2020 is such a downer. COVID-19 has affected everyone. No one was prepared. No one expected to probably last this long. In Cebu, the government has closed the airports and sea ports and we were placed under Enhance Community Quarantine starting March 27, 2020.
Life has been pretty slow since then. I have been in such a low mental state because of the recent events (see my previous blog). But in between those period, there were some insightful realizations.
1. Emergency only fund
Most financial advisors would recommend three to six months worth of your monthly expenses for you to live by in case of emergencies. I have set aside some “fund” in case something comes up. But due to the extent of the pandemic it was not enough.
True to that, it didn’t last. Hence, I had a game plan to religiously (i.e. slowly but surely) rebuild my emergency fund. And to only dedicate it to emergencies (guilty of some situation as “emergency” even though it wasn’t an emergency in the first place).
2. A company that values you
This pandemic has definitely shown how much your company values you as an employee. Everyone including big multinational companies are having difficulty because of COVID-19. Business is slow yet there are companies who put their employee’s safety and well-being first. Hands down!
Companies are obliged by the government to provide measures in order to protect their employees from COVID-19 such as providing PPE, controls such as barriers, signage and demarcation lines for them to follow at work and transportation. There are even companies who arranged financial scheme for employees to have an income despite not being able to work.
Though it will not always be perfect, but a company who protects your health and support your cost of living is a good company. Also, if you are still working despite this pandemic then be grateful.
3. Work from Home is OK if you have resources
With the onset of the government’s mandate to control COVID-19, it was encouraged for companies to have Work From Home (WFH) scheme. This is an option given for most employees who are essential yet cannot travel during the Enhanced Community Quarantine. However, some companies have decided to extend their Work From Home until early 2021.
But Work From Home does not fit for all people (when I say All people, I meant myself). I tried WFH for almost two weeks because of reports and permits that I needed to submit and apply. But I guess it really depends on the resources you have. My internet connection was okay but my laptop was not in its best condition. So I always end up accessing the government sites through my phone. Making reports that would usually take me around an hour would take me mostly two hours.
I do not really have the best set up for Work From Home, ergonomically that is. I had my desk table removed around five years ago and replaced with a bigger dresser. Should this be a sign?
4. Online is the way to go
I usually pay bills through banks or bayad centers. But early this year, because of the worsening traffic in Lalu-Lapu City and my packed schedule, I decided to try online transactions.
At the start of the Enhanced Community Quarantine, most establishments were closed and it was too worrisome to go out. So it was convenient to pay bills through online. I was really glad that I shifted to online transactions. A shout out to my tech savvy colleagues who encouraged and taught me online banking.
5. Keeping your peace is important in times of pandemic
Everybody has their own opinion. They can post it on any platform they want (given that they follow certain rules). During the pandemic, I can see a lot of posts in Facebook and Twitter and they were mostly negative.
I even read tweets that it is quite insensitive for people to post things not related to COVID at the moment. But I was reassured by my friend that I can post things that I want (at that time, I even post rarely). She told me my posts were like an advertisement from all the negativity on her timeline.
After hearing her thoughts, I was reassured. Then, I posted things that I like. Everybody has their own way of coping up with the pandemic. You can’t impose on people what you want. But you can control your actions. Unfriend, Unfollow or Deactivate. The choice is yours.
There are probably a lot more to add on this list. Realizations that we already knew but never knew how real they are until COVID-19.