Interviewed by Shonekaa Suthaaharan.
It has honestly been very scary. This pandemic has taught me that nothing is promised to you, and that we just have to be grateful for what we have because we never know when it will be gone.
What has working through the pandemic been like? What are some challenges you may face on a day-to-day basis? (if any)
It has honestly been very scary. I constantly fear for my health, and constantly fear for my family at home. I fear that I will contract the virus while I’m working, despite taking many precautions. I also don’t want to bring that home to my family or spread it to others around me. This fear nags on me every day that I go out to work. This fear is also one of the challenges I face at work on a day-to-day basis. I constantly have to find calm and think about things that will keep my mind off the situation of our world.
What's something about your role/job that most people might not know about?
One cool thing that people might not know about is that over my years as being a taxi driver, I have learned about different routes to get to the same place. I often like using these routes as it can get me to a place quicker than just taking a regular route. It also allows me to see different places as I drive along, instead of seeing the same old place.
It can be overwhelming sometimes, but I try to remind myself that I am doing the best I can.
How have you coped and managed with the difficulties of covid-19?
Taking the time to relax and give myself a break has helped out a lot. Especially during these times, it’s important to tell myself “hey, you did some good work today, you deserve a break.” I find that it can be overwhelming sometimes, but I try to remind myself that I am doing the best I can. As a result, I have been taking some time to do things I like, like to go on walks with my family or play games with them. I find that it helps me forget about all the bad, and focus on the good. It gives me time to just breathe and relax.
If you could speak to yourself pre-covid, what's something you would tell yourself?
I would tell myself that don’t take the things you have for granted; I would tell myself to be thankful for what I have and also spend more time with those I love. Over the course of the last months, I feel like that is one of the most important lessons I have learned. This pandemic has taught me that nothing is promised to you, and that we just have to be grateful for what we have because we never know when it will be gone.
We have to spend time with those we love because we don’t know what will happen.
I was tired, stressed...[and overwhelmed]...I felt just so hopeless... [but] there can be happy moments in these scary times.
Is there a particularly memorable moment or experience you had during the pandemic that you would like to share?
Yes, I remember it was a very long and hard day at work. I was tired and stressed, and I felt just so hopeless. I was scared about everything and what would happen to my family and I during this pandemic. I was very overwhelmed. However, after I got home, I had found there was a nice meal set out on the table by my family. They stood there with smiles on their faces, hoping that it would help my mood. Even though I was so tired and upset, that simple act of cooking a meal made me so grateful and happy. I couldn’t help but smile. It once again reminded me of how thankful I should be to have such a kind and loving family. It reminded me that there can be happy moments in these scary times.
What motivates/inspires you?
Definitely my family. I see them also [working] hard, and that motivates me to keep going. They also constantly have smiles on their faces, despite the circumstances. They remind me to keep going and [to] keep trying. They inspire me to do good for our community and to help others.
They help me when I’m down, and that motivates me to help them, and help those like them in our community. They help me wake up every day and do my job.