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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I also noticed a surge in the blog posts and news items about remote work and workouts. I am reading them as well.
This timeline would be helpful to look back a few years later.
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.
8:30 am, 25-March-2020
Bought the last coffee from BP Wildbean Cafe before the lockdown starts.
New Zealand moves to alert level four, and the entire nation goes into self-isolation.
Grocery store trip to replenish food
Two weeks since this all started affecting me.