COVID Lockdown – A New Opportunity to Compose Your Life

By: Sheila Kun RN, BSN, MS, CPN, FCCP
Salesian Cooperator

The catastrophic 2020 COVID epidemic has interrupted our life and rendered us helpless in many ways. Looking back, I am determined that this virus would not rob me of the joy of perseverance and determination to make adjustments in life. Yes, I can and had composed my life during the viral season. I should not be reaped of the magical memories I had in 2020. Below is my story of survival to fight the lockdown.

Gardening: I always thought I have a black thumb; I did not pay attention to the soil, climate, temperament and the best environment to grow anything. With ample time in my hands, and nowhere to go, I decided to grow tomatoes as a beginner. Then I quickly learned that I could enhance the size of the tomato by cutting the surround leaves and small branches. I had harvested my first tomato growth in no time. I got bolder and adventure into growing chili from seeds. Following the internet instruction, I was pleased to witness their growth from seeds to red chili! I even rescued 2 discarded orchids from my neighbor; 6 months later, they did not disappoint me – out popped their cute little orchids in pink and yellow.

Bird Watching: I have been running around for years and never realized that I have birds and humming birds at my backyard. I was delighted by the sparrows frolicking in the fountain. The little ones tested the water with their little feet; the more experienced ones would dive into the water, shake their feathers skillfully and perch on the rim with the rest of the family. The birds were not the only visitors; the humming birds would hover around the lavenders and suck on the favorite honey. I asked myself: “How did I miss the wonders of Nature all these years?”

Reconnecting with High School classmates: 2020 is our 55th High School re-union. Unfortunately we could not gather in Macao (China) this year. The Alumni from Toronto organized a celebration of the class of 1965-66 with over 35 girls from all over the world – United States, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, and Macao. These 70 plus “girls” gathered via Zoom. There were no dry eyes in the house when the school song began! While we celebrated 3 classmates who were nuns, serving the youth of their lives, our class also produced an architect who designed theatre and homes in China and Hawaii, an artist whose work is displayed at the Getty’s Museum, a political activist who has a subway station in her name in San Francisco. In spite of our professions, we all agreed that our school Sacred Heart Cannosian College prepared us to be moral citizens and good Christians; being a special person for our family, our work place and in the community, with loving kindness as the foundation of our life.

Learning new technology: for the baby boomers, we are not that compatible with the latest IT technology. Thanks to the COVID lockdown, we now learned to use Zoom, WebEx, Skype, and Am Connect. We are not afraid of screen shots, sharing pictures and presenting lectures virtually anymore!

Celebrating our 50 wedding anniversary virtually: Due to the lockdown, our planned family trips were cancelled. However, our children and my CHLA colleagues were able to pull an even more spectacular event for us; we had video greetings from relatives from all over the world, and my Hospital family, doctors, nurses, therapies and staff took time to offer warm greetings. We were so surprised and touched by their warm greetings. What a special gift! It was an experience of a lifetime!

The lockdown affords us an opportunity of what life is like when we get old. This is a prelude of our retirement. So far, I can say: “we are liking it!”

Lessons learned from the lockdown: we need to challenge ourselves to do things that we thought we do not do well. In my case, gardening and learning new technology were not in my previous play book. Now I have composed several new chapters in my life.

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