March 28, 2020

Semi-lockdown

A month or so ago I told myself I'd start blogging everyday—it was just around when things felt like they might start slowly be getting back to normal in Hong Kong after our January-February citywide social and professional distancing weeks. Over the past ten days, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases have taken a turn upwards, with borders around the world soft-closing and new infections entering Hong Kong from abroad. At the moment, we're back in professional and social distancing mode: offices are operating on a work-from-home basis, people are avoiding going out, gatherings of more than four people are prohibited for the next few weeks, and restaurants are seating parties (of four or fewer) at least six feet apart. It's a whole thing.

Rainbow light installation outside the Landmark Mandarin Oriental
I don't want to go into the whole introvert lifestyle thing too much, because it's so overdone it's pretty much a social media meme at this point, but there's some truth there. Social distancing hasn't been hard for me. Because while professionally I thrive on teams in collaboration with great people, in my non-work life, I prefer the freedom and self-determination that comes with being on my own. Maybe it's because I'm the oldest of three and was an only child for about six years before my brother was born, or because I'm a late-Gen-Xer, grew up in a Dinkins-era don't-take-the-subway-after-8-p.m. New York, lived a pretty sheltered childhood, and I didn't have the internet until I was 18 (and even then, the internet wasn't, like, useful or anything, I think 99 percent of my internet usage for the first four years was for organizing late-night Thayer chicken tender runs via Blitzmail). Fast forward to today and it's this knack for amusing myself that I think allows me to move around within the rules, regulations, and parameters of this semi-lockdown with a relative sense of freedom intact. Maybe it's an illusion, I don't know, but when you can show up at restaurants and ask for a table for one, go places on your own and close the door behind you, take walks around the city and in parks and maneuver around and away from strangers... this isn't all that different than normal life for me? I'm a cliche, I know, I see it on social, all us Gen Xers, maybe we all have an introvert muscle memory we've tapped into.

Speaking of Gen X, I'm really proud of Gen X for doing so great at podcasts. When I listen to some of my favorites, specifically Tim Ferriss and Peter Attia, I feel like I develop a better understanding and acceptance for myself and how I am.