We're in a pandemic now; I haven't gone out of my house for the past three weeks. My routine just involves working extra long hours in my cozy bedroom, enjoying meals home-cooked by my loving grandmother, squeezing in bit of exercise, and having more live conversations with my family.

The world may be in a horrifying state of emergency, but overall—I feel calm and collected. I'm just within the confines of my home, with enough food, reliable internet connection and full awareness of my privilege. What more could I ask for? I actually miss seeing people live in the flesh, but this desire is now trivial in this context.

Paradoxically, this alarms me. Should I be in panic like the rest of society? Will this calmness and content end? I should also be doing something. After much thought, I believe I've been doing so—both in concrete and basic ways. The world doesn't need another individual in frantic and shellshocked state.

The more concrete ones: donating to charities for frontliners and affected families, and keeping myself updated (in moderation, mental health matters too!). Another personal contribution, which I've been doing even before this calamity, is practicing excellence and kindness — at work and in life. This could be easier for other people, but as an ambitious Capricorn, I needed to exert more effort to pull this off. These should not be mutually exclusive. I'm working on striking a balance between these two principles.

All is in pursuit of this ultimate desire: I just want to love and be loved, to bring value and be valued. "How could this update be about myself again?" as I thought. But what can I do, I've got no other means but myself right now. I think I'm not alone with this sentiment.

I also would like to cultivate my connection to humanity — without losing my core I've been building all my life. The newness that will expand me, vs. the newness that simply isn't aligned with who I am. Distinguishing these two is actually what my later part of my 20s is all about. - EM

Note: The featured photo is a snapshot from the DOH tracker