Over the last month, ordinary delivery personnel have become heroes for many stay-at-home mommies and work-from-home ladies. If you’re both - well, they’ve literally become your lifesaver.
In many regions around the world, a state of ‘emergency’ has been declared to call war on the Covid-19 pandemic. These measures have manifested in the form of lockdowns, quarantines, movement-control orders (MCOs), partial lockdowns according to locations and more, as governments worldwide step up their game to battle this unseen enemy.
Only essential services: grocer’s, food shops, banks, telcos and healthcare centres remain open in many regions. Life has gradually slowed down. Many countries across Asia have been in full or partial lockdown, Malaysia has been placed under an MCO since mid-March, and as of April, residents are only allowed to travel up to 10km from their place of residence. Everyone is strictly required to be in their respective homes by 8pm; and in the evenings, the streets are mostly deserted and empty.
Singapore has just initiated a Circuit Breaker, advising all non-essential workers to stay at home until early May and it’s been the same for many other nations across the South East Asia.
The general question on people’s minds: Social distancing, takeouts, online shopping - how long will this last? Many wonder how long before they could enjoy ‘the great outdoors’ again? Will certain lockdowns be extended? It is a question that is hard to answer. With no cure in sight, how should we go about getting used to the current reality?
This new ‘normal’ is scary, and it’s totally fine to be worried. But we need to remind ourselves to do our part in helping those on the frontline of this war; who stay at work for us, so we stay home for them.
Some of the current measures will also likely remain, even post COVID-19: working from home is very likely to become a permanent fixture.
As a career platform, we’ve long championed the need for companies to implement work-from-home and flexible work policies. We all know that meetings can be held over Skype / Google Meet / Zoom and more, reports can be submitted online, collaborations can be done on Slack, - we've known for a long time now that lectures can be conducted online too.
The new normal gives us hope, because people are more aware of the bigger picture and a shared humanity. In a world that has been forced to be socially quarantined and keep its distance, something amazing has happened: all at once, everyone has learned to come together while being apart.
If anything, our hope is that traditional employers who were reluctant to give individuals the freedom to work from home in the past will now see its many benefits. This is how we are going to get through this ‘new normal’: we need to think collectively and not be individualistic. Beating this takes everyone’s effort, we all need to see the bigger picture.
We need to be selfless and fiercely responsible in these trying times, and no matter for how long, we need to brave it together to ensure the greater safety and wellbeing of our communities.
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About half the sky
half the sky (HTS) is a career platform for women in Asia. We connect women to career opportunities at companies that care. We also want to equip you with information, tips and strategies to navigate the workplace today and the future.
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