Two days ago, it was still possible to grab a drink at a bar. Two weeks ago, hundreds of thousands of people were still crossing the JB-Singapore causeway daily.
But the causeway is now closed, and so are the bars. COVID-19 is changing the way we live and work – and it’s all happening so suddenly too. We’ve put together a few tips to cope with these lifestyle changes and, most importantly, stay safe and healthy:
Working from home
A lot of us are experiencing an office exodus as more and more companies are introducing work-from-home arrangements.
But for some of us, our homes are designed more for watching Netflix than for working.
Chin up! In a FlexJob survey of over 7,000 people, 65% said they’re more productive working from home, citing benefits like fewer interruptions and reduced stress from commuting. Here’s what you can do to create a makeshift work station that’s more conducive for getting stuff done:
A clear physical space does wonders to help achieve a clear mental space. That neglected Christmas gift from 5 Decembers ago? Sell. That storage container you use to store other unused storage containers? Sell.
Then, set up your workspace.
Dedicate a desk solely for work use. Yes, working on the sofa is comfy (and don’t even mention the bed), but the point of setting up a physical workspace is really to mentally get in the zone.
Don’t have a desk or chair to make into a workspace? Consider getting foldable ones so you can put them away once you no longer have to work from home; getting them second-hand on Carousell can also help to save on the cost.
Stick to a schedule
Given that you can pretty much roll out of bed and start work, it’s less clear when you’re actually starting and ending your work day.
That’s why it’s important to establish a schedule and stick to it, so you don’t end up jumping back in bed at 4pm, or find yourself still staring at that excel spreadsheet past midnight. A smartwatch that can deliver reminders at specific times to your wrist, maybe?
With the reassurance that Singapore has a robust strategy to ensure we don’t run out of essentials, panic buying has mostly died down.
Whether you’re grabbing necessities or online shopping when you’re supposed to be working from home (we won’t tell), keep these tips in mind:
Don’t overbuy or underbuy
Buying extra supplies is fine – it’s great, in fact. This keeps your grocery trips to a minimum, so you can maintain social distancing the rest of the time. Buy that extra pack of chips or that extra box of tissue paper, but just don’t go overboard and stockpile a month’s worth of groceries.
Everyone’s hit hard by the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, so there’s no more crucial time than now to support local businesses!
Shopping locally also means you’re more likely to get your orders delivered to you more quickly, whereas international freight services might be delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
You’d be surprised by the number of local businesses you can find just by doing a quick search on Carousell. To get over the boredom of staying home to work, try looking through the Toys and Games category for the latest Nintendo Switch games you can start on during your break time! Stay safe by opting to receive your items through mail instead – so as to minimise contact with others. Read how you can protect yourself and your wallet here.
Both physically and mentally, we mean.
Clean your home
Home is the safest haven, especially in this time when social distancing is, and will continue to be, a big thing.
If you’re staying in to avoid the virus, that’s all the reason you need to do a thorough cleaning job of your home. Try these affordable home cleaning services!
Follow health guidelines
For instance, wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds before, during and after your meals, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
(And no, scrubbing twice as quickly for 10 seconds doesn’t count – 20 seconds is the amount of time the soap molecules take to “activate” and do their job on your entire hand. Science says so.)
P.S. We know things like face masks, anti-bacterial handwashes, thermometers might be sold out in stores close to you. Here’s a collection of these health-related items that our Carousellers are sharing and selling on Carousell!
A lot can change in a 2020 minute. Lockdowns. Stricter social distancing measures. Newly discovered clusters.
One of the best ways to stay updated is through this Gov.sg Whatsapp subscription. Sign up to receive the latest information about Covid-19 through Whatsapp. These updates also include clarifications about fake news that may be making its rounds:
But also, unplug when you need to
That said, the feeling of being bombarded with all the media coverage of what’s happening in the world can be overwhelming.
Sometimes, the better way to exercise self-care might be to unplug and take a break from it all, or at least limit your news intake. Especially in the social media world, where there’s often more speculation than real, reliable news.
Take the time to focus more on who you have around you, rather than what’s happening around you. Make time for strengthening relationships with the people who matter – even if it’s while maintaining a certain physical distance, or just through a text to check in on how they are.
Here’s a heartwarming statistic: 76% of people say that surprisingly, social distancing has improved their social relationships. Apart but not alone!
Even if these lifestyle changes prove to be inconveniences, it’s a small price to pay to keep ourselves and our loved ones virus-free. Stay healthy, everyone!