From our base in Hong Kong, it’s impossible not to be affected by the extremely challenging times we are all currently facing. Each sensationalist news headline and unchecked rumor on social media feeds a perfect storm of anxiety and discord that’s sweeping through our community. While it seems increasingly difficult to retain a sense of calm and perspective, we stopped to reflect: What do we really stand for, and how we stay true to ourselves through difficult times?
As a small family business, we take our brand values of consideration, mindfulness and respect very seriously. These cornerstones of our company touch on far more than clothing – they reflect our personal principles that define what “conscious living” means to us.
The speed at which the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has spread has been rivalled only by the speed at which false news and rumor-mongering have become prevalent. We should remember our responsibility to consider facts and apply reason before disseminating misleading information, or worse, fear-based biases. Do verify sources before sharing clickbait articles or unfounded hearsay. Also, sometimes it just helps to simply unplug and take a break from the overwhelming coverage, to refresh your mind and reset your perspective.
While COVID-19 is occupying the headlines, it is important to remember that “regular” influenza also persists as a perennial risk to vulnerable groups such as children, the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. Good hygiene practices – which we’re all now acutely familiar with! – should always be applicable, beyond the current scare.
On the other hand, we find a need to resist overreacting by suddenly scouring our hands and homes with toxic cleaners, which are completely unproven to be "better" at keeping us flu-free.
We also advocate ensuring a strong immune system by eating a healthy, varied diet, as well as undertaking regular exercise. Let’s look beyond the current panic, and consider sensible, long-term approaches to fighting any potential current or future illness.
Supporting local communities has always been an important part of what we stand for, so, with smaller businesses currently struggling to keep afloat, it’s never been more important to apply this principle. While it may sometimes seem like COVID-19 has blanketed all else, in fact, many businesses have to remain open to continue paying their staff and rents during this time. After weeks of being cooped up at home, consider how you can start engaging your local businesses again, bit by bit.
One of the most important things that we can do during troubled times is to strengthen our commitment to our community. We’ve all seen the shocking footage of emptied supermarket shelves! Panic-buying has essentially created a problem where none exists - creating shortages of essentials so that it has become difficult, especially for vulnerable members of society, to obtain them through normal means. Some ways lend practical support during this period: Food charities in Singapore have started voicing out about a sharp drop in volunteers leading to an inability to get much-needed rations to the needy, while Hands On Hong Kong has coordinated the urgent requirements (including, yes, toilet paper) for a number of charities.
Let’s remain conscious of the bigger picture together, and find a positive way to emerge from this challenge with both our health and sanity intact!
Christine & Ivan