed in my WhatsApp in-box is one by a nurse on maternity leave in the United States.

The nurse tearfully shares her grief of knowing that while she is at home, she has her colleagues who are losing their mind and soul being overworked and being exposed to death.

She too has a simple message in the end, “stay home” message, which is what our leaders keep asking of us to do, and is the same message people keep ignoring.

Not only is our medical service overwhelmed but our police force too.

If only each of us followed the MCO seriously, we would have probably already flattened the curve.

People are finding reasons and excuses to leave home, the pretexts are varying and we should know if we have been guilty of this.

Increasingly, staying at home may create emotional and psychological issues for people who live alone or have forgotten how to connect with family members.

The opportunity is presented to you and the choice is yours. If we think Covid-19 is a test for the strongest and fittest, think again, we have had deaths from the younger age groups, increasingly.

The only way to survive is to change your mindset to adopt and adapt to doing things differently.

This alone will see us through. If the only mantra has been “stay home”, let us take this seriously as it will help health workers and the government do their bit to help us cope and recover.

We are inundated with news, my 84-year-old mother, who has recently learnt to use her iPhone more creatively has started reading WhatsApp messages.

She runs to me every now and then picking up bits and pieces from fake news. Once she told me, from tomorrow there will be a complete lockdown and we need stock up food.

There are many of us who exist with WhatsApp as the only source of news, let us learn to verify information and news from unreliable sources.

While waiting for things to improve, let us do what we can, beginning with adopting a positive attitude.

Instead of feeling imprisoned, let’s tell ourselves it has given us time to focus on self, home and family.

Also, staying as close to routine also helps allay boredom.

I am at my laptop by 8.30am with work and only stop for two short breaks for lunch and a short session of breathing exercise in between.

I start my workout at 5.30pm and by 7pm I am ready for dinner and more work.

Avoid obsessing over endless Covid-19 news, by now you would have already known all that you need to know.

Move on by reading other things that matter that are equally important. Go back to your interests and hobbies.

Keep in touch with colleagues, relatives and friends through voice calls and video calls, it breaks the monotony and gives both parties some sense of belonging.

On day three of the MCO, I was already restless and felt the world has shuttered on me.

I had a long chat with a trusted colleague and felt much better after she shared her somewhat similar feeling. I speak to people every day.

A shoulder to cry on, a soul mate to share your sorrows and a friend to double your happiness make the world still a beautiful place to live in.

The new government has been attacked and condemned.

This is not a time for us to create animosity, rather let us practise courteousness even when expressing a disagreements.

Let us show our humanity and culture.

I have no words to express my gratitude to the various organisations which have got down to collecting funds to help the B40 needy groups across the board.

They have decided to stop talking and have moved into action, let us do the same, recreating, re-energising and reforming our country. When we come out of Covid-19, we should be stronger and irreversibly bonded.

The problem may appear insuperable, but when we are all focused, this too will pass.

You are not alone, we have the whole world with us.



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