By now, there can’t be any doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic is gonna be with us for quite a while. From China to Asia to Europe to practically every far-flung location on the globe, this virus seems to be making its rounds in a big hurry. So social distancing and stay home notices (SHN) and quarantines, along with personal hygiene, must continue to be the order of the day everywhere for everyone.
For me, it almost feels like I’ve been undergoing an internship these past two years to be ready for all these SHNs. But mine’s not a ‘stay at home notice’. Mine’s more of a ‘stay at home dad-tice’, or ‘SAHD’ for short. Yes, the pun is fully intended!
All the better really to prepare me and my family for such a time as this Covid-19 global pandemic period the world now finds itself careening further and further into.
How you may ask?
Well firstly, since I’ve been a SAHD for quite a while now, staying at home daily is second nature to me. I’m already used to the routine of not commuting to a designated workplace or to a client’s office for meetings on a daily basis. The whole notion of working from home isn’t alien to me at all, so no learning curve there. And make no mistake, there is a learning curve. I may be wrong (though I seriously doubt it), but I suspect the imposition of SHNs on many have resulted in a steep learning curve and plenty of adjustments for both organisations and individuals alike. Cos anytime one’s work and personal life come together under one roof, all kinds of guffaws, hiccups and friction can happen. Not convinced? Really? Haven’t you seen this (by now) classic piece?
Secondly, being a SAHD means that should the situation escalate like it has in some countries (eg Italy) where schools are closed, my busy working spouse need not fear that no one’s home to care for our kids who can’t attend school. Daddy’s going to be around to keep the kids happy and well-occupied. I mean, after all, that’s what I’ve been “trained” to do these past two years!
Finally, not working to meet daily deadlines of a boss or client means I’ve had time whilst home to pick up new knowledge and skills online. Now more so as many courses can be found online given the preponderance to avoid face-to-face classes, with esteemed institutions like Harvard showing the way. I have time to learn, read, even re-read. And of course, more time to watch, palpate and reflect on the small moments and details of life. All these help feed my mind and my soul. And trust me, it’s all good!
I just wonder though how many are finding the current prolonged stay from their workplace disconcerting and frustrating. And how many can’t wait for things to become ‘normal’ again. For me, this IS the ‘normal’ that I’ve lived with for some time, so please allow me to share here three simple tips I can offer to help ease any frazzled souls reading this:
- Learn to ‘slow down’ and enjoy the closer bond you say you’ve always wanted to have with your family and kids, but never found the time.
- Pay closer attention to the finer details of life around you now, like your child’s latest doodling or your spouse’s latest read. After all, it’s the small things in life that truly matter, so give them their due attention and respect.
- Look for and find ways to help others during these uncertain times. People in need are all around us, if only we take the time to spot them. For instance, you can donate your extra bottle of sanitizer to your elderly neighbour, or offer to walk their dog if they are stuck with a SHN.
Being open to new experiences can only lead to greater awareness of self and life. And it can help turn what now seems a despairing situation into something uplifting.
So go on, give it a go, and who knows? Maybe then we can look back on 2020 one day and remember how a bad virus brought out the good in humanity!.