Improvise, adapt, overcome – former editor shares secrets to surviving a pandemic

Patrick Ho was a familiar face in the golfing scene. The former Golf Digest editor was in the media line for close to 30 years, where he did everything from advertising to photography, before turning to writing.

He left the magazine in 2018 after nearly a decade as the editor and dabbled in events management and media management services.

However, since the Covid-19 pandemic hit our shores last year, the jobs dried up. Ho holds several jobs to make ends meet.

“Position means nothing. My past means nothing. It is the same for golf media and golf publications. Media organisations are suffering,” said Ho.

“There are no corporate jobs or freelance writing opportunities. As such, I had to find other ways to survive.”

He revealed he withdrew one-third of his Employees Provident Fund (EPF) money when he turned 50 a couple of years ago to start his event management company.

But although he has a company to his name, it has not made any money.

“I used some of my EPF money to start the company. But the money’s gone as there are no jobs available,” said Ho, who, in the early days of Covid-19, sold face masks.

“I have stopped selling face masks because sales were not good. People would rather buy face masks from pharmacies.

“I then did several other ventures, such as selling mosquito repellents, and was a driver for a delivery service company. I have done everything possible to try to stay afloat.”

Ho, however, stopped driving as he said the returns were minimal, and the jobs were few.

“It was not financially viable. Perhaps, if I were on a motorcycle, I could have earned a little extra. But the number of jobs dropped drastically,” he said.

“Perhaps it is because many are stuck indoors due to the various Movement Control Orders, so fewer people are sending, or ordering stuff.

“It is the same for food deliveries. I noticed a drop in my neighbourhood. People are extra careful with their money.

“Since most are staying at home, they tend to cook more.”

Ho has now switched his attention to helping friends sell their food items. His latest venture is frozen durian pulps.

“I have given up selling non-essential items. Although I said earlier that there was a drop in food deliveries, people still have to eat.

“So, my focus is now on food,” said Ho.

“I am helping a friend promote his dishes from the famous Dragon Hut restaurant.

“As of this week, I am also selling frozen durian pulp.”

He said the key to surviving the pandemic is adaptability.

Ho considers himself a maverick as he has done different types of jobs during his career.

“People must be willing to evolve and learn. Be flexible and adapt. There is no end in sight, so we have to do everything we can to earn a living,” he said.

“I am thankful for my past, as I have learnt to adjust. I did some sales before, so it is helping now.

“I am helping friends sell their products. Their businesses are also affected. By helping them, I am helping myself. It is a win-win situation.”

He said the most frustrating thing is the constant changes to the standard operating procedures, which is making it hard for ordinary folks to survive.

DUMBFOUNDED

New cases over the past three days:

  • July 7 = 7,097 cases
  • July 8 = 8,868 cases
  • July 9 = 9,180 cases

The week of July 3-9 saw 51,889 new cases, the second-highest since the Covid-19 pandemic began last year.

We had more cases from May 29 to June 4 (53,608).

As of yesterday, we have recorded 817,838 cases. We passed the 800,000 threshold on Thursday.

There were also a record number of deaths in the past week – 653 – including 135 on Thursday. That was the single highest death toll in a day. Fatalities stand at 5,980.

On the recovery front, only 36,655 patients received a clean bill of health this week. That means 731,193, or 89.41 per cent of patients have recovered from the coronavirus.

Worldwide, there are 186.5 million cases, with slightly over four million fatalities.

MADNESS

This was making its rounds after Umno’s latest declaration that it would no longer support Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

DELICIOUSNESS

No recipe this week. Instead, here are three bakeries you might want to consider supporting – Delicious Decisions, Sedap D Sayang and Cheeky Monkeys 3.

I am thankful to have friends who send me stuff. As mentioned earlier this week, I am one of the lucky ones.

Let us all help each other.

WHAT HAPPENED

GRATEFUL

The Home Minister finally received her Covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday, while I received my second dose on Thursday.

I am grateful that everyone in my household who is eligible to be vaccinated, has got their appointments. My mum completed her second dose last month, while my sister’s second shot is this coming Wednesday.

We are one of the lucky families. Many others have yet to get an appointment.

I hope more will get their appointments soon, especially as Malaysia is now administering more than 300,000 doses a day.

FOOTY JOKE

Brazil plays Argentina in the Copa America final tomorrow (8am), while England faces Italy in the Euro 2020 finale (Monday, 3am).

I received this following a story that an England fan shone a laser pointer at Kasper Schmeichel’s face as he was about to face a Harry Kane penalty in the semi-finals.

A SHAKIRA CLASSIC

There are many football songs, but Liverpool’s anthem – You’ll Never Walk Alone – to me is the greatest of all.

We’ve already featured two versions of You’ll Never Walk Alone on the Diaries, so have a listen to this one, by Shakira.

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