Hello Lockdown My Old Friend

— 4 minute read

Day Three of Lockdown, Version 2. KL is now a red zone and a conditional movement control order (CMCO) has been issued. Over the last two weeks the situation had worsened rapidly and we went up to more than five hundred new cases per day, from a privileged position of less than ten in just early September. I am reminded of that one Korean lady who infected more than 5,600 people downstream to her. Complacency kills. I sighed a sigh of weariness and relief when the announcement came in.

Compared to the first lockdown, this time seems pretty calm. No panic buying that I can perceive of, no constant Whatsapp dings. I regret the disruption to my newly-established yoga routine, three times a week in a yoga studio next door, but move on quickly to consider Youtube videos (Yoga with Adrienne apparently is the way to go). My introverted self is reacting quite indifferently to the social isolation, no longer with jubilation but with a shrug. Lockdown life is no longer a novelty and there's little new to explore. Should I make tempeh again?

I'm trying to recall what happened in the last four months (since we emerged from the last lockdown), but details are hazy. I harvested my first tomato a few weeks ago, fruit from a seed planted in early May. Work went as work goes. I processed post-lockdown anxiety with two months of Morning Pages (about 1.5 hours daily of three pages of longhand journalling every morning), culminating to a productive visit to a therapist which helped me get out of my head. I enrolled into a yoga studio, trying out teachers patiently for a month until I found two that I liked, only to now lose the routine that I figured out two weeks ago.

If there's something that I learnt from the last lockdown it is the importance of mental health. Michelle Obama talked about going through "low grade depression" and without knowing what she went through, I identify with the term. If I were to describe mine, it would be this feeling of being constantly low on energy even though there was no physical reason to be so. In my head, everything seemed to take much more work. Being resourceful as I am I started to guesstimate how much energy every activity took and operated on a mindset of scarcity and rationing, which was in turn anxiety-inducing. Going out (post lockdown) was something that took a lot of energy so I avoided it, and so two months after lockdown I was still mostly grounded at home. Eventually I got out of my funk but haha. Hello lockdown my old friend.

In any case, it's not all doom and gloom. Last weekend I went for a women's woodworking workshop, one that I had booked about six weeks ago. It was one of the things I impulsively decided to do, without any reason, and without being able to rally any friend to go with. The workshops were so popular that I only managed to get an October date because someone had cancelled, and that was really fortunate because I slid in right before lockdown.

Made a multipurpose rack with power tools that I had never used before. One of the things that I learnt was that even if hammering is scary, I need to do it otherwise I would never finish my rack. So with reckless abandon I smashed the nails in, and busted only one. If in the future I bring my rack to a rack party and there is a rack mix-up I will be able to identify mine where the little error hole is. For that I love it.