COVID-19 undoubtedly turned everyone’s lives upside down in the blink of an eye. I remember watching the President address the nation on the eve of hard lockdown on the 26 March 2020 and half expecting him to say its just an early April Fool’s joke (not a very funny one but a joke nonetheless). Like a scene from an apocalypse movie, all of a sudden, the streets were empty, malls and office blocks were vacant and no one wanted to venture out for fear of catching the deadly virus that seemed to somehow only arrive on the first day of hard lockdown (the day before, people were out in droves panic buying as if the virus would only become effective at midnight on the first day of hard lockdown which completely baffled me).
So now I am at home, glued to my TV screen following the news of the latest stats and fatalities. The anxiety sets in, “what about my elderly parents, what about the people who do not have food stored away for days, what about…” The news is not helping my state of anxiety with their ominous tone around the current events and the increasing numbers of infections. Social media is going crazy with messages of condolences, home remedy recipes and conspiracy theories around the pandemic. And amid all this craziness, there is still work. Yes, the show must go on despite the global pandemic but with all the people who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, work is now viewed as the privilege that it is.
I had been working from home for years, so it was certainly not a new concept to me. I remember my 50-year-old aunt ranting about how she would rather prefer to work from the office because this working from home thing was not working for her. However, even though I was not new to working from home, there was still the nagging fact that there is a global pandemic that affected my ability to focus like I used to. I was happy to discover that I was not the only one experiencing this. I sympathized profusely with my friends who were going through everything I was plus having little kids. Not only were they faced with all the anxiety, uncertainty, work, and household chores but they also had to keep their little ones entertained and educated (and out of their videoconferencing calls).
The funny thing about life however (global pandemic or not) is that things always seem to work out. For me it started working out when I stopped watching and listening to the news and started meditating, walking and yoga. My perspective began to shift from impending doom to hope and even excitement for the future. I became ready for the new normal and all it had to offer. This positively affected my work and ability to concentrate. Some of my friends also expressed that, even though at times they had some melt-down moments with their kids, they were actually happy that they got to spend more time with them and that the kids reveled in having their parents around them more. We all seem to have learned to value each other (even that irritating work colleague) more and make our time count which is a beautiful thing. After all, you never know when you will be hit with another global pandemic.