WHY does it already feel like it has been an exhausting year?

We’re just eight weeks into 2020 and we’ve been getting stomach churning headlines after headlines. Is there an off switch we can press somewhere?

A few of days ago, I couldn’t find my hand sanitizer that I’ve been bringing with me everywhere. I was frantically looking for it at home. I promised myself that I was not leaving home without it.

After stuffing my giant 500ml isopropyl alcohol into my bag, I eventually found my tiny little hand sanitizer in the pocket of my jacket.

A couple of months ago, I couldn’t care less if I lost my tiny hand sanitizer. I could just wash my hands when necessary. But the Covid-19 news rather are unnerving and taking all personal necessary precaution against the disease is just about right.

While there is still much to learn about Covid-19, the disease has been teaching and reminding us a lot about personal hygiene and cough etiquette. Reminders of hand washing, social distance and cough/sneeze etiquette are aggressively advertised all around and people have been more mindful. For most of the people I met who were down with the flu, they were wearing surgical masks and practicing the right social distance.

I hope this practice continues. That we are mindful enough of not getting other people sick.

In a travel group on Facebook, someone asked if it was okay to travel to Japan despite the worries over Covid-19. One of the members replied that people shouldn’t be worried over the sight of people wearing surgical masks in Japan because it was a normal practice already. In Japan, those who were down with the flu automatically would wear surgical masks to prevent any spread of their flu. That’s mindful practice.

I hope we build the same mindful practice.

But, surgical masks and hand sanitizers can be costly. For a good chunk of our population, buying these items can be a luxury that most cannot afford. Even the simple act of hand washing remains to be a challenge where running water and soap are scarce. I hope access to water can finally be given to the most vulnerable sectors of society so we can help them practice the right preventive measures to help curb the spread of any disease.

Humanitarian care is important. Let’s take care of each other. Stay healthy, everyone.