Editor’s Desk

 

The pandora’s box of the pandemic

The Pandemic has opened up a Pandora’s box, so to speak, of troubles, of changes affecting humans negatively and an unknown future. This near-future, post-COVID-19 especially, becomes the new normal. It is also akin to a revolution in the way we work and the way we view work.

As it panned out, this work scenario is quite unexpected. Many organisations based their future plan by extrapolating from the current situations before the pandemic struck. However, events turned out most unexpectedly.

Critically, the uncertainty is also the pandemic’s duration and severity. Therefore, there is not one but many scenarios that may be developing and will run its course.

One “new normal” that has been displayed is remote working. It is a world where the emphasis is on work rather than the office – a virtual workplace, communication and result-based tracking.  The nostalgic “old days” may never return in its old form. Thus, it is also a cultural change. Surely, working from home to be sustainable or profitable, new boundaries have to be recreated and office norms re-defined. For instance, where the staff sit and where meetings used to be held in conference rooms may be replaced with zoom or google meet. Remote working means no commuting – saving on travel time, accessibility for people with disabilities and helpful for caregivers. Nonetheless, the rights of the employees should remain unchanged.

The digital approach was already the way forward before the coronavirus crisis. It has happened in many cases – like the “contactless experience“ in F&B, and “virtual showroom” for various commodity models. Due to the need for social distancing, some changes have taken place inevitably. It is noted that the previous doctor-patient model may have to be adjusted. Many universities, even the elite ones, are embracing remote learning which was frowned upon previously. In more than one sense, the pandemic has accelerate the digital transformation which has already started before the COVID-19, but at a sluggish pace.

The world has to a great extent adapted to the pandemic. We need to accept reality. With purposeful optimism, we can make the uncertain future a better one.

On that note, we should never discount the human spirit and will. Amidst all the disruptions and inconveniences – like social distancing and isolation to slow the spread of the virus –  one should never feel you’re alone in feeling anxious, sad or even resentful due to the loss of freedom. Our government is fully behind us –together we’ll emerge stronger. To deal effectively with the daily changes, let’s start a wellness plan for our body. mind and spirit. It is good to maintain a daily routine – such as having enough sleep, exercise and healthy eating. To keep our spirit up let’s learn to accept the reality and what we cannot do. Instead, we can focus on what we can do, like enjoying our hobby. Start each day with gratitude and thankfulness. Connect (safely) with others; share with and comfort one another.

Be Strong and Keep Hopeful.

Dennis Tan Wu Chen

Director’s Note

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