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Barney Gopalakrishnen

Events Producer

Analogous to how with international lockdowns, we can be locked out of many places, this pandemic had locked many of what I’ve been accustomed to out of relevancy. My corporate habiliments are now nothing more than textile dust. Whatever that have remained in my wardrobe that are comfortable enough for me to wear at home - as far as habiliments are concerned - that have become all that’s relevant. Relevance, these days - as I had observed my confreres via teleconferencing - is dressed in crew neck T-shirts or pajamas. In amidst the enforcing of circuit breaker measures, once in a dress shirt and dress pants, a neighbor had asked me, “Seeeeing sommmmebody?” Unanticipatedly, corporate habiliments have gone from being respectful to being suspicion worthy. In video conferences, clad in a three-piece suit and a necktie, with my pants out of frame, I had telecommuters guessing the types of shorts I’m in, “Is it floral? Gym? Running? Boxer? Or, no....don’t you dare! Don’t let it be just briefs? Or!....” Showing to them that I’ve got my dress pants on was to them, anticlimactic and preposterous. In telecommuting, communications can be ostensibly artificial. With technological intervention and its, at times, inefficaciousness (video freeze audio continues et alia), we can be presented as kinda humanoids like. Surely, telecommuting can’t be a missing compadres and confreres remedy. Additionally, the more we are accoutered with social distancing tools (masks, WFH, demarcations on seats and floors), the greater the prevalence of lonesomeness. Cordoned off getting together spots emblematized my spiritual apocalypse. I blame it on my extrovert personality. They’ve even got #socialdistancing as well. All comprehensibly so. Nevertheless in dreams, I had witnessed The More We Get Together becoming number one on Billboards and still in dreams, as an invited tuxedo-clad spectator, I had witnessed the song being awarded with Grammys and AMAs (American Music Awards) and with standing ovations. During the time when a group gathering can’t have more than ten people, wasn’t there an SGAG joke/meme ‘bout somebody wanting to leave the WhatsApp group as the group had more than ten members? Jokes aside, I comprehend the need for social distancing for in amidst this pandemic, social distancing is the new social responsibility. However, I am afraid that this pandemic, being a marathon as it is, may completely fade my communication skill into oblivion. In a time like this, tomorrow is more of a mystery that it had ever been. Nonetheless, witnessing how many fellow Singaporeans are not only adapting to the “new normal” but staying happy in spite of it simply by appreciating the gift of everyday, witnessing how many Singaporeans cheer us up with the likes of mrbrown (Lee Kin Mun) and Annette Lee (via TikTok), no excuse on my part, it is now my duty to learn from Singaporeans to adapt to the “new normal” and to simply appreciate the gift of everyday as well. For I’ve gotta put the kibosh on lamenting and be appreciative of everyone running together in this marathon including our frontline workers, essential workers and the talents cheering us up. I thank everybody and I look forward to being with all of you at the finish line. More importantly, beyond the finish line, the honor for all of you will be everlasting.