It’s now 31 days since we’ve all stayed home in the joint efforts to fight Covid-19. The Movement Control Order which was first implemented on March 18 2020 has restricted our movement in a bid to bring down the curve of infection from the “invisible” virus.

Staying home during the MCO is a breeze for Tai Lung Aik. He doesn’t see it as a problem as he likes being home to spend his time productively doing the things he likes most. He is spending his time the past few weeks going through his collection of macro photographs and learning more photo editing skills. We made him pause on his house chores to ask him a few questions.

How are you coping with the MCO? What are you doing to keep your time occupied?

It’s actually not a problem for me. I usually like to stay at home on normal days and only go out occasionally to pursue my macro photography hobby. Since the latter is now not possible, I am reorganising and going over my collection of macros, butterflies and dragonflies pictures; plus upgrading my Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop skills.

Are you happy to get more time to spend with the family? Tell us how you are doing this?

I am spending more time with my wife; not an unusual thing. My children are staying in their apartments. So there is no issue of getting in each other’s way. But things can get a bit uncomfortable as my wife has to do a lot of cooking and she complains a lot. I help out by boiling water in the morning for breakfast, filling the thermo flasks for use throughout the day. Then, it is time to wash the clothes, hang them out and take them in when they are dry. After meals, I wash the dishes! So she cannot complain that I was not helping!

Have you found new hobbies while staying at home? Have you discovered you (or your spouse) can cook too?

I found that I have more time to improve my skills in using Adobe’s Light room, InDesign and Photoshop softwares. I used to cook for myself during my student days in Canada (survival cooking actually) and now I can put some of my acquired “skills” into the preparation of some meals. I don’t want to show too much of my “talents” or else wifey will tell me to take over the cooking chores!

How are you keeping fit and alert at home? Have you gained weight?

Keeping fit is a problem each day. I try to move around more, climb the stairs as often as I can and lose some calories in doing the laundry (taking out the clothes out to dry, bringing them in later. This helps to burn a few calories !!). My creaky joints and the piriformis syndrome on my hips prevents a more vigorous workout. I try on alternate days the shortened Tai chi exercise to work up some sweat. Usually, I get more exercise by doing planting and maintenance in our Community Garden but that has not been possible. I do sneak out once in a while, walked to our Community Garden and watered the plants. This has been difficult under the MCO. Thankfully, the rain during the last few days helped a lot! I do watch my diet and my weight has stayed almost constant (friends commented that I look as if I am 9 months pregnant)!

How are you keeping abreast with the news on Covid-19 and MCO?

I try not to bother about the news about the status of the Covid-19 outbreak locally and globally as they do not bring much joy to me. Instead, I go to my Facebook groups to share pictures of my butterflies, dragonflies and macro photography with fellow enthusiasts.

What’s your advise to everyone?

The Covid-19 outbreak should teach us to be more vigilant about future outbreaks of contagious diseases. This won’t be the first time we encounter such a threat to our wellbeing. There will be more in the future. Whatever that comes next, we should all cooperate with health authorities, practise sensible and safe ways to avoid infection. We should also be generous to others in need of our help, don’t be selfish and most of all, don’t be an a**hole!