Chew On It: Life’s Challenges

The last time I was in lockdown was in 1969, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, because racial riots broke out. Because of this violence, my dad sent me to Sydney for a brighter future. Fortunately for me, he made the right decision.

But there was a significant price to pay as I was deeply depressed when I moved here at 11. I was in a boarding school in a foreign land, and I felt abandoned. I had to make many adjustments with people, culture, food and language.

Since then, I’ve had many adversities including 3 deep bouts of depression, bankruptcy, losing my ex-wife and mother of my children, and recently my beautiful big brother passed away after a massive stroke. And nothing even comes close to the shock and pain of losing my one and only gorgeous daughter. But I have never lost sight of the abundance of joy and beauty in our world. In this difficult time, the first step is acceptance and coming to terms with it. This situation is beyond our control, and it’s important to realise that it will pass.

We are now in a World War against a virus. Much better than a global conflict between humans. In the past two world wars, most people lost everything and had no food, no essentials and faced possible death at every moment. The human race has survived and thrived since then and endured many other pandemics.

I believe the key in this battle is vigilance with our health, and isolating as much as possible to minimise the chance of contracting and/or spreading the virus. Too many young Australians are in denial and think they’re immortal. The problem is that they may pass on the virus to their elderly family members who are far more vulnerable. And many young people are also succumbing to the virus.

In time, coronavirus will become endemic (a common disease that most of us will have antibodies to fight it off). Hopefully a vaccine will be developed soon but medical experts expect it will take at least 12-18 months. So, buckle down to accept this new normal and create habits to adjust to this new lifestyle. Having a roof over our head and enough money for nourishment are the essentials. Anything else is a bonus.

I am prepared for when this crisis is over. We will be in a whole new world and it will take quite some time for our economy to recover, similar to after the world wars. Expectation of a quick recovery will result in major disappointment. Fortunately, our infrastructure such as buildings, communication, utilities etc remain intact, which will assist our recovery.

There is a bright future ahead as I look forward to being able to hug my friends & loved ones and enjoy their company at a restaurant, and explore the wonders of the world. But the priority now is to ensure a safe passage through this pandemic.


I trust you know that an effective sanitiser needs to have an alcohol content of 60-95% for this particular coronavirus. If it is too low or too high, it becomes ineffective. Please do not get confused by the many types of disinfectant: it must have an alcohol content of 60%-95%.

Of course, there is the very effective method of washing your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds. My hands have never been this clean!

I see people using their elbows to press buttons, which I see as a potential danger for harbouring the virus on clothing. Sneezing or coughing into the elbow does not make sense to me as droplets can still be sprayed out. Safer for everyone to sneeze and cough into tissues. Yes, carry tissues with you all the time.

Some days ago, a mother said to her child not to put his fingers into his mouth. I jokingly suggested putting chilli on his fingers to stop that. She said good idea, but he may also put his fingers in his eyes. I said “It will also stop that!”


Now that I am spending so much more time in my home, I have given myself the task of cleaning, tidying and decluttering all my cupboards. Very satisfying for my OCD issues. Other things I have planned to do: read the many books I have, eat healthier home-cooked meals, write my book, stay in contact with friends and family members, look for yummy takeaway places, and enjoy driving as there is so little traffic and parking is easy.

I’m comforted that our beautiful world is getting a break from us humans and replenishing.