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Dear Covid 19

Dear COVID-19,

 

“Symptoms of vertigo, anxiety and insomnia”

 

Those were one of the phrases that I never thought I’d Google during the circuit breaker.

What motivates me every day is the eager look on the faces of these workers who could not wait to be swabbed because they were physically and emotionally tired and jaded of being quarantined.

As an extrovert who feeds on social interactions as a way to recharge, the circuit breaker period truly wasn’t in my favour. Unlike my introverted friends who were coping well during the time, cabin fever was definitely real for me.

 

We were unprepared physically, psychologically and emotionally. Nobody saw you coming. 

 

2020 was supposed to be a monumental year for me in music.

 

I celebrated the 10th year of my music in December last year just before you arrived. Many things were planned prior to your arrival to mark this special moment.

 

Plans were put on hold. Shows were postponed or cancelled. Music releases were halted. Finances were compromised. Demotivating, for sure, but I didn’t work hard to build something only to let it be destroyed by you.

 

However, this is not a letter of disappointment to express my displeasure towards you.

 

Instead, I want to thank you.

 

Thank you for forcing me out of my comfort zone. Thank you for making me uncomfortable. Thank you for making us think of new things that we have never thought about prior to your existence.

 

Artists, like myself, have been producing or live streaming their own shows, with whatever resources they have, on their respective social platforms as an attempt to connect with their audience and stay relevant. Media producers are also constantly looking at uncomfortable but innovative ways to create digital and TV content. Businesses that never considered e-commerce or delivery options have also looked at ways on how to commercialise their products and services online.

 

Not too long ago, I started volunteering with a determined bunch of other Singaporeans to pick up the shattered pieces you have brought about. I have been involved in the swab operations and to date, I have swabbed more than a thousand foreign workers to detect if you are around. Being in a non-porous PPE and N95s, with gloves taped around my hands for long hours, is daunting. However, what motivates me every day is the eager look on the faces of these workers who could not wait to be swabbed because they were physically and emotionally tired and jaded of being quarantined.

 

Looking at it now, 2020 has, in fact, already been quite a monumental year for me and for a lot of us. It is still an ongoing battle, but we have been smart enough to turn this crisis into an opportunity to make us stronger and wiser.

 

Thank you for making us the fighters we never thought we were.

Farhan Shah

14 Jul 2020