In his 'Dear Covid-19' letter, chief marketing officer Johannes See shares how staying home let him rediscover important things at home.
Dear Covid-19 is a memory project by the National Youth Council (NYC) in partnership with DSTNCT, to shed light on everyday life when Singapore came to a standstill as everyone stayed home.
This is a collection of letters to COVID-19 from young Singaporeans from all walks of life, each going through their own struggles and/or victories. The following story was submitted by 35-year-old Johannes See, a chief marketing officer, on May 12, 2020:
Thou art has been a bitch. Everyone had hoped for 2020 to be a new year that promises progress and opportunities. But all that has taken a drastic turn when you came around to wreak havoc to the world and caused everything to
arrive at a standstill.
If you must know, I have always been pretty extroverted and I'm one who moves out and about in Singapore. My life has always been on the streets, moving from one office meeting with a customer to the next coffee catch-up with an old friend, or swinging by at a social event and then rushing for date night with my girl.
But with the circuit breaker, and along with it restrictions placed on places I love going to and activities I enjoy, comes a new-found realisation and discovery. Curiosity about the world has led to another curiosity of an unexplored terrain – my home.
Setting up my home work station has been fun and it gave me an excuse to redecorate my study area of sorts. It has since given me a good space to re-evaluate my work life and career moving forward.
While setting some long-term goals for myself for a time after COVID-19, I also had to think about setting some short-term ones during this circuit breaker.
A couple of weeks prior to the nationwide-imposed circuit breaker, my Shih Tzu Marsbar passed on due to unforeseen circumstances, which thoroughly made me realise the fragility of life. I made a silent promise to look after his sister Panda whom I think still misses her brother.
This circuit breaker has allowed me time to pay more attention to my dogs Oreo, Timmy, and especially Panda. Taking them for their 5pm walk has now become a routine which the dogs will not take without me if they could. Now, these dogs are unofficially my home office managers when I work and (more than ever) a much bigger part of my life.
Moving further inwards, another integral part of my life which has been temporarily taken away… my fitness regime.
To be honest, I'm the kind of gym-goer who needs the motivation of a coach and fellow trainees to get my fitness game on and thus I appreciate my time at the various gyms and fitness centres I attend.
Having to work out via Zoom and other live stream channels is a change of pace and kind of reminds me of those old-school cheesy '80s aerobic workouts that used to be on television. But unlike the '80s and thanks to modern technology, I am able to interact with my instructors and fellow trainees whom I know are busting their butts doing the same workouts from home.
All in all, there is always a silver lining and thus I've come to appreciate what you have done and how you have guided me towards appreciating home and everything in it in the last couple of months. And I strongly believe I'm not the only one who feels this way.
So that being said, thank you COVID-19, because the joke is on you.
(PS – Please leave the country soon, we are really just tolerating you... not accommodating you.)"
If you would like to contribute your stories, click here.
PHOTO CREDITS: JOHANNES SEE
Feeling bored at home? Hop on to Cr8studiosg to watch chat shows, stand-up comedy and music performances! Or visit MehGoWhere.SG for more resources or things to do!