[Part 6/6] Staying Positive During CB: A Chat With Marcus & Alicia
This is the final article in our series. Read our previous interview with Kevin and Hui Jun (Part 5) and Jim Ng (Part 4).
In Singapore, the first case relating to the global outbreak was confirmed on 23 January 2020. A stringent set of preventive measures collectively called CB was then put into place in order to break the chain of transmissions in our community. As the daily number of new community cases has declined significantly, Singapore is on track to end the CB on 1 June 2020. Hunkering down at home has given most of us the opportunity to spend more time with our family members. No matter if we're happy with the status quo or aching for normalcy to resume, there's something we can look back at and remember fondly during this period.
In this interview, we have a chat with Marcus and Alicia to find out what they have been up to during CB. While there's definitely going to be less time on hand once the CB is completely lifted, this period has definitely got them in an introspective mood and has given the young family a new perspective on things they did not notice pre-CB.
Hello Marcus and Alicia, can you tell us a little bit more about yourselves?
Marcus: I’m an in-house legal counsel for a technology company. My 2 adorable kids – Nate and Claire, take up most of my time. When I can, I indulge in my passion for classic cars and good whiskey, (but not at the same time, of course).
Alicia: I’ve been in the banking industry for more than 16 years. Work can be stressful at times, but I’m thankful for a supportive husband and loveable kids. After a long day juggling between work and kids, I like to reward myself with good food and a glass of champagne. Champagne makes everything better.
Can you share with us how a typical day is different now from before the outbreak?
Marcus: Before the outbreak, on weekdays, it was always a mad rush in the morning – From getting myself ready for work, to getting the kids ready and sending them off to their grandparents’ place, and finally, making sure I reached the office on time! Now, we can afford to take things at a more leisurely pace. However, on the flip-side, the morning conference calls do get interrupted often, and we are frequently distracted by what the kids are doing (or not doing, as the case may be).
Alicia: I am able to get a little more sleep these days. I don’t have to wake up so early to do my hair and make-up. The kids get more sleep, too. So, they wake up happy (no tantrums to deal with). We get to eat breakfast together as a family before I start working. This was not possible before as it was always a mad rush in the morning, trying to get out of the house to beat the traffic and get to work on time. I also try to do more stretching and short exercises these days, which really helped with my neck and back aches. Before the outbreak, I had to visit a Chiropractor weekly to ease the pain.
How are you coping with the outbreak? What are some challenges that you’ve faced in a time like this?
Marcus: I cope mainly by taking it one day at a time, and one week at a time, and focusing on what we can do to celebrate once we are out of the CB period. Being cooped up at home for so long can certainly take a toll on your mental and physical health. Also, finding ways to entertain the kids, whilst not giving them too much screen time, can be really difficult.
Alicia: There have been anxieties from the uncertainties in the beginning. I reminded myself how fortunate I am to be safe at home with my family. Having positive thoughts helped me get through tough times. I was particularly worried about my parents, who are at higher risk due to health issues and age. Now that I am not able to visit them, I try to check on them via Whatsapp messages and video calls.
Can you tell us what has been 1 positive thing that you’ve noticed during this outbreak?
Marcus: Being able to spend more time with the kids during this period has been a positive. Watching them play together (and annoy each other, complain about each other, fight, and then play together again) at close quarters, has been interesting to say the least.
Alicia: I have always been envious of stay-at-home mothers who are able to watch their kids grow up and do things for their kids. This outbreak gave me the opportunity to stay at home and do just that. I get to take care of my kids, bathe them, teach them and chat with them. And the best part is that I get to do all that together with my husband.
With the circuit breaker measures in place, many have to change the way they work and live. Can you share with us what are some positive new norms that you’ve developed during this period?
Marcus: It is hard to separate home life from work life, when it all takes place in the same area. As such, you really have to train yourself to compartmentalize, and I do so in the form of setting aside certain hours of the day to do certain tasks, and trying to keep to them. It is also important to take regular breaks, and get enough rest (on Weavve sheets naturally).
Alicia: I’ve made more effort to connect with friends and colleagues now than I ever did. I find myself being more understanding towards my co-workers and have been making attempts to communicate with them not just for work matters. It has helped build better relationships. The other positive habit I developed is exercising. I have never been a fan of exercises and my excuse was that I was too busy to do that. Now there is no more excuse. I take 15-20 minutes each day to do simple exercises.
What else keeps you going in a tough time like now? Any advice to share with others on how to stay positive?
Marcus: This period has given us some time to really think about what’s important in life, and not to take the little things for granted. This is going to make us better people at the end of it. Also, looking forward to another family vacation when we can finally travel again!
Alicia: Starting each day with a grateful heart. Gratitude creates greater happiness. And this positive vibe affects not just yourself, but also the people around you. Be thankful for small and simple things/events, like having our favourite food for lunch, eating in our very own balcony, or being able to stay in our comfortable bed (with the softest Weavve bed sheets on) for 5 more minutes in the morning. Fill your mind with positivity and watch yourself become a happier person.
As you have bought our sheets before please describe Weavve sheets in one sentence.
Marcus: Our kids really love sleeping in the “cloud”!
Alicia: Our kids requested for us not change their sheets because it feels like they are sleeping on soft fluffy clouds.
Featured in this photo is our Tencel Classic Set in Cloud.
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