Living alone might sound common, but what if I add more phrases to the situation:
"Now, how about, you’re living alone, in a new country, as an expat, during COVID-19, and the government here imposed a nationwide lockdown as a concrete act on prevention."
The (Ugly) Truth and Consequences
The second after I heard about the MCO (Movement Control Order) regulation, I was shaking and cannot believe my ears as I already pictured what was going to happen in the next few months.
All the questions that might, came up as ; "what should I eat?", as I never cooked before. And all restaurants might close due to COVID, how to differentiate green vegetables as I only know the names, not the shape; how to make sure I buy ginger, not galangal; when is this gonna end; where can I get an extra mask; will I survive this pandemic or, worse come to worst: if I die here, which cargo would deliver my dead body to my home country (you gotta believe me, I did check to the local cargo delivery)! Your head is spinning without any rational reason. Now watching Kingdom Season 2 will not be as scary as I watched Season 1 since reality now is even scarier than a whole bunch of those zombies. Okay, this depression hit me hard.
As time went by, I thought I would not fit with this current condition. Other times, I felt like giving up everything and going back to my safest comfort zone, my home country.
But then I realized there are a few things that made me survive and I will be forever grateful for these few things.
Sudden Sanity Checks
"Hi, you alright? Please stay safe there" or "You finished work? Let's play Plato"; these two messages will not be the same if you receive them on a daily basis. Come on, who would play Uno or Ludo online, when you can just go to your friend's house and play until you’re wasted. Or who will ask you to stay safe when the world is still revolving as per normal. Like a mantra, these simple messages can be those magical words after a long stressful day at work, even if your work is only 2 steps away from your bed. You're also likely to start thinking that there is a human being out there who cares about you and wants to make sure that you're still alive and kicking.
Being an Expert making the ‘First Move’
Never in a million years would I have thought I could be able to make the first move on some cute guy, I have a thousand reasons not to do so. But who knows being trapped in my apartment could change myself into a new person. I started texting my guy friends about random things, opening up about my current struggle, talking about rubbish, and asking whose idea it is to secretly spread this virus all over the world -- jokingly, of course. I just can’t run out of topics when it comes to talking to cute boys.
Becoming the Best Version of You
I believe my mother would be so proud to see me right now. I would cook three meals a day, seven days a week. Not to mention, now I can make some simple desserts on the weekend. Despite this COVID drama absorbing so much energy, I am learning something new, starting to open up the old sappy romance book that I have, learning to rap the hard hip-hop song that I love to listen, writing a wild travel plan and I am suddenly into economics and politics. And the most important thing is, I called my parents more often than before.
Simple Things That Matter
I cannot imagine how COVID-19 has lead us all into this situation. Taking a hot shower might be considered a recreational activity, going to the lobby counted as an exciting trip, meeting the McD Delivery guy can bring such joy to my hectic day. Appreciating small things in my life now has become one of the critical acts of mental balance.
Side-note: There is no safer place than your own home where your family is, you might create a scene but trust me if you happen to be trapped at your house with a complete family gang, or your partner, or your partner plus your baby, hug them now! and be thankful, as you have a real support system ( at least you can play Uno with real cards, look them into their eyes, and tell them "honey... it's your turn to do the laundry”).
Second side-note: If you keep moving forward, you will realize you can see things in a different light. Even if something happens, I will get the best treatment in the current country I live in. I am not alone after all, and even though I am a single expat living on my own, my health has been valued as high as other local citizens here as well.