Life During the Pandemic

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Thazin Oo (Ms.)
Senior Associate
Japan Valuers (Myanmar) Co., Ltd.

Since the first case of tested positive was announced in Myanmar on March 24, suddenly, panic and chaos arose. At that time, I was still in Yangon City. But I was aware that many people in Yangon were already taking precautions way before it and kept their distance, openly called out others who weren’t following the rules and of course, doing panic shopping at the nearby malls. Then a few days later, I also forced myself to go back to home early to my family. Now, it has been a month into self- quarantine at home and I can say, without a doubt, my life style has changed.
My hometown is a town called “Yenanchaung” located in the central part of Myanmar, known for its extreme weather condition and richness in natural gas and edible oil. It is one of the rural areas in Myanmar and the kind of place where everyone knows each other. It is comprised with the total area of 388.95 square miles and the total population of 155,296. With the highest temperature of 41 Degree Celsius, it has the Dry Weather Condition and it is one of the least developing in economy towns within Magway Region. But there is something comforting and safe about being here. Maybe it’s the fact that “home” is a powerful place for all of us and its presence feels particularly acute right now.
Normally, I used to wake up by the noise of the loudspeakers whenever I come back here during the long holidays. These days, I get up from bed by hearing nature’s voices such as birds singing and roosters crowing instead of man-made noises. It was the time of “Myanmar New Year Holidays (“Thingyan Holidays)” when I arrived back here. “Thingyan Festival” is the celebration of water festival among large crowds with fun activities such as splashing water, going out with friends and gathering parties on New Year Eve and religious activities on New Year’s Day. It was so surreal for me because this is the very first time experiencing in my life that my neighborhood sounded complete silence and everyone was staying inside even in that most significant time of the year.
Although it was strangely quiet during the Thingyan holidays, I notice that things are going back to normal right after the holidays in my hometown. While I am at home, I see people walking around outside and acting like the earth is back to normal. The town market is congested as usual with the crowds. It explains that the initial panicking idea of getting infected by the devious virus was completely overwhelmed by the fundamental struggles of hunger. Even though a few of us had the privilege of staying at home following whatever the Government’s rules and refraining ourselves, most of the people here were still risking themselves by going outside and working to feed their beloved families. The poor families here work largely in agriculture and service sectors and are usually self-employed or informally employed mainly in micro and family enterprises. For the minority of high-income and middle-income families, it is possible to refrain from the situation and staying safe. But it seems like the poorest people have to pay the highest price. On the other hand, even though their daily activities cannot be limited or adapted like ours, I found out rather they are happier and less stressful than people like us who are privileged enough to stay safe at home and yet facing with dissatisfaction, anxiety and depression during this crisis.
Not to mention, as for an office worker, “working from home” is indeed challenging, difficult and hard to focus on. Like many individuals all across the world, I am also coping with the coronavirus pandemic’s unwanted effects to my life. I’ve noticed my motivation to grow and practice has dwindled because it seems that we are working towards nothing. We are not only experiencing social and emotional isolation, but isolation from our craft and passion. However, after rejecting on these past few weeks, I try to remain patient and calm during these trying times knowing that the leaders of ordinations and governments are working their hardest to handle the situation and set a strong precedent for future pandemics. Moreover, now since we have to eat at home, I have been enjoying home cooked meals. Fortunately, today we have technology that allows us much better stay in touch with peers. If there is any silver lining in this crisis, for me, it’s that the complete uncertainty of anything beyond the present moment has allowed me to focus more to live in the moment and not to take granted of what I have now.
To be conclude, I believe this pandemic is just a technical problem such as the plague, Ebola, SARS and similar epidemic diseases that we have overcame throughout our human history. Every technical problem has a technical solution and therefore, sooner or later it will become as one of the manageable challenges. Nevertheless, if we are trying to look for the lessons from it, indeed, Human beings are needed a warning of the way things were going. Now, we human have the time to re-think about what we have done to our mother nature. It took a pandemic to expose that we all humans are now focusing mainly on “to be alive”, however, “to be alive” is measured in different ways depending on the race and the economic status. I believe that this pandemic experience we are all put into is teaching us to be prepared when there are unexpected events happen. We as a society also should be humbled enough to realize how easily life can change. Besides all the negative it brings to us; I can say that it forces to be appreciative to what we have and we had before the virus. When the moment comes and the world will be opened again, I sincerely hope the world leaders pay attention to “the ecological equilibrium” as much as to “the economic growth”.


Thazin Oo (Ms.)
Senior Associate
Japan Valuers (Myanmar) Co., Ltd

パンデミック体験は、予想を超える事態が起きた時どうすべきかを教えてくれているのだと思うのです。生活がいかに簡単に変わってしまうかということについて、私たちの社会はもっと謙虚でなければならないでしょう。多くのマイナス面と共に、今私たちが持っていられるものや、ウィルス前に私たちが持っていられたものに感謝すべきだと思います。事態が収束し世界が再びオ ープンになった時、世界中のリーダー達が”経済成長”と”エコロジカルな均衡”を同時に重視する ようになっていることを心から願っています。

2 Replies to “Life During the Pandemic”

  1. After reading this, wanna give high 5 and thumbs up!! Overall is an excellent one that reflects the current situation of not only a small town but it also expresses locally and seem like globally.
    To be specific, I like the term used in the last sentence that compares matters of environment and economics. That should be for everyone’s affairs after this worldwide crisis. It’s a touched one!!
    But only one disagreeable thing is, “Plague” did not come from lab (there would be no modernized and well assemble lab in 14th century) and was possibly not a technical problem by Human. It’s caused by bacterium disease that originated from wild rodents. And sadly, it costs millions of lives to end unlike corona, hopefully.
    All in all, writer’s taste is so expressive and inbrief informative that can be said it’s been researched perfectly. Doubtlessly, there must be smth left to write and expecting more.
    P.S: You are willingly appreciated for PDF sharing.

    1. Hello Keen,
      Thank you very much for reading our articles and sharing with your insightful comment. As the post writer, I totally agreed with you that the virus is not a man-made problem. The term “technical”
      used here means that the virus will be solved with the help of Science.
      Anyway, we really appreciate your continue support and stay tuned for more insightful updates in regard to what is happening in “Myanmar Real Estate Market” as well as the “Country’s economy” in general.
      Yours sincerely,
      Japan Valuers (Myanmar) Co., Ltd.

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