Photo credit: JOLEEN LEE

Dear Covid-19: Pulling off an unconventional home wedding

In their 'Dear Covid-19' letter, newlyweds Zhihe and Joleen tell us how they started a new life together during the pandemic.

Staff Writer

Published: 12 June 2020, 10:20 PM

Dear Covid-19 is a memory project by the National Youth Council (NYC) in partnership with DSTNCT, to shed light on everyday life when Singapore came to a standstill as everyone stayed home.

This is a collection of letters to COVID-19 from young Singaporeans from all walks of life, each going through their own struggles and/or victories. The following story was submitted by newlyweds 29-year-old accountant Ong Zhihe and 28-year-old auditor Lee Yi Lin Joleen, on May 11, 2020:

“Dear COVID-19,

Today is the 10th of May, 2020.

Without you, we would be lounging on the couch in our newly renovated flat, a glass of wine in one hand and each other’s hand in the other. A full day of wedding events, representing a year’s worth of planning, would have been done and dusted by end-April. By end 2020, we would have returned home from our dream honeymoon.


With you, we’ve understood the meaning of being adaptable. You’ve forced our hand, made us improvise and make the best of every situation – situations that were and still are so fluid. You’ve taught us what it means to count all the little blessings and treasure what is frequently taken for granted.




With you, we pulled off an unconventional – but memorable Monday – home wedding. With you, more of our friends and relatives tuned in to the live stream of our wedding and conveyed their well wishes via the comment box. With you, our speeches, which were delivered to our family in our cosy home, were that much more sincere than if they had been made in a cavernous chapel.

Undoubtedly, the stressful weekend prior to this home wedding was full of uncertainty and clutch decision-makings. No one knew for sure if everything would fall into place. But with you, we had the opportunity to cling to our faith and to hold on to hope.


“Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.” – Søren Kierkegaard

With you, we’ve undergone a crash course on living together 24/7 since we ought to stay home as much as possible during the circuit breaker period. With you, we’ve managed to hone our cooking skills (to a fairly decent level) in preparation for future independence.

With you, most matters are still on hold, from our postponed wedding banquet to our home renovation, from our furniture to our appliances. But with you, we also realise the simple importance of family, health and safety. With you, our marriage that was forged in the time of COVID-19 became doubly precious.

With you, it has been a crazy, upside-down roller coaster ride through the past three months and we know it will continue in the months ahead but now at least, we walk through this together – in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, in health and in sickness.”

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