You came without warning and swept through the entire world. Even our tiny island nation was not spared. Before we knew it, we were all told to stay home. Schools are closed. Offices are closed. Shops are closed. Suddenly, the things we took for granted were all taken away from us.
Amidst the chaos that turned our lives upside down, I feel grateful. Not to you. Of course not. I wish you would just disappear with a snap of the fingers like some people believed you would. Yet, I am grateful.
First and foremost, I am grateful to God for giving me all these things that I can be grateful for. I am keenly aware that we are very blessed to be able to stay home in relative safety and comfort throughout the circuit breaker period and still be able to work from home.
Within a short span of time, many businesses had to make changes to their operations to enable employees to continue working from home. Although it took some getting used to and there remain numerous teething problems, I am very impressed by how quickly different businesses and industries adapted to this new normal.
In my line of work, I witnessed first-hand the speed at which the various courts and tribunals were able to adopt video conferencing technology to allow hearings to be conducted virtually. Even the usual seminars that lawyers attend to clock the requisite points under the Continuing Professional Development scheme are now being conducted through webinars. These changes not only help to slow the spread of the virus but also greatly increase the efficiency of lawyers who can now attend such hearings and webinars with a click of a button from the comfort of their homes/offices.
I am also grateful for the time that we have now. Time for us to do the things that we were too "busy" to do before. Time to try the recipes we always wanted to try. Time to do all the home workouts that we never knew we wanted to do.
After spending so much time away from our friends and loved ones, we also learn to be more appreciative of them. Over the course of the circuit breaker, we have received/sent care packages from/to friends and family and also caught up with one another via Zoom/House Party, etc. Even though we are far apart, we've never felt closer.
During this period, my wife and I also found the time to start our own home bakery, @kamhometoyew, and got to share our bakes with people from all over the island. Needless to say, I am immensely grateful for my lovely wife and our cosy home, which has now been turned into our baking factory every weekend. Being stuck at home for the past few months reminded me of how grateful I am to have the best housemate to be stuck with through the circuit breaker period and for life.
As we emerge from the circuit breaker period and enter the next phase of our long road to recovery, I am grateful for the resilience shown by our tiny nation and its people. Regardless of what comes next, I’m sure Singapore and Singaporeans will be able to overcome any challenge together.
Lastly, COVID-19, we would all be grateful if you would go away soon.