Covid-19 and more

I apologize for being largely absent on this page. In the last 10 months, I’ve been penning my thoughts everywhere but here. Some days I retrieve random scraps of papers buried deep and forgotten in the back compartment of my bag with equally random musing, other times I flip open my notebooks to pensive, broody entries. But all’s good.

This time the impetus for writing is to memorialize, lest my goldfish memory fails me, this whole whirlwind of events that are happening around the world and concomitantly to my little universe. 

Of course, we’re all hard-hit by this Covid-19 pandemic and it will indefinitely impair our lives for at least a good couple of months. So much fear and anticipatory grief all around, distress and sorrow for some, but generally a lot more anxiety and inconvenience for us all. That said, I’ve managed to draw some positives from this ongoing episode and also still count other blessings in life. 


So, the climbing gym, boulder+, I frequent and do some fun work for was unfortunately hit with our first Covid-19 case, also patient zero (henceforth known as 142) in the climbing community. A lot of vitriol and abomination spreading in the circle because of the few hundred people 142 forced into quarantine. 

Having left the gym 45 minutes before he entered, I only escaped quarantine very narrowly. I’m going to be upfront and post an unpopular opinion here but I stand with 142. He may have not made the wisest of decisions, esp. since his family was involved in a big known cluster in Jurong, but I don’t think he needs to be chastised or condemned :( We’ve all been stupid to different extents and made selfish choices, although with dissimilar repercussions, but guess we could do with a lot more love and kindness in such trying times. 

Anyway because of 142, I’ve got my first taste in crisis management and corporate communications handling b+’s social media accounts. I’m not formally trained in this field so a lot of it was down to educated guesswork and staying true to my being but ‘honesty’, ‘timeliness of information’ and ‘engagement with the community’ were the three important things that led the way for me. Some of the things we did were to get healthcare professionals who climb to answer Q&As from our climbers; sharing books and movie lists curated by our community to our quarantined friends amongst others. It was good fun, a great learning curve and overall I would like to think we did pretty well :)

for anyone else who wants some rec :D

Oh, the icing on the cake was when one of our regular climbers proposed a #bpositive t-shirt, in support of the gym, got it approved, designed and printed in a matter of days. Other less exciting and stressful behind the scenes would be masterfully timing and carefully wording the announcements, answering inane questions and checking copy when you’re exhausted. Very thankful for people I can trust 100% to fact check and read for me any time of the day – Smellywelly and Hakeem. 

In spite of the economic uncertainties and instability, I’ve received a proposition to maybe teach inter-disciplinary mod/s at my *dream school* (fingers crossed) and also the opportunity to work with a few individuals struggling with mental health issues at a Family Service Centre in Jurong. Extremely grateful for synergy and alignment in things I’ve got an interest in and paid work.

In the last 8 months, Nad and I have also been going in to prison to do some work with girls inside. I’ll strive to write more about the entire process (hurhur) soon but some of our girls are out and I think this is where the real work starts. Previously, I’ve handled mostly boys, so this is going to be interesting… and err… a lot more dramatic I foresee.

Lastly, for me to remember on days I feel like giving up on these ‘kids’:

-       Merv is gonna graduate as a naval diver soon!

-       Ayil was signed by an S-league club in Jan :’)

-       Leo, Hilmi & Ady are serving the nation and not in trouble

-       Hifzhan is back to climbing

Also current read - Deviant Behaviour: A Text Reader in the Sociology of Deviance. If you sat through this entire post, thank you and have a good day x

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