COVID-19: A virus? A thief? A catalyst.


Audrey Pang – Contributor (Opinions expressed by AirHost are their own)
“I am not a professional writer but wish to share my thoughts.” – Audrey P.

According to the data provided by Worldometer, to date, the World’s Coronavirus cases had penetrated the 2-Million mark. The number of coronavirus COVID-19 cases has increased by the thousands every day. Up to a point that by looking at these numbers will only instill fear and create more havoc to our bodies than we already have. It may seem that the COVID-19 is only spreading on close contacts and we will not contract it if we take necessary precautions. This is not entirely true. This Virus is indirectly making every human being ill. It is drowning all of us. 

The situation did not hit me until the government of Singapore, the place I called home for the past 7 years, rolled out the Circuit Breaker Measures (CBM) on April 3rd, and took effect on April 7th, 2020. During the CB, all non-essential businesses must stop their operations, all school children will be on Home Base Learning, and a week after that, half of the Nparks were closed to the public. Suddenly, we lost the ability to make contacts to our friends, to sip our favorite cup of coffee while window shopping, and to visit our trusted manicurist! The tasks we were able to perform on a daily basis, seemed to be a luxury during this period. This CBM has made a 180 degree flip for our daily routines, and put us out of our comfort zone. We are feeling uncomfortable, and not in control. We have lost. Lost to the Virus? 

1 Artwork covid19

Here I am nagging about my personal inconveniences, my frustrations, and my fear. It seems trivial compared to the direct victims of the COVID-19. Businesses with downward trending revenues, the sky-rocketing unemployment rate, and a curve that every Nation wishes to flatten. 
Businesses are trying to stay afloat, finding ways to reduce their expenses, scrambling for new strategies to push out products, etc. However, most of their efforts were in vain. The demand is insufficient to sustain the supply. Businesses starts closing down, forcing employees out on the street with a bleak outlook. Coronavirus COVID-19 sneaked in during the dark and cleared out our confidence, our trust, and our creativity. We have lost. Lost to the Thief? 
“When life gives you lemon, make lemonade”. A cliché, I know. 
We need to take a step back, grab a piece of paper and a pen, and start doodling our thoughts like how an elementary school kid would do for their writing class. “Stay Home” is one of the restrictions of curbing the COVID-19. We have nowhere to go, no coffee dates, and no lunch appointments. This is the best time to focus on ourselves and take care of our wellbeing. Let’s get on to it. 
4 Steps to Jumpstart the Engine

1) Think Positive, Act Responsibly 

 No matter what, the Sun will rise again the next day. This is the fact. Similarly, the situation we are currently dealing with will end and we will be able to gain back our freedom and appreciate it more than ever. A positive mind not only will clear away the dark clouds, it will also reset the body and boost up the immune system to defend the host. 
According to the John Hopkins Medicine, 
“The mechanism for the connection between health and positivity remains murky, but researchers suspect that people who are more positive may be better protected against the inflammatory damage of stress.”
With a positive mind, we will act positively and responsibly to ourselves and towards people around us. Maintain social distance, keeping ourselves healthy and preventing further contribution to the exponential curve of COVID-19 cases. 

2) Build Strong Relationships 

Start with people that we work very closely with, such as our immediate family members, close friends, business partners, teammates, as well as the Government. Admit that we are not built to run on our own. We need to have contacts with one another. Strong relationship is hard to build; however, if you never start, you will never gain. 
This afternoon, I received a special Boost Juice delivery from a dear friend. We used to be able to meet each other weekly, but with all the new rules and regulations, we are unable to do so. Her act of kindness assured me that we have a relationship, and encouraged me to continue with my “normal” routine in this abnormal time. 
Teammates are people whom we work really closely with on a daily basis. At times like this, we need to work together, work harder, and trust each other to keep our team moving. Even though we are working remotely, technology has kept us together. Our ideas are still budding, our works still flowing, and our spirits still sustaining. Because we are hopeful that the COVID-19 situation will break and we want to be well prepared for the upward trend. 
These are some of the fundamental trusting relationships we could have for one another. With it, we are able to move on to another level. 

3) Preparation of The Ground

In our line of business, COVID-19 has a direct impact on our clients and we are getting the hit as well. The issues that our clients are facing are some of the difficult choices for them to make. To name a few: 
“Should we stop our advertising because we are not generating enough revenue?”
“We are facing a record low occupancy rate. What should we do?” 
“It is discouraging to our team, and they are fearful for their job security.” 
We can’t promise our clients the moon and the stars. One thing I can be sure of is this. If they stop their planning and restructuring, it will be the end for them. 
During this down time, we need to have a game plan. Bring in our business partners, our team, our trusted other half, and do some restructuring. Tap on the resources that we haven’t done so. Work with the team and be honest with them on the current situation. We could slow down the advertising but do not step on the brake pedal. In fact, we should start getting ready for the upward trend. Our businesses need to be prepared for the rebound. 
This preparation stage applies to individuals as well. Think about what we can do to be a better family member, a better salesperson, a better boss, a better educator, or a better me.  

4) Executions of Plans 

Of course, everyone is unique and has different responsibilities. All of us have more than one role to play in this society, and that itself is a beauty. We could be: 
– A President of a corporation, a son, a husband, a father. 
– A Software Engineer, a daughter, an Aunt, a freelance writer. 
– A Tennis Coach, a son, a boyfriend, an Instagram influencer. 
Each of us has a different plan and different ways of execution. No judgement made here. The gist is, you can’t stop. The World may look like it is stopping due to the stringent rules and regulations, IT IS NOT. Therefore, we can’t be fooling ourselves with that idea. 
We must agree that we are smarter than COVID-19 that is pushing us to the edge, cornering us to an uncomfortable corner. It is time to fight back. We are living in a World’s major event and our generations to come will read about this Pandemic in their history book. It is up to us on how we want to write our own history book.  
Now, pick up your pen and start doodling. 

Coronavirus Cases: (n.d.) Retrieved from 
The Power of Positive Thinking. (n.d.) Retrieved from  
Illustration by: Meryl Zhou

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