2020 came, zoom-ed (pun intended) by and now we are at the tail of it.
I recall how in the beginning of 2020, news about some virus from Wuhan had spread like wildfire. Bats took center stage and there were lots of videos of people eating bats (~ugh) flying around (pun intended).
Naturally, Wuhan being 3,432km away from Singapore (yes.. Singapore is not in China), I felt quite chill about it. However, our family’s DORSCON levels has always remained at minimum Yellow due to our past experience of our children getting sick; details for another post.
I noticed when shit hit the fan was when my Facebook feed was infested with the Wuhan virus (before it was renamed COVID-19). This is when i felt that something was amiss; I started to worry.
Some netizens aired their views about imposing a ban on travelers inbound from Mainland China on social media. Some were asking for schools to shut; I was one of them.
What really shook me was the first press conference by the Government of Singapore announcing the start of the Circuit Breaker (i.e. lockdown). Sitting in front of the TV, with mobile in hand getting tons of messages from all group chats asking what was the Prime Minister drinking?
Never in my life had i felt this afraid. I could feel my bones shiver on a humid 31°C day. “This is it, this is the real deal now”
My day job doesn’t require me to be seated in the office to function so I had the assumption that the circuit breaker will not affect me much. “How hard could it be?!”
Day 1, I immediately lost the rhythm of the usual grind. It was certainly nice to wake up at 0900h in the morning instead of the usual 0625h. I was able to “report” to work within minutes. But it just doesn’t feel right.
My definition of a normal work day was mainly to start off at the office and working my way out of office. In my line of work, the office was literally anywhere with a power outlet; Wi-Fi is optional as I have mobile hotspot at my disposal. To be able to work from home, i couldn’t differentiate if I was working on a “holiday” or was I bumming at home on a work day.
Being cooped up for the first few weeks really did us in. We had to let the girls out of the home and play at the common corridors at our floor. I am a person who feels absolutely comfortable staying in at home but let me tell you, cabin fever is real.
The first week was the hardest and longest. The economy came to a halt so work became significantly reduced. I spent the mornings with the girls helping them with their school assigned home based learning (HBL) work. Yes, even number 2 has HBL from nursery! I start working after lunch and into the evening. This cycle was the new norm.
I had this theory that the first week of long holidays always seem the slowest to pass. Once you hit day 8, everyday zooms past in the blink of an eye. My wife and I had the privilege to go on several 2 week long holidays in the past, the longest being our honeymoon that lasted 3 weeks! And on all these holidays, my theory was proven correct. The same could be said for the circuit breaker. The first 7 days felt like we had 36 hours in a day!
And by the middle of week 2, we were starting to wonder what day it was, because everyday felt like yesterday.
I rather that COVID-19 didn’t happen at all but “thanks” to it, I was spending much more quality time with the girls while I was “at” work.
Is this the fabled work life balance?