Photo credit: ROYCE LEE


This letter was written during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 as part of Dear Covid-19. Though some of the events and details in this letter may have changed since then, we hope to remember those in our community who stepped up when it mattered most. Continue to keep up with them on their social page @theroycelee.

Dear COVID-19,

You came out of nowhere. When we first heard about you, there was little information that we could even Google about. But by the time you appeared on our sunny island, it was too late.

As a host, I first felt the impact on the events industry. Clients and organisers started to delay confirmation, postponing events, and all these ultimately resulted in cancellations. To be depending on gigs for your income and then to suddenly have all live events cancelled is really shocking.

I’ve been in the industry for eight years and this is the first time something like that has happened. The events industry came to a pause in February 2020.

People might be surprised to hear this but the thing that I’ve to be thankful for is social media. As a digital content creator, I’ve been producing weekly videos since 2019 and have never stopped since. So I think the key takeaway is to diversify one’s skills.

This epidemic was truly unexpected and most of us didn’t even have time to prepare for it. So being able to work with clients digitally still is something that I’m grateful for!

As the industry takes a turn, the new normal that we’re witnessing is virtual events and live stream hosting. More clients are also turning to branded video content now, which I find much joy in creating.

Coming up with different scripts, ways of filming and post-editing stimulate my creative juices like never before. This new normal allowed my passion for talking to level up and now to encompass producing as well.

The safe reopening in Phase 2 allowed a little more breathing room in terms of filming regulations. Complying with safety rules, I see more content creators having more freedom to film outside their homes – no longer needing to just film in their rooms or using white walls as their background, at least for me.

Going for shoots now, I see more people on the ball. This is a great thing. Everyone is hygiene-conscious and it’s actually quite bonding to go through the list of safety precautions together.

What I was also looking forward to is meeting people again. As a host, I was constantly exposed to a large, diverse audience, be it young, mature or old. And shuffling between intimate settings of a room of 100 people to arenas filled with thousands of people used to be my norm.

Then circuit breaker happened. So the connection that I derive from real-life conversations with people is something that I missed dearly.

I remember meeting my dermatologist for the first time after so long – yes, priorities! And being able to converse with her, I felt so alive again.

I feel that Phase 2 is a comfortable balance between safety and life before the pandemic. We’re able to head to work and meet friends, and yet protect ourselves from the virus. I’m just thankful that my loved ones are safe and adjusting well.

Perhaps COVID-19 allowed us to redefine our job scopes and see how we can and should re-innovate our skills. Even if this virus completely goes away, would our jobs go back to like before?

Actually, the question is, should our jobs go back to like before? Instead of dwelling in the past, let’s live in the now. Use this time to reassess your goals and let’s make the best of what we have!

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