Renee Tan is not one to sit still. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, her social calendar was chock-full of activities. At least twice a week, she played bridge at the country clubs, and caught up with her friends over dinner or lunches. She also had spa treatments and attended some of the hottest soirees in town.
With the circuit breaker measure in place now, Renee is getting accustomed to a new way of life. She tells us how her routine has changed and how she and her family are coping during this period of time.
Can you describe what a typical week was like before the virus outbreak?
I’d be mostly out of the house, occupying myself with activities to stimulate my mind and body. At least twice a week, I will be playing bridge at various country clubs. I would also catch up with my friends over lunches or dinners, attend social events or indulge myself with spa treatments. My Sundays are reserved specially for church services and my family.
How has your routine changed now?
Since the pandemic, I’ve stopped my bridge games. I also stopped going out with my friends, and Sunday is either home-cooked lunch or dinner with family.
How are you and your family coping during this circuit breaker?
To be honest, I feel like a prisoner in my own home. I love travelling and the fact that it has been restricted upsets me as my family go on yearly cruises and to our holiday home in London. But I know this virus is scary as there is currently no vaccine for it. Even my church services are conducted via Zoom.
My granddaughter, Kara, follows the local and international news. She has been moved by the grief and pain that thousands of people all over the world suffer each day. She now devotes her time making thank you cards for delivery people and frontline medical health workers.
Meanwhile, my son, Samuel, and daughter-in-law, Karen, have undertaken the responsibility to shop for our daily needs so David, my husband, and I feel very loved.
What are some challenges that you’re facing in a time like now?
Observing hygiene can be a challenging chore because every item bought from supermarkets, wet markets and stores must be wiped down and sanitised before keeping them away in refrigerators or cabinets.
Any advice to Prestige readers on how to stay positive at this dire time?
Although the current circuit breaker has restricted mobility, we have learned to appreciate how we live our lives. Life is too fragile. We have to and must be socially responsible. The world has survived through several pandemic outbreaks in the past. We must remain vigilant and follow the WHO and our own government’s guidelines and not panic.
Despite the tough time right now, what are some bright moments you’ve noticed?
Fear paralyses a person. I choose to believe that God protects me. I find peace by going to church and praying for Wuhan, and now I pray at home for the rest of the world to be able to control or eradicate this virus.
What else have you discovered about yourself during this period?
Although being house bound makes me miserable, I count my friends who are active in social media send me regular COVID-19 updates as one of my blessings. You know the Ernest Hemingway’s quote of “There is no friend as loyal as a book”? Well, I managed to do a lot of reading to pass time without much distraction. Another blessing is that I have become more self-reliant — I coloured my hair and did both manicure and pedicure at home by myself!