The Three Rs for Life During the COVID-19 MCO: Routines, Reaching Out and Reflecting
HIGH SCHOOL SERVICE, SUSTAINABILITY & COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP
We have been complying with the Movement Control Order (MCO) since March 18, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to take over the world.
By now, most countries in the world are affected by this disease.
Sadly, the death toll continues to rise every day. So, those of us who are healthy, we can do whatever we can to help contain the spread of the virus and live our lives as meaningfully as possible. Let us think about these in terms of a different set of the three Rs: routines, reaching out, and reflecting.
Firstly, it is crucial to have a routine because, honestly, we are creatures of habit! Students and teachers alike are appreciating the scheduled class time and meetings via Google Hangouts Meet or Zoom to get together and speak with each other.
If our day were not organized with some basic routine or pattern, then it would seem like we have more freedom to do what we want to do, but at the same time, the use of our time may not be practical or optimized for what we want to do.
This is an age-old paradox, and while some individuals are capable of being productive and feeling satisfied in unstructured use of time, others find that they get a lot done and become more productive and fulfilled through some structure in their use of time. Another thing to watch out for is striking a balance between sedentary and moving activities at home.
This is where having a timer or a fitness device telling us to get up and move periodically proves to be helpful. Sure, we may feel ‘interrupted’ by the message ‘Move!’ coming from the devices and timers we set. However, if we do not take action, we become too inactive to sustain a healthy lifestyle that also contributes to our overall well-being.
Next, we can reflect and reach out to others with the understanding that ‘We are ALL in this TOGETHER.’ No one is spared by the virus, as we have seen to date, from infants to healthy young adults and athletes to the elderly, from the poor to ordinary citizens to the super-rich, celebrities, and political leaders.
For example, social distancing is something that we have been doing to help with this crisis, which has become the new norm across the world. However, we are learning in the news that this is a privilege - not something that everyone can practice depending on their living conditions. Some people live in small housing units in urban areas and crowded slums.
There are people, such as migrant workers and refugees, who are in a mass exodus to survive or trapped in detention facilities. Doctors and healthcare workers are in the ‘front line’ of this battle against COVID-19, and their health is at risk through their contact with the infected. Some are even contracting the virus or succumbing to it. So, not that we can provide ample spaces for the people who need them, but these and other dire situations across the world can change our perception of the circumstances that we find ourselves in.
Moreover, shops have run out of face masks, hand sanitizers, and other kinds of personal protective equipment (PPEs). Many day, seasonal and part-time workers are losing their jobs and drawn into the vicious cycle of lacking means and resources to protect themselves and their families.
And for those who live in places where there is not enough water, hand washing is also a legitimate challenge. Again, these make us reflect on our awareness, attitude, and approaches towards COVID-19 and the composite measures enforced by authorities and communities.
These reflections will hopefully lead us to take some action, through social media and other virtual means, to reach out and offer some relief through monetary and material donations, words of encouragement, empathy, and inspiration, and so forth.
The bottom line: Be kind to yourself and each other. Strike a balance between work and personal time. During the time of severe crises like this, we need to remember to take care of ourselves and each other. If we are healthy and well, we can reach out and help each other and those in need. We need creative problem solutions and collaborative modes more so than ever!
Please take good care and stay healthy and well. Together, we can move forward!
This article has been slightly amended and was originally written by ISKL’s High School (HS) Service & Sustainability Team.