COVID-19 started in 2019. For me, officially, once I landed in Asia for vacation last year. Since then, we are watching numbers of COVID cases in China rise and stories and experiences of COVID patients cured and uncured. It was Chinese New Year. In China, it is considered a mass migration time, where people commute to go back to their family to celebrate Chinese New Year. 2019 was indeed a traumatic Chinese New Year for many, as they brace through the risk of contracting the viruses.
We see more and more airport closures and restrictions. To get back to Canada, I have to connect through an airport. There was no direct flight, and to avoid being stuck in Asia, I decide to leave a week earlier, went back to Vancouver and self-quarantined myself for 10 days. The flight experience was different: protecting myself and others with a mask -I am not sure if I will be out of breath first or otherwise. At Hong Kong International Airport, they tested my body temperature. All other airports have yet to implement the temperature check or have gone through the temperature check, unknowingly. Luckily, I have arrived safely and even manage to attend a BCFT Supplier Night and go around Vancouver for another month.
Things got really serious when the WHO declared a pandemic status. That’s when things started to be really serious -attention was focused on COVID-19. Our life has turned into how to live with COVID-19.
- Social distancing
- Mask requirements
- Ran out of sanitizers, masks and soap at the grocery store
- Food stocking at home
- Temperature checks before entering malls and workplace
- Sick call without doctor note. If you are sick, stay home
- Social bubbles
- Work from home /Zoom meeting
- No in-person Meetup
The biggest mystery is why and how we ran out of toilet paper? What does toilet paper have to do with COVID-19?
Fast forward to 2021; we got quite used to the global pandemic restrictions.
Jobs and Industry
The economic growth is still down in the hospitality and restaurant industry due to the shift of trends to work and staying indoors—many struggle to maintain or find jobs. The pandemic has also created traumatic experiences for those who have lost their families, friends, jobs and freedoms. Feeling lonely?
There is absolutely zero shame in acknowledging that you have developed some mental stress over the pandemic period. It would be shameful not to recognize that you need help and not to ask for help. Just know that if you ask, someone will be there for you.
Zoom fatigue -is a thing, and I love to talk about Zoom fatigue in the next article. Let’s keep that out of this for now.
Working from home is a norm and for me, as a food safety consultant based in Vancouver. Flexibility to work from home meant I don’t have to travel to help my client in Toronto or Asia. It saves travel time and doesn’t translate into the cost to my clients. My clients still get the amount of support and guidance (if not even more) with a fraction of the cost.
Ever had a friend that you haven’t met since COVID and communicate solely on a phone/ video platform. Our social life is based on social distancing. Even walks became a social distancing walk. As I am writing this, we are in a limitation mode in Vancouver, whereby we are only allowed 2 other friends that do not live in the same household with us.
Business meetings? Are transformed into Zoom meeting.
As much as COVID-19 had brought many troubles to our life, it is important to look at the bright side. We cannot change what we can or cannot do, but we can choose to live with it. That being said, I am excited about the vaccine to get this restriction over finally. I can’t wait.