My partner went to the supermarket early last Saturday. We are fortunate, as this supermarket is well-stocked throughout the lockdown period, and thus, there was never the need to fight over food.

Last Saturday, there was a queue, though not an excessive long one. A young girl, in her twenties, wrapped up in face mask, headscarf and wearing headphones, totally absorbed in her own world, unintentionally joined the queue in front of someone rather than at the end of the queue. She was totally oblivious of the annoyed mutterings, as she was plugged into her phone, jigging to some music, lost in her own world.

To my partner’s shock, the crowd turned aggressive at the girl, yelling at her loudly and angrily from their social distance 2metre positions, calling her vile names. Her ‘crime’ – even it was intentional – did not merit the aggression, for how many times have we ourselves made the same mistake of queue-jumping? Before my partner could intervene on her behalf, the girl fled, badly shaken.

Covid-19 has undoubtedly affected us emotionally. We are scared, we are confused, and we are angry.

My one wish for this period is for us to channel those powerful emotions into tomorrow, rather than raging at today, as tomorrow is going to need us more than ever. Our lives will be changed, that’s for sure, in the months and years to come. These are the four major changes that the world will experience:

  1. Oxfam estimates that 4billion people will be pushed into poverty;
  2. People will not have a job to go back to;
  3. Those with jobs (not the super-rich, but ordinary working people) will feel the financial pinch of low savings rate, higher taxes, more expensive cost of goods;
  4. A number of children will be discombobulated from this period, either from being taken out of school, disruption to their routines, experience of violence and sexual abuse in the home, separation of parents, and yes, anxiety too.

I strongly believe that together, we can make tomorrow better if we channel our huge emotions in this direction rather than anger, fear, hate and rage. I will be writing posts on this I the coming days and weeks, but here’s one for starters that I would like to share with you from my friend Cindy.

Cindy loves shopping, especially clothes shopping. She buys clothes on the Internet. I could never understand that, but she says, “It’s great! If the clothes don’t fit, I just send them back! Many companies offer free returns too….I don’t even have to pay the postage!”

Here’s what Cindy shares with me. Since Covid-19, she is more mindful about how much money she spends. She still buys stuff on the internet, but these days, she leaves her purchases in the basket overnight, rather than clicking to the check-out immediately.

If she still wants the items tomorrow morning, she will then purchase it. Often, she finds that she does not, but she had been buying things because it is too easy.

Cindy says the best thing about this strategy (apart from not impulse buying) is some companies will email you and offer 10% discount or even more to entice you to complete the purchase!

She says she will donate some of the money she has saved with this strategy to Oxfam to fight global poverty. Win-win situation, I must say. I hope you like the Tip#1.