Making sense of my COV-19 Stay At Home Days

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Hello World, how have you been doing so far?

I’ve decided to start penning (or perhaps it’s just typing) this post because I know that n months down the road I would look back upon the months and wondered what I have done or perhaps how much of my life I have wasted by staying at home. If you’ve been following me since my New Zealand weekly updates, you would have known that staying at home/doing nothing ain’t for me. I’ve spent most of my non-working days out of my house, walking some track and trails or visiting the grocery store or meeting friends for a meal. On days where I really had nothing to do and stayed at home, I usually end up baking and/or cooking. This stay at home nonsense is totally not for me and I’m proud of myself for maintaining my sanity (or perhaps I’m already half gone) for the past 38 days, since I arrived in Singapore.

In the past 38 days, I had 4 days of semi-freedom (pre-circuit breaker in Singapore) where I had meals outside of my house with friends. Since Singapore went into ‘Circuit Breaker mode (which means that we are not allowed to get out of the house for non-essential needs + dining out was no longer possible) on 7 April, I think I only went out of the house 5 times or less in the past 20 days, each time to either do grocery shopping (or perhaps baking needs shopping) and having food takeouts. Unlike western countries, food takeouts are very affordable in Asia which is why food is essential to our daily lives. On the other hand, I barely do takeouts in New Zealand because they are usually pricey (except for Subway and fast food).

We have 36 more days left in this kind of life and I decide that I’m gonna write down everything that I have done (in this post which would be updated regularly) and hopefully it might give you some ideas of what you can do with your time as well. I’m not sure how many people are as fortunate (or perhaps unfortunate) as me to be unemployed. While I do not enjoy the thought of having to eat into my savings (which was supposedly for a trip to Germany/Australia/South Korea/Taiwan/Hong Kong) to survive the days, I do enjoy the slow pace of life and having nothing important to do on a daily basis. I am appreciative of my situation (having a roof over my head, not worrying excessively about the future) but I am indeed somewhat dying of not having the social conversations, entertainment and activities beyond my home. Alright here we go.

(Update: 19 Jun 2020: As at 12 midnight today, Singapore has finally lifted its measures to ‘Phase 2’ where we can finally meet our friends and dine in public spaces (max group of 5). I hope that we can only go forward in this matter. The past 92 days had been a rather interesting time for me and the days ahead will be known as ‘unemployment’ and no longer ‘stuck in circuit breaker’. Wish me luck.)

Books

I discovered audiobooks in New Zealand after I was bored with my Spotify music (we could listen to music while working). Thankfully, my country’s library has allowed us to access quite an extensive e-collection and there’s a lot of books that I have completed to date.

Since my #stayathome days, I’ve completed these books: ‘How May We Hate You’, ‘Quit like a Millionaire’, ‘Becoming’, ‘Everything I know about Love’, ‘Becoming’, ‘So Much I want to tell you’, ‘101 Amazing facts about Japan’, ‘Alice in Wonderland & Through the looking glass’, ‘Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982’, ‘The art of non-conformity’, ‘All Over the Place’, ‘In Five Years’, ‘The subtle art of not giving a F*uck’, ‘South of the Border, West of the Sun’, ‘After Dark’. (15 books)

The titles that I didn’t finish included: ‘Girl, stop apologizing’, ‘Wild’, ‘The defining Decade’ and a couple of crochet book which I didn’t have the feel to take out my crochet needles.

Books in my recommendation list (including those that I’ve read in NZ):

      • Becoming by Michelle Obama
      • Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam Joo
      • Around the World in 60 seconds by Nuseir Yassin (Nas Daily)
      • The ride of a lifetime by Roger Iger (CEO of Walt Disney)
      • The path made clear by Oprah Winfrey
      • The next person you meet in heaven by Mitch Albom (I kind of love all his books)
      • Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery (it is also a netflix series)
      • The making of a manger by Julie Zhou (I really love her insights)
      • Love for imperfect things by Haemin Sunim
      • The things you can see only when you slow down by Haemin Sunim
      • The art of non-conformity by Chris Guillebeau
      • All Over the Place by Geraldine Deruiter (Travel, True Love & Petty Theft)
      • Homeless by Liyana Dhamirah

Baking/Cooking

  • Banana Cake x 2
  • Apple pie
  • Castella Cake (the one with honey; mine failed on the texture)
  • Almond Ground Cookies x 2
  • Earl Grey Cookies x 2
  • Earl Grey & Lemon Cookies
  • Passionfruit Cookies
  • Steamed Egg Pudding
  • Burnt Cheesecake x 2
  • Japanese Rice Cooker Cheesecake
  • Japanese Cheesecake (Bake)
  • Peanut & Sesame Muah Chee
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Taiwan Castella Cake x 2
  • Chocolate Chip Mochi Cookie
  • Chocolate Chip, M&M Cookies x 2
  • Brown Sugar Pearls x 3
  • Brownie x 2
  • Lemon Brownie
  • Bak Kwa & Spring Onion Bread x 2

Online Learning

Sadly, I haven’t found the justification to pay for certification as I would have greatly preferred offline learning compared to home-based learning. I’m just learning most fundamentals for now and assuming the CB has ended and I’m still jobless, I will look into getting a proper certification (that’s if I can figure out which specialization track I would like to explore)

  • General Assembly
    • Introduction to Data Analytics
    • Introduction to Data Science
    • Introduction to Digital Marketing
    • Introduction to Digital Nomad life
    • Introduction to Agile and Scrum
    • Introduction to Google Analytics
  • Coursera
    • Introduction to SEO Fundamentals
    • Entrepreneurship (Wharton)
  • eDX (Harvard)
    • Tangible Things: Discovering History Through Artworks, Artifacts, Scientific Specimens, and the Stuff Around You
      • I did not finish this course and I mainly did their videos without doing any of their assignments. Conclude that Harvard students to have a certain caliber which I don’t think I will ever qualify.
  • Data Camp
    • Introduction to Python
  • Lynda
    • Learning AdSense
    • Learning R
  • NTUC eLearning Hub
    • Introduction to Cybersecurity
    • Blockchain for Cross Border Payment
  • Emarsity
    • Digital Advertising (Google Ads & Facebook)
  • Click Academy
    • Mastering Analytics and Data (Using R)
    • Google Analytics (ongoing)
    • Blockchain for Professionals (upcoming)

Software Learning

  • GIMP (A free software that is perhaps 70% similar to Adobe Photoshop.)
  • Learned how to make gifs which can be used on Instagram
    • UPDATE: Got my GIPHY account approved which means that the GIFs I created is searchable from Instagram

Financials

I’ve been trying to look at the stock market and not feel so sad about the red in my portfolio. It’s not active and the only thing I’ve done was to make a very bad sell at the wrong timing. I still have a bit of funds to play around and everyone is just waiting out for the real low? Somehow, I can’t seem to master this area in knowledge and interest. I guess I’ll keep on trying?

I’ve also started using apps to track my expenditure. Will blog more about such apps in a separate post (hopefully it gets done)

Started on:

Trying to earn money from the stock market but nowhere near that goal ๐Ÿ™

Blogging

  • Designed new square logo for my blog and re-branded my Facebook page
  • Calculated how much I earned across the years (peanuts)
  • Blogged about drama filming locations – CLOY and The King
  • Blogged about Jay Chou’s japan locations for his variety show…..
  • Finished my New Zealand blogging – how much I earned and spent
  • I’m almost done with adding photos to my weekly NZ updates.
  • Blogged about more lifestyle articles – eLearning and financials

Video Editing

Varieties, Dramas & Movies

Completed

  • Beauty Inside (Korean)
  • Anne with an E (Canadian)
  • Itaewon Class (Korean)
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama (Documentary on Netflix)
  • When the Camellia Blooms (Korean)
  • Coffee Prince – REWATCH (Korean)
  • When the Camelia Blooms (Korean)
  • The King: Eternal Monarch (Korean)
  • Hospital Playlist (Korean)
  • J-style trip (Taiwanese)
  • Eternal Love (China)
  • The Romance of Tiger and Rose (China)
  • Mystic Pop-up Bar (Korean)
  • Oh My Baby (Korean – Jang Nara)
  • It’s Okay to Not be Okay (Kim Soo hyun)
  • Backstreet Rookie

Ongoing

  • Was it Love (Song Ji Hyo)

Given Up

  • Money Heist
    • Somehow the storyline seems too draggy for me. I may give it a chance after all the seasons are completed, but for now, I’ll stop watching
  • Grace and Frankie
  • Youth with you 2 (Chinese)

Movies

  • Love Wedding, Repeat
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Kim Ji Young, 1982
  • The Half Of It
  • Saving Face
  • Il Mare
  • Blue Gate Crossing

Documentaries/Reality

  • The Toys that made us
  • Restaurant on an edge
  • Channel news Asia inside.
  • Indian Matchmaking

PC Games

I explored this area during my initial 14-day stay at home. I started with Theme Hospital, a 1997 DOS game that I never completed when I was younger. Even after playing it for a week, I have yet to complete all stages and kind of given up. My friend (in compulsory Stay Home Notice) recommended me to continue with Sims 4, with her account with expansion pack. I did not play with cheated and lasted about 3-4 games before giving up on the game. It has been more than 3 weeks and I have not re-visited these games so.. perhaps it will be a really long time before I explore these games again. I tried to play SimTower (an all-time favourite game of mine) but it was super laggy on my computer and gave up.

Games with friends

  • skribbl.io – a drawing game that you can play with your friends on web browser.
  • Werewolf on Telegram
  • Werewolf on mobile App
  • Jackbox TV
    • this game was originally on PS or Switch but it has now moved on to web-based and we used zoom for a screen share

Mobile App Games

  • Disney Tsum Tsum (I re-started this after 2-3 years of hiatus?)
  • Disney Pop Town (New game, similar to candy crush but really difficult with limited lives refresh)
  • Werewolf Mobile App (It’s fun yet agonizing at the same time)
  • Duolingo (A language app which can help you master languages. I’m re-doing my Jap and Korean and somehow have not progressed much)
  • Rilakkuma Farming Game (but gave up at Level 30)

Finally, the 2 most unspoken things for me because it’s so hard to even get started..

Exercise

  • I paid for a 1-month subscription for ‘Just Dance’ and I think I played only 5 to 6 times so far? Oh, and I had a wave of stomach flu earlier this month (and I was out of action for about a week). It was super annoying because I had a fever and my mum insisted that I went to the GP for a check despite all my symptoms pointing at stomach flu.
  • In addition to my ‘dancing’ exercise, I’ve also started to do exercises like stretching and yoga poses which don’t involve much sweating as it feels very awful to sweat in a very humid Singapore.
  • I went out for a 1-hour night walk from my house to the beach and came home with toe blisters. I guess.. my feet have gotten too comfortable.
  • I bought a bicycle and cycle 3-4 times.

Packing My Room

  • I bought a clothes rack to hang the clothes that I wear often, outside of my wardrobe but somehow the quality was crappy and the clothes rack gets shorter everyday (maybe I hanged too many clothes)
  • I packed my unused skincare and cosmetics into a compartmentalized box so I can review what I have and stop buying unnecessary items. I also started using all the packet samples, as an attempt to clear off as many things as possible. I also sold a brand new in box FRESH toner bought one year ago at 30% off because it was the most valuable and sell-able skincare from the collection of stuff I didn’t need.

Lastly, yes I’ve been applying for jobs but I don’t have much good leads. I’ll continue to keep a lookout but I’m seriously not hopeful at all. Well, back when I was still in New Zealand, I wanted to give myself 3 months to look for a job that I like. Now, I’ve extended the timeline to the end of the year and.. I’m still not hopeful. but let’s see.

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I think that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing for the past 38 days? Sadly, I haven’t been having much video calls with my friends which was pretty much the same as my life when I was in New Zealand. Somehow, I guess the long term stay in New Zealand has made me less reliant on friends for social support? It seems like I’m able to live the loner life (surviving on social media messaging) pretty well but having to be stuck at home is a little worse.

Another thing that made me even more upset was that the circuit breaker, which was originally ending on 4th may has been extended till 1st June. In addition to the closed businesses, they added bubble tea into the list and it kinds of sadden me as this sweet treat is like a short-term happiness in my life. Now that I’m counting, I think I drank it only 7 times this year? Perhaps it may sound like a lot (almost 2 cups per month) but I might have been drinking 2 or more cups per week in the past (pre-NZ days). I drank Gongcha twice in Christchurch (NZ); in Singapore I drank Play Made twice, Wo Ai Tai Mei once, Koi once andย the last one was from the neighbourhood shop (which was not nice at all), bought right after the government announced that it was official that these places were closing. To add on to the list of happy food disappearing from our lives, McDonalds was also advised to close after having a few staff infected with COV-19. It’s awkward for a popular fast food chain to close but.. this is life. We can’t predict the future and things just happen.

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Today is Day 47 (since I got back from NZ) and I think I kind of figured out a plan for my days.

My day starts between 10am to 12noon where I wake up and read the newspaper + have breakfast (if any) or perhaps on sometimes I go straight to lunch.
After lunch, I will laze around the living room area (depending on whether there is anything to watch on TV) and perhaps play some mobile games. Some days, I go out to takeaway lunch and perhaps visit the grocery store to buy some (not so essential) baking needs which I often can’t get my hands on.

After lunch, I usually go up to my room for some.. work. It can include listening to podcasts, watching e-learning videos (some of which I never complete), designing GIFs, fiddling with my website be it on blogging, cleaning up or designing stuff. Also, I try to look for jobs and apply. I felt kind of desperate today and I applied >10 jobs though I think I’m interested in less than half. I’ve come to the point that job applications is kind of like fishing where you need to cast a larger net. Of course, I hope to find something that I like but the situation is so bleak that getting a job (and being able to get out of the house for a reason) triumph over interest and future.

After dinner, I will watch (the very boring) TV shows and it is kind of like family bonding time, though I spend more time online browsing/playing mobile games.

After the TV session, I will go back to my room and do some random stuff before I shower. After I shower, that’s when my Netflix time begins. I’ve been sleeping between 2 to 4am each day, depending on how addicted I get to whatever show I was watching.

I go to sleep and I dream (most of the time) but I can’t recall a shit when I wake up. And the cycle repeats.

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Today is Day 92, and it is likely the last time I will be updating this post. Perhaps years (or maybe months later) I will re-read this post and wondered how life was like under a ‘lockdown’ or ‘circuit breaker’ mode. From tomorrow onwards, I’m willing to accept that I am a contributor to the unemployment rate of my country. One year ago this timing, I was jobless too but I was not actively looking for job as I was preparing for New Zealand. So it’s kind of like a same same but different emotions? The happy-sad truth is that the world (and humanity) has yet to defeat the virus (and may never will) and that masking up is the norm. As much as I like the mysteriousness a mask can give me, I’m really frustrated with the breathing and I have no idea how to deal with it long term with the humidity. On the other hand, I hope that this responsibility can really help us defeat the virus, eventually. I need to go overseas (reason why I work) and I need to be in Korea perhaps in December this year? No one knows what the future brings but now I’m like super determined to get a job. I’ve given myself 3 months to search for something I like and I guess now it’s no longer time to be picky and choosy.. I’ll just need to brace myself up for the uncertain uncertainty. Cheers.

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How has your life changed so far? Any tips to share with me so I can maintain my sanity?

Last Update: 19 Jun 2020

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