Do you know that montage from that young adult movie where the society has undergone an almost apocalyptic situation, whether it’s zombie attack, a monster outside your house that makes people do suicide, a monster that attacks sound, alien invasion, and at the start of that movie there were this shots of empty streets, people are being paranoid, and people wearing protective gear in a post-apocalyptic world? It was just like that right now, except that this is not a movie. This is our reality now. 

According to wikipedia, a survival horror movie plot is where the protagonist must overcome a risky and life-threatening situation they must endure, due to some circumstances (like zombie attack).Or you are in a pandemic. Sounds too familiar? 

Now, as the situation that once seems so far away is happening too close to our reality. As the situation worsens, companies worldwide have taken measure to work from home to stop the spread of the virus. People stop going to places, restaurants closed down, we must all adapt our routines to cope with this situation. 

Usually, I spend one and a half hour to two hours commuting from my house to my workplace. At first I thought about what I could do with all this extra time in my hand. I could make my own lunch like what I did in college, I could learn something new on my time break without judgement, I could also work with the TV turned on. I thought, I can live with this situation. 

As I currently work in a startup, the idea of working remotely is not all that strange. You are used to working with people who are not physically there every time. I usually pick to chat via slack even though the person is only a few metres away. As my third week working remotely, I open my slack, I see these bold groups that I have not read, I read the news for a bit to keep updated on the situation out there, wishing that this all will be over and I could once go to my favorite coffee place.  

However, it is not easy to try to act like everything is normal in this global crisis. The feeling of “working from home” that you used to have is completely different once you are obliged to not go out. It is a very stressful time when you hear in the news that everyone’s jobs and livelihood, whether you are corporate workers, gojek drivers, restaurant owners are at literal stake.

You read from a whatsapp group that one company already did a layoff, and to buy this to support this local business to keep it running, people are posting on linked-in on yet another tip to do WFH (as if we don’t know it already).  

I scroll on my instagram and see another challenge, another cooking recipe, and I tell myself not to panic and focus on the matter at hand. We give so much pressure on ourselves to make use of the time given at home to be productive that we ended up not being productive at all. 

I really hope it does not come to that. The economic depression of people instantly losing their jobs because of social distancing. We need to have the empathy to understand people will cope with this differently. 

I wish us all to live a long and fulfilling life. I hope we can come back stronger from this. The lesson learnt in this crisis should give us a perspective on how we can make better use of our time and to separate what’s essential in our life.

I hope soon you can eat at that restaurant you love most, and we can freely watch horror movies in the theatre together again, we can maybe go to a jazz concert, maybe co-found a startup, or open a restaurant, once this is all over.


In between weekend and overcaffeinated days, Najwa writes as a co-contributor of Hello Millennials as a form of sharing platform where she hopes to share her two cents on the brighter side of being a millennial on this day and age. As a proud alumna of The University of Edinburgh and Institut Teknologi Bandung, she has taken interest in international business, emerging markets and technology.

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