It was such an ordinary morning. Waking up, getting dressed, commuting to school, and hugging and greeting friends. The mundane morning routine on typical weekdays which we all were taking for granted was gone right before our eyes. Now, our morning routine is cut down to just waking up and working straight from the comfort of our homes. My daily routine becomes waking up and working on my laptop in my pajama.
In a short span of a few weeks, COVID-19 has transformed the lives of many on an unimaginable scale. Who would have thought that the dystopia would come this early? Thanks to technologies, though, I and many others have managed to live lives a little bit easier, albeit the weird and unfamiliar routine changed.
It was fun and games until..
When COVID-19 cases spiked in Cambodia, the Ministry of Education announced the temporary but indefinite closure of schools around the Kingdom. As a student, like many others, it was such a pleasant news to hear. Hooray to no school!!! In first few weeks, it was fun and games until I had a mental breakdown. Do not get me wrong. No school was nice but the lack of social interaction, especially with my friends, was horrible. We are social creatures – introverts or extroverts – we need some sort of human interaction. As an introvert, I kind of miss the time when I refused to join any social events. Right now, I am feeling a lot of emotions. Luckily, we are not in the Ice Age anymore. We have technologies that help fill in the gap.
ZOOM, the savior in time of crisis
I speak for many when I say that we are COVID-19-year-old when we are introduced to Zoom. Zoom is a video conference platform that allows us to meet virtually in pairs or in a large group. To simply put, Zoom is like Skype, but better. For starter, you do not need to sign up or download Zoom. You can just join the video call straight from the web! Be it online classes or online meetups with friends, Zoom is the hero we never knew we needed until now. Social distancing is no doubt a necessary measure to combat the spread of COVID-19, but it does not necessarily mean we have to stay depressed and away from our peers. Virtual meetings are a great escape and it brings me closer to the people I love despite the quarantine.
Can it get any worse?
During these hard times, we have to rely on the technologies available to keep us connected. I thank the humans before me for the Internet. But it is 2020, and my internet connection is such a downer. Can it get any slower than this, especially when I need it the most? When I feel frustrated about my slower-than-turtles internet connection, I came to realize that while I have the privilege of having tech devices and internet connection, many do not have the same privileges. I think about the underprivileged children who cannot resume their education simply because they do not have computer or internet connection. I think about the people who cannot make ends meet because of the COVID-19 measures. In the end, the tech limitation I get cannot compare to the limitations many Cambodian face, unfortunately.
The Silver Lining
While this is such a depressing time, we have to stay strong to weather the storms. Thanks to modern technologies, we canreplace physical contact and learning withthe virtual ones. Applications such as Zoom, Skype, Google Classroom, Google Hangout, and Microsoft Teams have brought us closer virtually and let us stay connected with our loved ones afar. One of the greatestlessons learnt during these hard times is thefact that now we must learn to show our lovelanguage in words rather than actions. It canbe hard without physical contact, but itmakes us creative and a better writer!
On a bright note, my cat seems toenjoy the fact that I stay home more oftenthan pre COVID-19 period. I do enjoy hercompany as well. I guess one of good things coming out of this hellhole is the fact that I get to play with my furry friend whenever I am stressed with the assignments on my laptop! All is well that ends well.
Blog written by:
Ms. Ean Monileak
Second Awardee of Blog Contest on ICT to study and work from home in times of COVID-19
Ms. Monileak is Fourth year student at Department of Media and Communication, Royal University of Phnom Penh.