COVID-19 has been upon us for over a year now. We did get to experience a normal Chinese New Year (CNY) celebration last year, but this year is different. For better or worse, COVID-19 has changed many things, some may be temporary, but others, permanent.
As unusual, or not, as it may seem to be, I somehow ended up being far busier. Some might have noted the notable decrease in the blog posts that I’m publishing. There’s quite a backlog of products waiting to be reviewed. Some are done, but I just hadn’t finished the write-up. This has been the case for over half a year. Every time I hope that I’ll catch up in the next month or so, I end up still being just as busy.
I had been quite puzzled about this busyness. Doesn’t working-from-home mean more time flexibility? Yes, perhaps. But it turns out that adjusting to change also takes up time. We aren’t up to the same level of efficiency in our new way of doing things as compared with our old ways. Certain jobs can easily be done remotely; others require adjustments, and maybe, gets hampered and greatly inconvenienced by new constraints placed by COVID-19 safe management measures.
Most of us want some form of normalcy to return. In 2020, we hoped 2021 would be back to normal, if not by mid-year, then perhaps by year end. As 2020 drew to a close, we had to accept that it would not be the case. Even as several vaccinations came to be approved in several countries at the end of 2020, it was evident that it would not be enough. Worse, the new COVID-19 variants that came to be discovered triggered new worries and more uncertainties. We would be in for a long fight.
It is also clear that even if Singapore can get the COVID-19 situation under control, and want to normalise business, trade, and travel, that will not be enough. We need other countries to be on their road to normalcy too. We wanting to welcome visitors, does not mean that visitors will want to come. Our place and relationship with regional and global economies are not new challenges that we face, but the COVID-19 situation has definitely brought new dynamics that we need to grapple with.
2020 has taught us about needing to deal with changes. 2021 will continue to reinforce lessons that change, as cliché as it may sound, will be a constant that we will always have to deal with.
I didn’t mean to write this post with a sombre or depressing mood. On the contrary, it is a reminder that we need to readjust our mindset, and to be prepared for continual change.