Pandemic thoughts

It’s been two full weeks since I start­ed wor­ry­ing about Covid-19 pan­dem­ic. And we have three weeks of lock­down ahead. Like many of my gen­er­a­tion, I haven’t seen any­thing like this before. Hope­ful­ly this is once-in-a-life­time event and so I want­ed to jour­nal my thoughts in this post. That way, years lat­er I don’t have to think hard to share the pan­dem­ic sto­ries with my grand­chil­dren.

The pandemic

By now it is need­less to say we are expe­ri­enc­ing unprece­dent­ed times around the world with this COVID-19 pan­dem­ic spread­ing fast in many coun­tries.

New Zealand is cur­rent­ly at Alert Lev­el 4. Like in many coun­tries, we are locked down and most­ly restrict­ed to our homes. We have at least anoth­er three weeks of lock­down ahead.

I think the prime min­is­ter Jacin­da Arden, her cab­i­net and the Direc­tor-Gen­er­al of Health Ash­ley Bloom­field are show­ing great lead­er­ship. I can’t think of any safer place to be in the cur­rent state of things. I hope New Zealand main­tains its low pro­file with the num­ber of COVID cas­es. Like many of my coun­try peo­ple, I can’t wait for this lock­down to be lift­ed.

I hope our col­lec­tive efforts will be fruit­ful, and we get rid of the pan­dem­ic in the com­ing few weeks in this coun­try and many coun­tries around the world.

The impact

I thrive on rou­tines, and this lock­down upend­ed my rou­tines. Although I work from home and I love it, I have a few, small pock­ets of time dur­ing the day I go out briefly to grab a cof­fee and run some errands. I am bummed to be restrict­ed to home all the time. In the last week, I went out only once to the super­mar­ket to get week­ly gro­ceries.

I had a great line up of work and per­son­al trav­el com­ing up this year: a trip to Raro­ton­ga, a trip to Asia, a trip to Europe and a trip to the States. All that trav­el is now can­celled. I have no hope I will be able to board a flight any­time soon.

In the larg­er scheme of things though, I feel for­tu­nate to be where I am.

Coping up

Rou­tines

I am stick­ing to my rou­tines as much as pos­si­ble. I am med­i­tat­ing every day and exer­cis­ing three times a week. I am yet to miss a day of med­i­ta­tion or a week of work­outs this year.

I am eat­ing (snack­ing) a bit more than usu­al. At this stage, I am miss­ing my dai­ly cof­fee buy­ing rou­tine and the week­end cof­fee dates with my wife. I decid­ed to live with this tem­po­rary incon­ve­nience.

Work

Not much has changed with my work thank­ful­ly. I am lucky to have work and the work I love. And do that work from home all the time and espe­cial­ly now. 

Grat­i­tude

I upped my grat­i­tude prac­tice in the past two weeks. I was dis­turbed by this out­break ini­tial­ly. To cope up, it helped a lot to reflect and count my bless­ings. The cur­rent cri­sis became bear­able when I start­ed count­ing the good things in my life. 

I have my job, and my wife has hers. We have a few months of sav­ings. As a hap­py coin­ci­dence, between late last year and ear­ly this year, we liq­ui­dat­ed a fam­i­ly prop­er­ty before the impend­ing eco­nom­ic dis­as­ter and hold­ing some extra cush­ion of cash that we hope we don’t have to tap into.

Although this reflec­tion is in the busi­ness con­text, I believe it applies to per­son­al finances too:

My wife sat and cleared a sig­nif­i­cant Eng­lish test just the week before the lock­down was imposed. She had been work­ing hard at it for the pri­or four weeks since mid-Feb­ru­ary. It was great to be able to con­clude it just in time before this virus may­hem. She can now con­tin­ue her stud­ies online at the com­fort of the home, unaf­fect­ed by this pan­dem­ic. It would have been ter­ri­ble if her effort was hin­dered due to this out­break.

All my imme­di­ate and extend­ed fam­i­ly, and the team mem­bers at work are safe around the world.

Read­ing

I have been read­ing a lot more news on NZ Her­ald, and Stuff for main­stream news, Kiwiblog for some opin­ions, and Eenadu for Indi­an news. 

I am fol­low­ing the NZ Min­istry of Health web­site, the NZ gov­ern­men­t’s COVID-19 web­site and a lot more local and world COVID updates and news on Twit­ter.

I found great solace in read­ing the Col­lab­o­ra­tive Fund blog. Mor­gan Housel is ter­rif­ic and I have been read­ing his blog for a long time now. But the last mon­th’s posts on his blog have been par­tic­u­lar­ly help­ful in this cri­sis. I high­ly rec­om­mend you read the March 2020 posts from his archive here.

This is anoth­er great post that Mor­gan shared that I rec­om­mend every­one to read: Liv­ing well through cri­sis.

I also noticed a surge in the blog posts and news items about remote work and work­outs. I am read­ing them as well. 

The timeline

This time­line would be help­ful to look back a few years lat­er.

  • 23-March-2020

    We did not send our son to school in the fears of poten­tial case in our neigh­bour­hood. That case turned out be neg­a­tive luck­i­ly!

    Went to Indi­an gro­cery store and stocked up some food.

  • 24-March-2020

    Schools closed.

  • 8:30 am, 25-March-2020

    Bought the last cof­fee from BP Wild­bean Cafe before the lock­down starts.

  • 11:59pm, 25-March-2020

    New Zealand moves to alert lev­el four, and the entire nation goes into self-iso­la­tion.

  • 30-March-2020

    Gro­cery store trip to replen­ish food

  • 04-Apr-2020

    Two weeks since this all start­ed affect­ing me.

    Con­tin­ued here.


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  1. […] And the con­tin­ued time­line… […]

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