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After COVID-19

tuwang profile image TuWang ・4 min read

Software Engineers are perhaps used to working from home (or working from anywhere), so that wan't a challenge at all. Silly as it may sound, despite all the horror brought by COVID-19, it has forced me, or perhaps my generation, to reconsider how we live our life.

Human beings are often obsessed with second chances, or should I say, we often abuse second chances: the mindset of, oh okay, I can make it right next time, makes it extremely hard to make any progress today.

Through 2020 we have heard enough of harsh stories about COVID-19, so that's not what I plan to write. My retrospective of life is rather simple and silly.

breakfast: orange juice, avocado bagel with salmon, onion and eggs:
breakfast: orange juice, avocado bagel with salmon, onion and eggs

It hits me hard that for 30 years I haven't built any daily routine; until now, forced by the virus, of course, I am cooking three meals a day, planning home essentials, and exercising properly.

None of these needed much of my attention because either a school system guided me to follow a routine, or during work, I simply get things done in whichever easiest way (i.e., store-made food, ad-hoc workout classes). Right, I don't plan much about the daily routine.

If it costs you a little more but saves you time, why bother planning out the day? I used to think.

Grocery stores are the only place I visited routinely through the past two weeks for basic stuff: vegetables, meats, noddles, fruits, another bunch of cooking ingredients. It's almost a shame that I got excited about every little improvement that I made to my meal: if it tastes a bit better than last time, it fancies with truffle honey this time, or if I cooked the sunny-side-up just about right without burnt.

making progress with sunny side up:

making progress with sunny side up

I celebrated my 30-year birthday at home with self-cooked steaks. I was happy to see myself doing all these cooking gigs, feeling like I got the David Chang spirit after all. Oh, what a shame, I'm 30 years old and just started taking care of myself. I have to point out, WholeFoods expenses add up quickly, especially after I saw a couple in front of me paid $489 for groceries, wow!

Another thing that struck me for a couple of days was the classic joke of toilet paper rush. I wasn't part of it because I thought, what idiot would do that?

Toilet paper rush must be just a sarcastic meme - jokes on me.

A few days into Safer At Home order, I found myself standing in line at 7:45 am, waiting for WholeFoods to open, just trying to get some paper towels & toilet paper. They were all sold out, of course. However, the WholeFoods kept failing to deliver paper products in its Monday & Wednesday load (i.e., load means one shipment of products, and yes, I even learned the correct terminologies at WholeFoods), so I went there four mornings in a row.

Humans are fragile. I had firsthand experience, not even talking about the virus itself. With a bit of losing control, missing toilet paper, or skipping a meal, it gets me oddly uncomfortable. All of my so-called zombie apocalypse skillsets are not useful at all to this occasion just yet. It's an awkward state: I kept wondering if I shall be more cautious or if life is going to be just fine shortly after.

Luckily I have a place to stay and have family around during this hard time. There are more profound thoughts when I think of my past 30 years of life, but that's just too heavy to share, right? Wait, it's 5:39 pm, I need to prepare my dinner now :)

I wasn't appreciating physical materials as much, but now I'm so grateful for my surroundings more than ever. For every meal, I intend to prepare and eat without wasting; for every piece of paper, I attempt to reuse as much as possible. Oddly enough, COVID-19 forces me to rethink life: what if I were born in difficult time where even a piece of paper is luxury? what if there isn't enough of food for everyone anymore?

Without reflecting too much fear here, I just hope to live a bit more thoughtfully from now; appreciate what I have and share with those in need. I forgot to mention, a complete stranger helped us with new masks; that was, hmm…, pretty personal moment for me. Yeah, you get the point: appreciate what we have and try to help others. I'm going to stop right here; I already sound like my parents in the first week of my 30's : )

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work is spaghetti and i am the meat ball


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