Margaret Zalo

The pandemic is being compared to the Spanish Flu of 1918. As an introvert, I don’t mind spending time at home; however, having never experienced a crisis of this kind before, being required to stay indoors in contrast with the structure and routines I’ve gotten so used to feels a little strange. It is not a lifestyle I would choose. Perhaps the situation would be entirely different had we been living in the era of the Spanish Flu when the internet did not exist. Thanks to the internet, we can now have online classes, work from home, connect with others on online platforms and get instant access to the news. Nonetheless, I am also fully aware that having access to the internet and mobile devices is not a privilege that everyone has.

At the beginning of the year, I never would have thought that we would now be facing a pandemic that not only threatens human life and wellbeing but also throws normalcy down the drain. I had hoped to have finished my final exams by now but unfortunately the outbreak of COVID-19 meant that they would have to be disrupted midway and indefinitely as a safety measure to prevent the spread of the virus.

It is easy to slip into a slump during this time but I have tried to cope with the situation by maintaining my daily routine – getting up at my usual time each day and spending my time listening to podcasts, doing indoor exercises and some reading. Having recently started an internship, I have also been able to focus on working from home. I find that it is better to take advantage of the situation and direct my energy into doing productive and fulfilling things instead of being on constant alert of what is going on or being anxious about it.

It has also been an occasion for me to reflect on some of the aspects of my life that I may take for granted. I’m grateful that I get to spend time with my family who are my endless source of support during this time and remind me that were facing the crisis together.

The pandemic forces us all to realize that we are all interdependent hence the need to really think about our responsibility towards those around us. Staying in the present and accepting the situation as it unfolds is the only thing I can do to stay sane. I remain hopeful that this crisis will come to an end and I’ll be able to finally complete my examinations. 

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