Written By: Diyana Jailani, 24th July 2021
This was the title of a Spotify playlist I came across; Who loves you? I’ve recently come across personalized playlists that embody a certain loving aesthetic and the reasons why they attract audiences across all ages. Whether it’s songs that you’ll listen to on the bus ride home, tracing raindrops flowing down the window late at night or the ambience music mixed with white noise (specifically the sounds of an afternoon café), the topic of self-love has been on my mind for a while
With the return of Phase 2, there’s an increasing awareness within our communities of something called the “pandemic rage”. People are becoming self-aware of their short-temperedness, or their lack of patience for ‘work from home’ situations. Singapore has become a bleak and sad place to live in. There’s no denying that we all have our own struggles coping with the pandemic. There’s also an increase of conflict between the different races and nationalities here in Singapore, and the dissatisfaction select individuals have with the Government’s decision to return to Phase 2.
There has never been a time where we, as a society, have been tested this harshly before. I’m sure of it. We have been cornered into spaces where we are mostly alone with ourselves in an effort to social distance. The distinguishing difference between people who flourish in their own spaces versus those who crumble within four walls has never been so obvious before.
I’ve had to cancel many plans in my personal life and rethink through the goals I’ve had in mind to reach before I enter my mid-twenties. I’m left with this feeling that I’ve let myself down – though I had nothing to do with this. It’s truly, solely because of the pandemic that I am not able to accomplish these goals.
Whilst all of us maintain social distancing in our own isolated spaces, there are others who risk theirs because their work requires them to do so. Delivery riders, FnB businesses, healthcare staff; the frontline individuals that keep this country going. So why did we applaud them for their services, then alienated them when infection rates increased? Taxi drivers have rejected picking up healthcare staff from hospitals. There’s also an increased antagonization between the public and safety ambassadors in viral videos posted online. Why do we not have compassion for these people who have been tasked to keep us safe?
Back to the question; who loves you?
My answer; There are people whom I love (my family, my lover and myself) and then there are people whom I should treat with the same care, compassion and kindness I have to myself, sincerely with love.
This pandemic was no one’s fault to begin with; neither you nor I are to blame. What we are dealing with is a series of consequences piled up from irresponsible actions that were birthed from anger, dissatisfaction and stress.
Where do we begin to help ourselves- and more importantly, each other?