Cathryn Anila

Love, in any form

This pandemic has inevitably affected our mental health. Regardless, I see many people around me trying to fight negative with positive, darkness with their light. Around week 2 of lockdown, I noticed that everyone in my family (including me) have become more sensitive and easily irritable. It is almost as if anger and frustration is a justified coping mechanism at this time. As time passed and we started accepting change and adapting to it, I started noticing the little things everyone is doing in the hopes of spreading love and light.
As a family of 7 stuck in the same house for over 2 months of Movement Control Order, we have evolved and gotten more close-knit. Exactly a year ago, we lost a family member to cancer and this pandemic has given us the opportunity to grief and heal collectively as a family. I got to really know and be close with my ex-air force man father who was flying throughout my childhood. We have movie nights almost every night. There's home cooked food every day and we all sit together and eat as a family. My sister in law and I both caught each other red handed in the kitchen at 2am scavenging for food hahaha!
As neighbors, we started exchanging food almost every day and especially during teatime, we would exchange the local delicacies that we make at home even though it is our first attempt at making it. Among the many yummy yums we enjoyed were Onde-onde, Cucur kodok (or 'chokodok'), Cucur bawang, cinnamon rolls and my half burnt gingerbread men hahaha.
As a 20 year old on social media, I also noticed fellow social media users spreading more love and positivity online. Many of my friends are sharing positive messages on taking care of our mental health, many are supporting small businesses by buying their products and gifting them to other friends. This little act not only helps support small businesses, but also helps brighten up someone's day. There is also this trend that has gained momentum- where we order food and ask the delivery guys to have it / give it to someone in need or to the frontliners. It's beautiful to see people flooding social media with so much positivity, empathy and love.
I feel happy because I see solidarity expressed by the people around me, it makes me feel like we are not alone in this. There is that sense of mutual support which we really need at a time like this. I think it is very important for us to be kind to each other. We need to bear in mind that although our circumstances may differ, each and every one of us is also struggling through this and all we need right now is kindness and love, in any form.
Cathryn Anila