The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the whole world, and we are all practicing social distancing. We want to use ViewPoints as a place of support. We are calling on the global community to stay home and stay creative with DJI. While we are facing a difficult time, we can turn it into an opportunity. Do something. Learn a new skill. Overcome a challenge. Whatever you choose to do, capture it and share it with the world. Add #StayHomeStayCreative to your social media post to connect with others making moments in the safety of their homes. Every Friday, we will reward one contributor with a DJI product to show our appreciation.
To start, we’d like to share moments from one of our own. Chris Tuazon is a senior marketing manager at DJI in our Shenzhen Office. A father of two, he has been practicing social distancing for over two months. Chris shares his best practices for turning this challenging situation into a creative opportunity.
“2020 is going to be my year.”
I’m willing to bet that this year isn’t going exactly as you planned. Were you ready for a dream trip abroad? Maybe you were going to finally come out of your shell. Perhaps you were even going to install a bidet and end your dependence on toilet paper. Yet here we are, barely three months into 2020, reaching for the reset button.
To state the obvious: this is an unprecedented time. No matter where you are in the world, the coronavirus outbreak is forcing you to stay away from your favorite places and people, pause your life, and stay at home. We’re all feeling the burden of social distancing. But the thought of staying in for the next few weeks or months doesn’t have to be so bad. I think I would know.
What Do 8 Weeks of Social Distancing Look Like?
My family and I live in Shenzhen, China, and have been isolated in our home since January 24. As of this moment, my wife, her mother, and our two small children have stayed inside our 72-square-meter apartment for 99.4% of the day, for the last 65 days. Once a week, I might go out for an hour to buy groceries, but typically the only time I’m outside is to take out the trash. Otherwise, my family of five solely exists within an area of five parking spaces.
To keep a sense of normalcy, I keep a routine as best as I can. Every morning, I wake up early, exercise, and shower, then answer emails over a bowl of oatmeal and instant coffee. Every now and then, my two daughters will interrupt my remote workday, so I’ve gotten used to editing copy with the Frozen 2 soundtrack as my guide. After a homemade dinner, we watch a movie, get ready for bed, and call it a day. Then repeat.
What to Do with Extra Time?
In such uncertainty, my family is fortunate to be healthy and safe. However, this situation has thoroughly challenged my regularly active lifestyle. After the first few days filled with boredom and anxiety, I decided to rethink this newfound extra time as a chance to think creatively and try new things.
Task 1: An Indoor Marathon
With gym access completely closed off, I’ve had to get creative with my daily workouts. And man, it was rough. I’d write a training session and abandon it halfway. The lockdown was draining my motivation to stay fit. That is until an idea struck. Although I have an indoor rower at home, I had never entertained the idea of rowing a marathon distance: 26.2 miles, or 42,195 meters. But the idea popped in my head and stayed there. Maybe it stemmed from the inspiration to complete a marathon at least once in my lifetime. Or maybe it was the simple fact that I suddenly had all the time in the world. Like what, am I too busy?
I set aside a Saturday morning for the marathon, ordered a few bottles of sports drinks and candy bars, and set to the challenge. I was 100% sure this would be my only attempt ever, so I wanted to film the row in all of its painful glory. After 3 hours and 17 minutes of torture, I finished 13 minutes ahead of my 3.5hr goal. Two days into quarantine, I was struggling to find the motivation to exercise for even 30 minutes. Two weeks into sheltering in place, I completed a marathon. I still don’t know if I’m satisfied more with the accomplishment or the resolve to never do that again.
Task 2: Connecting the Fitness Community Online
If there’s one thing I’ve truly missed due to social distancing, it’s coaching fitness classes. Seeing people improve their physical abilities while building trust is what makes coaching special. This camaraderie also applies at work, where I lead group classes in the gym at our DJI office. People from different departments have become friends while chasing a lunchtime sweat.
Now that group gatherings are largely prohibited, we came up with the next best option: group video calls. Crafting workouts with no equipment can be a challenge; how can you make it home-friendly and still engaging? But with a little bit of creativity, it can… work out (let me have this cheesy pun). Unable to coach in person, I rely on video to show each movement. Putting together a one-minute demo was surprisingly more fun than I expected, and I found myself posting it to group chats and Instagram in case anyone else needed some inspiration.
While online calls have the usual trappings of patchy connections, frozen screens, and awkward interruptions, getting together for an hour had the powerful effect of keeping our fitness community connected during this vulnerable time. With both members from my gym and my DJI colleagues joining the sessions, these classes are bringing separate groups together. There were moments when pets and family members stumble into the frame – they’d look, wave, and sometimes joined in. We let each other into our lives and supported each other in a way I hadn’t seen before.
Task 3: Junior Photography Lessons
My older daughter Lily attends the local kindergarten. But with classes canceled indefinitely, it’s been up to us to provide learning opportunities. Very early into Lily’s childhood, my wife and I realized that she enjoyed browsing through our photo albums. She eventually learned how to use my smartphone camera, and I’d often find strangely artistic shots of a chair, a cup, or her baby sister’s chubby face. There was a budding shutterbug in the house.
Now seemed to be the perfect time to encourage Lily’s artistic side, the only question was how. I own a DSLR camera, but as much I love my daughter, letting her use it was a hard no. But with its compact size and simple, accessible features, she could easily snap pictures with Osmo Action (aren’t you impressed I was able to write this long without any product placement?). It also proved rugged enough for accidental drops and not-so-accidental temper tantrums. A recent highlight of our extended time indoors has been flipping through all her new photos and videos. Her current favorite muse is her stuffed hedgehog.
Sharing Moments: More Important Than Ever
If you’re anything like me, your phone sent noted a 70% increase in screen time this week. Turns out when we’re stuck at home with not much to do, the first thing we reach to is the comfort of our smartphones. Sometimes it’s to see updated numbers and statistics on the latest virus news. Other times, it’s for news reports to see exactly how our world is turning upside down. And sometimes, we just want a place to escape the anxiety that social distancing can bring, along with the fear of the unknown. And in times like these, I think it’s more important than ever share our moments with each other.
Sharing your most mundane details can help pass time. Sharing your creatively adapted hobbies can inspire others to find a way to maintain theirs. Sharing your life gives a sense of the normalcy that we once took for granted. So how about this: With all this extra phone time, take some of it to show how you’re doing. Whether or not you have a DJI product, and no matter if you’re with friends, roommates, or on your own, choose a moment to capture and make it public.
In your shared moments, whether it’s a personal achievement or an everyday task, you’re showing your resilience during these difficult times. You’re connecting to a global community that’s feeling the same weight on its shoulders. And you’re proving that you’re here, and you’ll be ok.
It’s been two months since my family started a life of social distancing. Those first two weeks dragged on with anxiety and boredom, but I’m here to tell you that it gets better. You adapt and overcome, and even find things to appreciate with this new lifestyle. And you come out of this hibernation. The neighborhood slowly comes back to life. Businesses open their doors, sounds return to the street, and people walk out of their homes with a new calmness and kindness, happy to see each other again.
We’re all in this together. Let’s share our moments and make 2020 our year.