Life During the Pandemic

Japanese Language below and click here to download the PDF file

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”.

パンデミックの下での日常生活

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

3月24日、ミャンマーで初めて陽性判定者が出ました。そして突然にパニックと混乱が始まりました。当時私はまだヤンゴンにいましたが、それ以前から、ヤンゴンの多くの市民はすでに予防策を講じていました。例えば人との距離を保ち、そのルールに従っていない人に呼びかけるというようなことでしょうか。しかし、近くのモールではパニック・ショッピングが始まっていました。その数日後、私は家族のいる実家に一時帰宅することを自らの判断で決めました。実家で自己隔離を始めてから一ヶ月を経過しましたが、私のライフスタイルが大きく変化したことには疑いの余地もありません。
私の地元はミャンマー中央部にあるイエナンジャウンという場所です。ここは激しい気候と豊富な天然ガスや食用油でよく知られたところです。ミャンマーの中でも田舎といえる場所の一つで、そこでは誰もがお互いを知っているというようなところです。面積は388.95平方マイル(約1,000㎢)、人口は約156,000人。気温は41℃にもなるとても乾燥した地域で、マグウェ地方域の中で最も経済的開発の遅れた場所でもあります。しかし、ここにいれば心は休まりますし安全です。
恐らくそれは、私たちすべてにとって”家”が持っている力なのかもしれないですし、今だからこそそう思えるのかもしれないです。
長いお休みで実家に戻った時、これまでであればスピーカーの大音響で朝目を覚ますものでしたが、今回は、人工的な音ではなく鳥のさえずりや雄鶏の鳴き声で目を覚まします。私が実家に戻ったのは、ミャンマー・ニューイヤーの連休(ティンジャン休暇)が始まる少し前でした。ティンジャンのお祭り(水祭り)では、多くの人々が水を掛け合い、友人達と外に出かけ、大晦日には皆が集い、そして、元旦には宗教行事を持つのですが、今年は、1年で最も大切な時であるにもかかわらず誰もが家にとどまっていて外が静寂に包まれていました、こんな体験は生まれて初めてのことでした。
ティンジャン休暇の間例年とは大きく違って静かだった私のホームタウンですが、連休が終わると同時に、物事は通常と同じように動き始めています。私の家からは、事態が収束して地球が元に戻ったかのように人々が行き来しているのが見えます。市場はいつも通り多くの人で混み合っています。空腹を満たしたいという欲求の方が、ウィルスへの感染に対する恐怖心を上回るということでしょう。政府の指示に従って自宅で自主隔離できる人々がいる一方、多くの人々は、
大切な家族を養うために外に出て働くというリスクを負わざるを得ないのです。貧困層の多くは農業やサービス・セクターで働いていますが、その多くは自営または家内工業のような中小企業での非正規雇用のことが多いのです。マイノリティーである高所得・中所得世帯は、状況を踏まえて安全に過ごすことも可能ですが、貧しい人々は高い代償を払わないといけないのです。一方、こうした人々は日常生活がさまざまな制約に拘束されないことから、自宅で安全に過ごしていな
がらこの危機に対して不満と不安と憂鬱さにさいなまれている私たちと比べ、ストレスも少なく幸せそうに見えます。
言うまでもないですが、オフィス・ワーカーにとって”在宅勤務”は、集中力を維持するのはもちろんチャレンジングですし難しいです。世界中の多くの人々と同じように私もまた、私の生活に降りかかっているコロナウィルス・パンデミックの影響と向かい合っています。私自身、成長したいというモチベーションやそのための実践が衰えていると感じます。なぜならば、働くための目標がよく見えなくなっているように思うからです。私たちは、社会的・精神的な隔離を体験しているというだけでなく、私たち自身の仕事に対する情熱から離されてしまっています。しかし、こうして過ごしたこの何週間かの後、試練の時期の今、静かに忍耐強くいようと思うようになりました。国を引っ張るリーダー達が、状況を把握しこれからさらに襲ってくるパンデミックに対する強い事前の対策を講ずるべく奮闘しているからです。一方、実家で食事せざるを得なくなったことで、料理が楽しくなってきたことは嬉しいです。友人達と密に連絡を取り合うことのできるテクノロジーもあります。この逆境に光があるとすれば、今の状況を越えた先にある不確実な何かが、今を善しとせず別の何かに焦点を当ててくれているような気がしているということです。
最後ですが、今日のパンデミックは、人類の歴史が克服してきたペストやエボラやサーズなどの感染症と同じように、単に技術的な問題だと信じています。すべての技術的問題には技術的な解決方法があり、従って、遠からず制御可能になると思います。しかしながら、私達が学ぶべきは、私たち人類に対する警告だということです。私達の、母なる自然に対するこれまでの振る舞いを考え直す機会なのだと思います。パンデミックの下で私たちは、”生きている”ことに主な焦点を当てていますが、そのことには、人種や置かれている経済的状況で異なる尺度があります。
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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