COVID19 has abruptly thrown our lives into unprecedented times, testing our resolve. It has taken over life as we know it, our work, daily routines, and entertainment. However, through adversity, it has also sown the seeds of hope, endurance, and perseverance. Stories that show us that with solidarity, we can carry each other through the hardships.
Together, we are stronger and better. A critical and strange time in history, we will have a story to tell now and in the future. As we adjust and adapt during this pandemic, we invite people to share their stories of new normal with us.
Our series begins with:
Through the Eyes of Parents & Children
“Rather than saying our negatives or positives, the real casualties of Covid-19 are families who are impacted by the economic downturn, and families of those infected. This situation has brought out the best & worst in humanity. People are a lot more selfless in helping the needy, but at the same time, you do see selfish people who panic buy and not adhere to safety measures.
To be honest, we feel the schools in Singapore are doing an excellent job of educating the children about Covid-19 and how kindness and personal hygiene are essential. We think kids handle the situation better than most adults. There is a deeper appreciation for what we have and where we live because other adults as well as children around the world may not be as fortunate and are probably dropped into the deep end of things. We remind Anisha that she is fortunate to be surrounded by her toys, still have her favourite food, and talk to her friends via video chats. We explain to Anisha about the importance of personal hygiene and social distancing and how it will help us get back to life as usual soon. We also share stories of how medical workers are putting their lives at risk every day to render care to others, and not forgetting essential workers who are working hard to make our lives easier during these tough times. This has been a learning lesson for all of us and a strong reminder that we cannot take anything for granted.”
As parents, we have found Anisha to be adaptable and resilient, as a child, she has taught us to see life positively. She keeps on each day with a smile and rarely complains about not being able to do things she normally does. Despite our circumstances, we see happiness in her, Anisha is happy that she spends more time with Daddy & Mummy. Sure, she misses her friends at school and her time at the playground. She has adjusted very well to the current stay at home situation as something that must be done and looks forward to going back to school. For Oscar, the challenge is working from home and having a stable work routine during the day. As a mother, I juggle with more roles; teacher, cook, friend, playmate, etc. It is a challenge to keep Anisha occupied with meaningful activities such as baking, cooking and jigsaw puzzles as such personal time for me becomes a struggle. I do, however, encourage her to help me around the house with simple activities such as cleaning, putting away the laundry, sweeping and wiping the table down after each meal. These life skills are necessary I feel, especially during times like this, to remind Anisha to be self-sufficient.
This isolation has also helped to strengthen our relationship with Anisha and our family. She looks forward to going once a day to the field so that she can play and spend time with Daddy which before Covid-19 was not the case. We now do more phone/video calls to immediate family members, even with her cousins in the UK whom Anisha only sees and speaks to once a year. During this solidarity of isolation, everyone is making more of an effort to keep in touch which has taught us to value our friends and family more.”
“I see my children as my world and life; we are blessed to have very understanding children. We have been honest with them and share every detail of the situation. They understand why they must stay home. Neither has questioned why they cannot play or swim, which is their favourite activity. The only thing they tend to do some days is to look out the window and say, when can I jump into the pool? They are fully aware of the situation that is affecting us all now.
Still, the challenges of the situation remain, with our daily lives and movement disrupted. The biggest negative for my family is not being able to spend time with my parents and brother. My children and I visit my parents (their grandparents) daily. Not being able to see, hug and kiss their grandmother has been the biggest struggle for them. Just thinking of the times, we live in is surreal; it feels criminal to hug your mother.
Managing their schoolwork is also another challenge. Mad respect to all teachers out there. Though I as a father hardly do much with their school work, the odd 1 or 2 questions do come around but the home minister, aka THE WIFE, handles all their work. She sits with them until they finish while doing her work. I respect and appreciate my wife because truthfully, I would not know what to do without her. I see today how much focus we all place on work when truly what matters during difficult times is family. I tell the children that we are one, and as a family, we will protect all we cherish and love.
While the situation now is hard, it is not all bad for it is a matter of perspective. I get to spend a lot of time with my children because we are all at home. It is a lot of movies, games, and bonding just amongst us four, one that I enjoy very much! The truth is, nothing much has changed for us as a family, we have raised our children, to be honest about their feelings and never to feel like they cannot talk to us. They tell us everything. So truthfully during this time, there is nothing new to learn. Our relationship has been strong. My kids jump on me as they used to, the only difference is now they have more opportunities to do it since I am home all the time! My only worry is they have been spending so much time indoors on their iPad; they might not want to go “outside and play,” when this is over.
“We understood the importance of family. Before the virus hit us, everyone was busy with their own lives; work and outings blurred the lines of reality. As parents, we looked for “Me Time” after we reached home, spending time with each other or the kids was a matter of fact. But during this period, as we spend more time with our family members, we truly see them and learn more. The unfortunate situation has brought the family closer together; we have learnt more about our interests and those of our children’s, which has allowed us to strengthen our bond through activities.
During this difficult time, I believe the priority would be the safety of our loved ones. To do so, constant communication and reminders have been passed onto our children. We have also been sharing the recent measures rolled out by our government and the impact the virus has on us with the kids. By doing so, the children understand the importance of personal hygiene as well as the Do’s and Don’ts, thus keeping themselves safe.
We are also most concerned during this time about the development of our children. During the circuit breaker period, there has been a dramatic change in the education system for the children. Parents are required to work from home and may not be able to focus on guiding the children with online learning, especially when the parents are not trained to do so. The challenge has been juggling work and the well-being of the children.
We wish for nothing more than the well-being of our children. We want them to be healthy, safe and we stay at home so that we can all get through this.”
“When we look at our children now in the current circumstances, all we want to do is to protect them. Put them in little protective plastic breathable bubbles and keep them safe from the harm and dangers of the outside world. We lean on each other for support; we always say that the kids need us more; in fact, we need them more to keep us going and sane during this period. They do entertain us with their crazy antics! Without them, this circuit breaker period will be a mundane and routine thing for us! We also realised that kids, just like adults, have mood swings. There are good days, and then bad days. Days that they want to cling onto you all day and then there are days where they get sick of you and want their time alone. Children have feelings too, and, in our household, they are welcome to express it. As parents, we understand and respect how they feel.
For our firstborn, who is in primary school, he does home-based learning. We recognize that this will be the new norm. It is tough when you are juggling the other kids and paying attention to his schoolwork at the same time. It can get a little crazy sometimes with all the kids wanting attention at the same time; we have three kids! And the other challenge is to remind them to stick to their new routine of keeping themselves clean and explaining to them about the current situation and what we can do if we ever get infected or affected. Keeping them healthy and ensuring they have enough activities to entertain them all day is tough!
Sadly, we are not able to spend time with our extended family as we always do. Our children miss their grandparents, aunties, and uncles as we used to spend time together over the weekends. We also miss doing outdoor activities. The children are missing school and play dates with their friends. The fact that we are unable to move around freely as we used to is hard for us as an active family. Our primary concern is the health and safety of our loved ones and who will care for our children should anything happen to us as parents during this time. As daddy is an essential worker, he goes to work every day, which is worrying for us. Tough times do not last forever; tough people do, so we must be kind to one another for we must focus on the We, not Me to get through this.
On a positive note, we spend more time, learn new things about each other and do activities that are meaningful together. We keep in touch with loved ones using technology. The elders keep their minds active as they use their smartphones to video call us, send us voice notes or messages with emoticons on WhatsApp! We appreciate them more during this time away from each other. Like they say absences makes the heart grow fonder right?
HOW ARE YOU COPING WITH DURING THIS CIRCUIT BREAKER PERIOD. SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH US OVER A VIRTUAL COFFEE!
Contact us at (+65) 8100-7064 or (+65) 9488-2725 OR write to us at hello@writehausasia
About WriteHaus Asia
WriteHaus Asia is a Singapore based branding and content agency. Founded in 2016, we believe in accelerating brands through content, video/photography, digital media and branding. We believe in dynamic storytelling for lasting conversation between your customers and your brand.
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