Circuit Breaker Exit Phase 1

Work Frustration

It was a sigh of relief when the government announced that we will be exiting the circuit breaker phase by phase. I was waiting anxiously to see if pet grooming will be able to reopen for business. The joy that I had when I got to know that pet groomers can head back to work. My phone kept buzzing with incoming texts from anxious owners trying to get a slot for their fur kid’s grooming.

Of course I’m happy being able to head back to work. But the next update among the groomers were that home grooming isn’t allowed to operate. I felt as though my world had collapsed. Millions of questions running through my tiny brain. I decided not to reply customers for the time being as I needed to stay calm and work this out. I need to find a solution in order to work and start earning some income.

Contacting Nparks & MTI

My grooming instructor said we could contact the authorities for more information or to appeal. So I wrote in to both Nparks and MTI hoping one will reply me as soon as possible.

MTI replied first with a generic email. So I continued to wait for Npark’s reply in the hope that there’s more information before I could give my customers an answer. To be honest, it was a long wait.

Working From Home

I’ve decided to bring home the fur kids to groom instead. At least, I’m not violating any no visit rules. Pick up and drop off is allowed. So technically, I’m following the circuit breaker rules.

I had to text all the customers about the changes. And instead of complaints, I got a bunch of understanding customers. Very thankful that they go with the flow and changes that I had to make.

As I offered pet transport, I had to turned the car into a more comfortable ride for the fur kids. Putting down the back seats and covering it with our camping waterproof mat. Added a dog pillow for the fur kids to lie down too if they want during the ride.

Sometimes, I’m quite amazed at what I could actually do in time of crisis. Had to self praise myself once in a while I guess. *proud moment*

Discovered Tiktok

Hesitation

I knew about TikTok a few months ago when it started to boom all over the internet. I wasn’t sure if I should jump onto the bandwagon as well. Mainly for work because I do not want to be left behind in regards to technology. It’s a fast-paced world right now, and being left behind can be scary while your competitors are far ahead of you. And at a time like this, we need to keep up and change in order to survive during the pandemic.

I was curious and went to Google it for more information. It’s a social media solely for videos in case some of my readers have no idea what it does. However, according to my findings, TikTok’s users are the majority of youngsters. So if you’re intending to use it for business and your target audiences are the younger generations, this is where you should be lurking at.

What i Discovered

Finally downloaded the app after much hesitation. Created an account for both ourfamilee and my work. Wanted to have at least a personal account to scroll through pet videos or random stuff.

Before I follow any tiktokers, my feed was flooded with videos. There are some cute challenges that aren’t harmful. But the majority, in my opinion, are trying to hard to get attention. However, there are some videos providing information and knowledge.

For example, I’m following a veterinarian who is on Tiktok. He’s using this platform to educate pet owners about pet’s health. There’s also a couple who are traveling on a van and making it their home. It’s like documenting short videos of their adventures which are interesting to me.

Short Video

Tiktok is a place where you post short videos up to a minute long. It’s a place to showcase your talent in terms of content and creativity in that short time frame. Quite challenging actually.

Have been trying it out and I must say it’s not easy putting every information into a minute-long video. So far our Tiktok videos that received the most views are food-related. I thought it would be our fur kids, but I was wrong.

Nevertheless, it’s fun to try this out. And it’s a major milestone for me making this scary step. I’ve no idea how Tiktok will help in my business but there’s no harm to actually try it.

Hopefully, I’ll improve as time goes by. And yes, this is how I get through the second month of the circuit breaker.

Circuit Breaker Day 31

Trial Retirement

Some say you can treat this circuit breaker as a retirement trial to see what retired life will be like. Since I am on mandatory leave from work, I decided to give this a try.

In fact, I do not know what retirement life will be like. Maybe it differs from each individual. And I just need to figure out what mine will be like. So from 7th April, I’ve embarked on the trial retirement journey and I’ve decided to write an entry.

First Week of Circuit Breaker

Before the start of the circuit breaker, I went back to work for 2 days after my medical leave. So the transition of not working is gradual, not a very sudden move.

I would say the first week was pleasant. It was just any normal day where I woke up and pestered Dear to make me breakfast. So basically, the first week, I have been requesting for food that I had been craving for.

And yes, I got the avocado smash that I’ve been requesting since forever. Kind of miss this ever since I had it in Australia during our road trip. I’m not a fan of avocado, but this definitely made me crave for it. Dear tried to replicate it and I would say, it’s awesome!

One Month of Circuit Breaker

Halfway through the circuit breaker, I have no idea what I want to do. I got bored and felt frustrated. It feels like I am sinking into depression anytime due to prolong quarantine at home. We were encouraged to stay home most of the time and only head out for essential errands such as grocery or to buy food. As a good citizen and hope that this will be over as soon as possible, I abide by the rules set by the government.

About two weeks before the circuit breaker was supposed to be over, the government announced the extension till 1st June. To be honest, I expected the extension but I didn’t expect it to be another month. But I know and understand that this is necessary if we want to keep this virus under control on this little red dot.

Trying To Keep Myself Occupied

In order not to sink into depression, I’ve decided to try and keep myself occupied. We’ve signed up for Netflix one month trial because we’ve no idea if we would want to subscribe yet. I’ve been binge watching Empress Ki since our trial signup. Read the first chapter of a book that I previously got from a friend who didn’t want it anymore when she moved to her current place.

It wasn’t enough to keep me occupied because I got distracted easily. So I made myself a sketchbook and decided to try doing some art again. A little rusty since I haven’t been drawing since I’ve left school. But practice makes perfect so who knows, I might improve once this circuit breaker is over.

Conclusion of Retirement Trial

Retirement is definitely boring for me if there’s no fur kids around. Yes, I’m spending my circuit breaker at Dear’s place where I can’t bring our fur kids over. And it’s kind of lacking something. So I’ve requested to have fur kids when we retire. At least there’s some annoying four legged trying to get my attention all the time.

I’ve been waiting eagerly to get back to the pet grooming world. I miss all the fur kids that I’ve been seeing regularly. And yes, pet grooming is so far my only hobby that brings me income. Kind of lost when I had to stop work. Maybe, if my body allows physical work, I’m hoping to groom the fur kids as long as I can.

5 Days of Medical Leave

Note: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, our government said those with respiratory symptoms are to be given 5 days of medical leave. And those on medical leave are not to leave their home. If caught breaking this rule, a SGD$10K fine, up to a six-month jail term, or both.

Day 1 – 31st March

Weirdly, I woke up at 5 am with a blocked nose. I couldn’t get back to sleep, so I decided to do a quick toilet break. As much as I wanted to sleep, I couldn’t. I ended up turning and tossing and scrolling through Facebook. Thinking the blocked nose could be an allergy reaction and it might go away.

Apparently, it didn’t. Decided to be a responsible citizen during this pandemic crisis, I went to the clinic to seek medical help. Measures were taken in place such as temperature screening and noting down who had entered the clinic premises. Markings on the floor were seen to show patients where to stand and maintain a safe distance from one another. Everyone was wearing a mask and the clinic nurses would provide masks to those who weren’t wearing one. Which I think was commendable on their part for taking all the necessary precautions.

Queued since 8:15 am and left the place at about 10:30 am. The doctor said I had the runny nose, nothing to be alarmed as I do not display any other symptoms of the covid-19 virus. Was given a 5-day medical leave and told to stay home. And so, my stay-home adventure officially begins.

Day 2 – 1st April

The alarm rang as usual at 8 am, and I got nagged by Dear for having the alarm even when I’m on medical leave. She made me shut off my repeated alarm for the next few days.

Requested for cheesy garlic scrambled egg for breakfast. Dear used bottled chopped garlic and the taste wasn’t as flavourful compared to using fresh sliced garlic. There’s still the garlic taste, but it wasn’t what I remembered and like.

Took medicine after breakfast. Did some work on the laptop before the drowsiness kicks in. Waking up to dinner where Dear made braised pork and prawn bee hoon.

Dear simmered and did the prawn broth from scratch from all the shells that she’s been accumulating whenever she add prawns into my meal. It’s yummy that I asked for a second serving despite being sick and not much appetite. But this is worth eating a second serving. And no, I wasn’t exaggerating because it’s my wife’s cooking.

Day 3 – 2nd April

Without the alarm, I woke up at about 8 am in the morning. I guess it became a habit for me to wake up at this timing because it was feed the fur kids breakfast time. Waited for Dear to be awake before I request for tomato egg for breakfast. Which she added some blueberries and an apple.

Third day being at home and already feeling a little I need the sun! Been indoors and doing nothing much other than helping out with laundry. Dear prepare emperor chicken for lunch, I got the apple sliced and pop them into the dehydrator. Making some healthier treats for myself instead of binging on potato chips.

Dear was experimenting with new recipes. Got to try some keto-friendly Madeline. She made lemon and chocolate flavoured. I would say, I prefer the lemony one as the chocolate flavoured tasted a little off in my opinion. Not as chocolatey as I would have expected.

Dinner was butadon, but I had it without rice like the way I like it. Felt as though my medical leave have been nothing but eating and sleeping. And the cycle repeats again the next day.

Day 4 – 3rd April

Woke up a little later than usual. Had brunch before I started work in the kitchen while Dear did her stuff. Her mum went out to the market to get some grocery. The next thing we know, she came back and asked Dear to accompany her to NTUC for more grocery shopping.

Got a text to ask me to tune in to the LIVE video on Facebook where PM Lee was giving a speech where he announced circuit breaker period were to start from 7th April and last till 4th May.

All companies have to shut their offices and work from home. Essential services such as supermarkets, clinics, veterinary clinics, hospitals, hawkers and restaurant can operate as usual. Except that no dine-in are allowed. We may head out to get food but as a takeaway only. Schools will shut and lessons will be online.

After the announcement, my phone has been buzzing from anxious pet owners who wish to schedule an appointment before the circuit breaker kicks in. Apparently, pet grooming are under non essential and we’re to cease operation for a month.

Dear texted to inform me that NTUC was crowded and they’re trying to get out of the mall’s carpark. They’ll be heading towards neighbourhood supermarket instead.

With the sudden announcement from the government, many started to panic and caused a frenzy all over again at the grocery stores. Most essentials and food were swept off the shelves pretty quickly.

Day 5 – 4th April

My last day of medical leave and I was still getting texts from pet owners. As I work alone and I’m left with two days to groom as many fur kids as I can. While I was settling my work, Dear made me toast from scratch.

Didn’t nap at all even after taking the drowsy medication. Was too busy and worried about work that I wanted to settle as many appointments as I could. What a way to spend my last day of medical leave. Wasn’t looking forward to the two days grooming rush.