I remember when I first read about you – I didn’t expect how lethal you would be. One moment we were at a restaurant in Beijing, spending valuable time with the grandparents and the next moment – the family was scrambling to get the first flight back home to Singapore when news broke out about cases escalating.
We found ourselves stuck at home, riding out the “incubation” phase – making sure we didn’t come into contact with you. Initially, there was paranoia – because with most that you infect – you didn’t have the habit of giving warnings.
And in all that time, you forced me into a period of enforced introspection – to understand the fragility of life, and to ask questions about life, purpose and faith. That should something happen, did I live a life that was meaningful, or with purpose? And what legacy I would be leaving behind?
We cleared the weeks – enjoyed a taste of normalcy and routine before the government-enforced circuit breaker measures sent us back into our caves for months.
I’m grateful – because while the circuit breaker measures are inconvenient to “normal life”, I can’t complain. These minor inconveniences really don’t hold a match to the millions of people all around the world who have lost their jobs – and their livelihood is now in question. Neither will these inconveniences match up to the bravery and the fight that our front line workers put up.
I’m privileged, because each day I can wake up filled with purpose, certainty and hope. Family that is with me, friends that I can talk to, and work that continues to make an impact. The adversity and downmarket from the crisis has made me more resilient and pushed me to the next level of growth.
While you may have taken away the comforts of everyday living, the warmth of a friend’s hug, the joy of community, and the privilege of sweating it out at the gym, you’ve taught me the importance of being in control of our response to adversity.
I know it is only a matter of time when humanity conquers you, because we’ve done it before – and we will do it again. And when we go back to living our “normal lives” – I hope that we would live with greater resilience, gratitude and compassion for the person next door.
I can’t wait to walk the streets again.