As the COVID-19 pandemic turns regular life upside down, how people manage their lives with respect to work, family, and travel have changed.  We asked Houssam Hoteit, MACES VP Finance, how he is coping.

Have you found attending online classes more or less convenient?

Houssam Hoteit: I have attended one online class so far (on Zoom) and did a presentation. It is interesting to see that the University was able to quickly adapt to the new circumstances in order to finish the semester. The online class is convenient as (1) you can record it (and watch the session later) or (2) save commute time and connect at the time of the session. However, I found that it is more difficult to focus during the 3 hours of the session. Therefore, I recommend everyone (and the professor) take more breaks to give everyone the chance to stretch and relax in order to focus again.

What has been the biggest challenge for you during the past few weeks of physical distancing?

Houssam Hoteit: Working/studying from home has been the biggest challenge in the past month. Due to the physical distancing, I am not able to meet with colleagues, friends, family members or even clients. In order to stay in touch and make sure that things are moving forward, I try to connect with them over FaceTime, Houseparty, or Skype on a daily basis. Physical distancing is important during the pandemic to save others’ lives and make sure that we contain the virus; however, it is also important to stay in contact with people. Reaching out to them on daily basis will help you to stay in touch. Together, we can overcome this period.

Once the local travel restrictions have been lifted, where do you want to go?

Houssam Hoteit: Travelling is one of my hobbies. Usually, I used to plan my trips 6 months in advance. However, the situation has changed now, and airlines are expected to stay canceled untill the month of August. In case the government authorizes local trips, I will try to discover Canada more, which is one of the world’s most beautiful countries, and visit other provinces on the west coast (like Alberta, BC)…When international trips will be allowed, I will try to visit a place in the sun/beach.