I was at home reading the newspapers when I first read about the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China. It was in December 2019. I didn’t think it would travel out of Wuhan. I thought it would be a localized disease. Slowly, this novel coronavirus traveled overseas and infected many people in my country. There was a shortage of face masks, hand sanitizers and thermometers. Panic buying had depleted the stocks. Next went food staples. And toilet paper.
I had been working from home intermittently for the past decade or so. I’m used to working from home. When the local authorities said almost everything must shut down for social distancing, quarantine and anti-Covid-19 measures, I felt a small tinge of regret. I already had little social interaction and this new announcement would nearly totally eliminate my need to speak to anybody outside my home. I went out only for grocery shopping and to my doctor’s clinic. I stopped walking around the neighborhood to exercise because was afraid of catching Covid-19. I had to buy non-grocery requirements online. Books, stationery, clothes.
My hometown was slow to respond. When it became apparent that crowds were vulnerable to catching infections, social distancing was called for. My city has many construction developments and their builders lived in dormitories that could house thousands in a building. The builders used to mingle in construction projects and social activities. Subsequently, their close contact across physical spaces made them susceptible to catching infections. Covid-19 testing determined positive results which irrevocably told who had the illness.
Many people stuck at home started baking bread and confectioneries out of necessity and comfort. I couldn’t operate my gas oven because it wasn’t safe. Plus, I wasn’t allowed to gain weight as that would wreck havoc on my blood pressure. My life was made easier during the lockdown phase of Covid-19.
I think the world will be changed because of Covid-19. My region wants to establish their own supply and demand chain to feed the local community. There would be multiple sources for any one item to ensure its regular supply availability. People are more aware of the need and benefit of social distancing. I saved time by not having to travel far to perform chores. I used this time to read books, or write. I bought books by indie authors. I learned some good lessons from them.
When at home, I dressed in my home clothes. These are essentially T-shirts and shorts. If I had to go out for groceries or to the clinic, I wore a pair of long pants and a blouse. I learned I was feeling sad and then slightly depressed during the first period of lockdown for isolation. I didn’t think I would last very long. After 6 months, it became clear that a vaccine wasn’t going to be ready anytime soon. I resigned myself to the fate of living with Covid-19 lurking in some human beings.
This is not the end of this story. I’m sure there’s more to write after today, October 6, 2020.