Living In The New Norm

Here is my thoughts and experiences on what it is like to live in the new normal.

September 14, 2022

We have been battling with the virus for more than two years. Covid-19 was declared a pandemic and now we are finally moving on. Many countries, including Singapore has eased most of its Covid-19 community and border measures and life returns to almost pre-pandemic norms

Here is my thoughts and experiences on what it is like to live in the new normal. From working from home to traveling to spending, these are some of the topics as we navigate these uncharted waters.

Mask On vs Mask Off

From 29 August 2022 onwards, masks are optional indoors except for public transport and healthcare settings. However, according to survey, almost half of Singapore residents will still wear maks in malls and while using private transport mode.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19, face masks have become an everyday essential for many people around the world. While the use of face masks has been proven to be effective in slowing the spread of the virus, there are still many people who choose to not wear a mask.

There are a variety of reasons why people may choose not to wear a mask. Some believe that wearing a face mask is inconvenient or uncomfortable. Others may believe that they are healthy and do not need to protect themselves. Some people may also think that wearing a face mask is a sign of weakness or fear.

While there are many reasons why someone might choose not to wear a face mask, it is important to remember that face masks are one of the most effective tools we have to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Wearing a face mask helps to protect yourself and others from the virus. At the end of the day, it is important to be respectful of others and their decision to wear or not wear a face mask.

Traveling vs Staycation

Are you planning to travel soon? Check out my previous article on Traveling In The Post Covid-19 World.

While staycations were all the rage at the start of the pandemic, with prolonged lockdowns and work-from-home, a growing number of Singaporeans are seeking longer getaways. Both have their pros and cons, and there are some key differences between the two.

One of the biggest benefits of traveling is that you get to explore new places. This can be a great way to learn about other cultures and see new things. However, it can also be more expensive and time-consuming, especially after the airlines have opened up and the demand increases. If you are on a tight budget, you might want to consider a staycation instead.

While staying at home may not sound as exciting as traveling, there are actually quite a few benefits to it. For one, it is much cheaper than taking a trip. You can also save time by not having to pack or plan your itinerary. And if you choose wisely, you can still find ways to have new experiences and create lasting memories.

So, which is right for you? Only you can decide. If you are trying to decide between traveling and having a staycation, keep the following things in mind:


  • Can be expensive
  • Time-consuming
  • Requires planning
  • Can be exhausting
  • You may not get to see everything on your list


  • Can be more relaxing
  • Is usually less expensive
  • Gives you time to enjoy your own city
  • Can be more spur of the moment

Work From Home vs Work In Office

Working from home during the pandemic is the default. With that comes an increase in work-related stress. Most people probably experienced a new level of stress, anxiety, and depression. That is because remote work takes on a whole new set of challenges. And line may not be drawn between work time and family time.

As people get more used to working from home, it has gradually ease into our lifestyle. Working from home can be a great thing. We get to spend more time with our family. We can save time and money. We have more flexibiltiy. In fact, according to the news, more workers prefer flexible working schedule. Many quit firms that are not offering enough flexibility.

Work from home and work in office are two completely different concepts. There are several key differences between the two.

Work From Home:

  • There is no need to commute, which can save time and money.
  • You have more control over your environment, which can lead to a higher level of productivity.
  • You may have more flexibility with your schedule.
  • It can be isolating and lonely at times.
  • You may need to set up a dedicated work space in your home.

Work In Office:

  • You will need to commute to and from work each day, which can take up time and cost money.
  • The office environment is typically more distractions and lower levels of privacy and control.
  • Most offices have set hours that everyone must adhere to.
  • Being around co-workers can provide social interaction and a sense of community.
  • The office will provide the necessary equipment and supplies for you to do your job effectively.


Both work from home and work in office have their pros and cons, so it is ultimately up to the individual and the company to decide what works best for them.

Essential Needs vs Luxury Wants

We are all living in uncertain times. With job insecurity, a volatile stock market and an overall economic slowdown, many of us are reconsidering our spending habits. Is that new handbag or latest gadget like the new iphone 14 a need or a want?

As we continue to live in the new norm, it is important to think about what our essential needs are versus our luxury wants. Essential needs are items that we require in order to live, such as food, shelter and clothing. Luxury wants are items that make our lives more comfortable but are not necessary for survival, such as electronics, designer clothes and expensive vacations.

Some people may argue that certain luxury items can become essential if they make our lives easier or improve our mental health. For example, some people may feel that their smartphone is essential because it allows them to stay connected with family and friends or because it gives them access to important work files. While these points are valid, it is important to remember that there are often cheaper alternatives available that can provide the same level of functionality.

In the end, it is up to each individual to decide what their priorities are. However, with careful consideration, we can all find ways to save money by identifying which items are truly essential and which ones are simply luxury wants.

Insurance vs Investment

Covid-19 has generally led Singaporeans to become more aware of protecting themselves and their loved ones. It has resulted in more people placing more importance on insuring themselves against unforeseen events such as death, disability, and critical illness. In the past year, we have observed many people becoming more proactive in seeking insurance solutions for their own peace of mind

With the pandemic fueling uncertainties about jobs, some plans, which combine both insurance and investment elements, have appealed to those who want to be able to adjust their coverage or investments according to their protection needs or wealth accumulation goals at different life stages.

Given the dour economic climate and market downturn, some people have taken up investment plans that are now available at “a lower unit price” in the hope of potential gains when a recovery comes round.

When it comes to financial planning, people often debate whether it is better to invest or to insure. Both options have their own pros and cons, so it’s important to understand the difference between the two before making a decision.

Insurance is designed to protect you from financial losses in the event of an unforeseen circumstance, such as an accident or illness. Investment, on the other hand, is a way of saving money and growing your wealth over time.

There are a few key things to consider when deciding whether to invest or insure. One is your time horizon — are you looking to protect yourself in the short-term or build long-term wealth? Another is your risk tolerance — how much are you willing to lose in order to potentially gain more?

Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to insurance vs investment. It is all about finding the solution that best meets your needs and goals. If you are not sure where to start, speak with me today for a non-obligatory consultation.

Junwen Chen

My mission is to educate and empower people to design their lives so that they can live in abundance.

Let me partner with you, to design and nurture your dreams and ultimate life goals.

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