E-numan: Social drinking
CTALK - Cito Beltran (The Philippine Star) - September 21, 2020 - 12:00am

Now tell the truth how many of you had wished to get a break or have more time to take care of personal stuff or spend time at home? Well, we got what we wished for, six straight months of staying at home or within your area of residence, especially those 60 and above or 20 and below. So what do you have to show for all that time?

Last Wednesday I wrote about the Plant-Tito and Plant-Tita craze that has become such a movement, but not everyone is into plants. Unless I’m mistaken, one of the biggest concerns over a long term lockdown or quarantine that limits people’s movements is that people will gain weight and obesity will be on the rise. That poses an even bigger problem since doctors have pointed out that obese or fat people had a higher risk of complications and potential death if they contracted the COVID-19 virus. If you have not done so, I suggest that you make your bathroom scale or weighing scale your accountability partner. At the start of the quarantine, my weight slowly crept up between March 16 to June 5.

That’s when I decided to do something about it and one very effective solution was Intermittent Fasting. Ask a doctor or certified trainer about it or do some research because it’s not as simple as delaying food, but I will say that I lost 20 lbs. Fasting alone won’t help and since you prayed for more time at home, then do what I did, I’ve been doing the laundry myself, I cook now and then but most effective of all is doing all the carpentry, masonry and renovation work myself. You sweat, you fret, you struggle and if you do it right you crawl to bed ready to sleep with no need for herbal stuff to snooze.

Going past the obesity concern, people’s next worry has been connectivity and staying “In Touch,” which is no longer the right term because we can’t touch people like we used to. But I have noticed, especially when hosting our cable/online program “AGENDA” for Cignal TV, that many public officials or public personalities who face the cameras so often have not managed or bothered to UPGRADE their internet provider or invest on their video and audio equipment. I get the impression that they still treat our new normal as a temporary thing. Even if we could go back to the old normal, I think a lot of people won’t go back there because the new normal of digital online communication has too many benefits and can be so time and cost efficient that people will stick to it. But in the meantime, the current crop of communicators and resource persons are losing out in terms of connectivity and the professional look every time their video or audio drops or lags because they did not get the higher Mbps package, they did not buy a quality microphone or insist on using their “Puede Na” mobile phone camera or laptop built-in camera. Last but not least they don’t study options for earphones that give better reception and audio quality.

You might ask; why bother? Well, if you consider yourself a pro or you want to be effective, then why not? You might not even be a “public personality or go-to person” but in the age of lockdowns a lot of people are slowly but surely realizing that Zoom meetings or Chats are not just for work or serious stuff. A number of successful entrepreneurs I know now have regular weekend meet-ups online for social purposes. I joined one Saturday once and we ended up with an E-numan session or social drinking on social media. It was bring out your own bottle or glass of wine and chill. We didn’t drink much but we really chilled. It was as if the “exercise” exorcised months of bad vibes about being locked down and not seeing friends.

The beauty of investing in good digital set-up is that those being kept at home – the 60-up and 20-below – can rebuild their social lives if they all agreed to recreate their former communities online. Several friends are already avoiding their cantankerous parents who are stir crazy and combative because there is nothing to do. Well here’s an idea – why not set up group activities and not just chats on line. My dear wife Karen has been fiddling on how to set up her online sewing group and she says it is very challenging but uplifting, especially when a student gets the lesson. Everyday I am bombarded by ads on how to play the piano or guitar, why not try it for the older folks. Whatever you do – do something. You asked for more time so start with a list on what can I do, what should I do and what MUST I do while I have the time to do it. If you are a Plant Tito or Tita why not do online gardening groups, compare plants, projects and problems as well as solutions as a community. I go online for stuff I don’t know but it’s not as fun as actually interacting with the person. Interviewing politicians is not half as fun as talking to fellow hobbyists and enthusiasts online.

Better start working on what to do with your time because chances are we are all going to have more time at home than we bargained for. Work on your to-do list instead of passing the time idly by waiting for a vaccine that isn’t there! Cheers!

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