Do you remember the beginning of 2020? When we were making the same annual resolutions we did at the start of every year: To work smarter, eat better and exercise more?Now it’s almost halfway through the year, and things have never looked so different.
Today, Covid-19 has taken over global headlines. A health pandemic that we never heard of at the start of the year has dominated our lives as we work from home through the circuit breaker. It has changed how we study, how we interact with loved ones, how we live, and even how we eat.
It is easy to be discouraged. To look at the negative. To accept that the “new normal” is gloom and doom. But circumstances, no matter how bad, can either break us, or make us.
It is our mindset that is important.
When we meet again, we will embrace, laugh, eat, play.
Just like old times (which weren’t too long ago).
When we meet again, things will be better, but not for everyone.
Every passing day, a little more is lost… morale, livelihoods, lives.
We can prevent all that before we meet again, with kindness.
So that things can be better, brighter, greater… when we meet again.
How do we approach the new normal in a way that will make things better, brighter and greater? One way is to remember that we, as a nation, have grown stronger together, from the shared pains we had to go through during this pandemic.
Another way is to recognise how dealing with Covid-19 has changed us for the better:
Stepping up on personal hygiene
Nowadays, we wash our hands before putting anything into our mouths. Even before the circuit breaker measures made it compulsory to do so, we learned to wear masks when we felt ill or simply when our throats were itchy. And we learned to cover our mouths even while yawning.
Covid-19 has forced us to practise good hygiene habits and these will continue even beyond this pandemic.
Showing appreciation to service staff
As we order food from the comfort of our homes, we seldom see the hard work that goes into a delivery. We may see it as a simple transaction, but delivery riders put their lives at risk each day as they spend long hours on the road to deliver our orders, rain or shine.
Food delivery workers and F&B staff are just part of those who work in the service industry, many of whom have to adapt to customers’ unpredictable moods and attitudes, and are struggling with job concerns. But remember that they are like you and me, struggling with their personal battles.
So let’s be thankful to all service staff — from delivery riders, taxi drivers, retail and F&B workers, not to mention our beloved healthcare heroes — they all deserve our appreciation.
Being conscious of what we spend on
When the Government announced that standalone bubble tea shops were to be closed as part of extended circuit breaker measures, it certainly gave us an eye-opener to just how crazy Singaporeans can be over the drink!
Now, if you know that the money spent to buy six cups of bubble tea can sponsor one week’s milk for an elderly person on tube feeding, would you be able to give up your daily cup of indulgence to contribute to a greater good?
Being friendlier to the environment
The increased consumption of takeaways during this circuit breaker may have shocked us to realise much packaging goes to serving that one portion of food. So please reconsider how to reduce our carbon footprint by using our own recyclable containers, reusable carriers or cutlery.
We can use the circuit-break period to create a new environmentally-friendly norm. Such efforts may be small, but accumulated, they definitely go a long way to save the Earth.
Showing support to local businesses
You may find your vocabulary of local brands increasing as you browse the array of food delivery options on your mobile.
So instead of keeping to the safe but boring popular F&B franchises, why not give our support to local businesses that can bring greater novelty to your dinner table and be ready to get surprised!
Spending time wisely
With more time spent at home during this circuit breaker, how are you spending it? In just 15 minutes, you could do a rejuvenating workout, say a quick prayer or even bond with your loved ones as they try to stay connected during this circuit breaker.
Instead of wasting it, make every minute of the 24 hours we have each day count.
Embracing migrant workers
And while we see many donations streaming in to help these workers tide through this tough isolation period, what many of these migrant workers really want is to be accepted as equals.
A change in our attitudes towards migrant workers, by being more embracing and appreciative and acknowledging how they have made a difference to our lives would be the biggest takeaway for us as a nation.