Time to learn to cook some garlic

So here we are at post number 5 about life under lockdown in Shanghai. As the situation shows signs of improvement in China but deteriorates in other countries, I bring you some suggestions, in no particular order of importance, for those about to experience their own life under lockdown.

  1. Work

    This is probably a no-brainer for anyone who has a job, but finds that they are unable to go to their place of work. I’m lucky, I’m already a remote worker so adjusting to lockdown life hasn’t been difficult for me. My advice to those of you experiencing this for the first time is to “set boundaries”, both physical, and chronological. Try to find a location where you can work uninterrupted by your family and focus on your work. However, just because your place of work is now within your home, that doesn’t mean you have to work at all hours of the day. Try to keep to normal business hours.

    Of course, with family at home too and possibly with kids taking part in e-learning program, this may not always be easy. Flexibility will be required.

  2. Cook

    This has been quite a common pastime for people under lockdown in China. It makes sense. If you’re out at work all day, the last thing you want to do when you get home is spend hours in the kitchen preparing a meal. It’s all too easy to order takeaway or warm up left-overs from the weekend. Suddenly, you find yourself with time on your hands. Why not open that recipe page on your smartphone and have some fun?

    I confess that this has applied more to my wife than to me, but I have managed to bake some garlic (Yay! I’m a kitchen hero!) and produce a pretty mean baked spaghetti casserole sort of thing where the ingredients at hand didn’t properly overlap with those required by the recipe. I improvised. Nobody complained, seconds were requested, and we all survived.

  3. Keep Fit

    No more commute. No more visits to the gym (as if I ever did). All that great(?) new food. It all takes its toll on the waistline. You need to do something to compensate for all the everyday exercise that you’re missing due to lockdown. I have an exercise bike (two years old, very low mileage, one careful owner) that I’ve reluctantly started using again to (in Apple parlance) close my ring every day. You don’t need a bike, I’m sure you can find your own preferred means to close your ring.

  4. Try a new hobby

    You’re going to have time on your hands. Take this as an opportunity try a new hobby or learn something you’ve always wanted to learn but have never had the time for. I’ve always wanted to do more writing. Even a short stint at a reasonably famous tech blog, that let’s be honest, I didn’t enjoy at all (they sacked me, and I was so glad) didn’t kill that desire.

    This lockdown plus me hearing about the Write52 project at the beginning has resulted in these posts. Five down, forty-seven to go.

  5. Watch obscure stuff and learn

    Ok, this one is a bit obscure. I tend to watch a lot of videos on YouTube in the evenings. Photography and science videos are a favourite. With more time, I found I was running out of my staples and I strayed into geekier territory. It’s great, honestly. I can watch and learn at the same time. For the techies out there I have actually found myself; watching geeks do presentations about ‘vim’ and ‘emacs’; I’ve watched people live stream Windows XP installations; I’ve… well enough. I think I’ve dug a deep enough hole already.

    My point is, there’s lots out there and there’s no harm in following random interests to keep the brain cells ticking over.

    All the best.