The COVID-19 pandemic brought about challenges for every industry, and the entertainment scene is one of the hardest-hit fields with the pause on production for its huge number of gig workers. In Mandopop superstar Aaron Kwok’s own words, “it is the first time we see a pandemic like this, affecting the entertainment scene this deeply.”
Yahoo Lifestyle SEA chatted with Kwok during the grand opening of Lancôme Génifique’s #LiveYourStrength Virtual Flagship Store to learn how he had been spending time during the pandemic, his thoughts about the entertainment scene right now, and how he maintains his mental health during the pandemic.
“Because of the pandemic, I am now spending much more time with my family,” said Kwok. “Without this, I could be doing a variety of things around the globe, carrying out my world tour, and I could even be in Singapore now. However, due to the pandemic, I am now spending time at home with my children and watching them grow.”
With production on his upcoming movie, Disconnect, being put on hold due to COVID-19, the 54-year-old, a father of two, shared his fears of missing out on his children’s growing up. “Previously, I hardly even had time to eat at home. For the past two months, however, I have dinner with my family every night and I could spend time with them.”
For the singer-actor who has been busy ever since joining the entertainment scene, it is disheartening to see that many jobs in the industry disappearing because of the pandemic.
“Those dancers who had worked with me, they, and the crew that does behind-the-scenes for movies are cut out of the pandemic relief from the government. For them, out of nowhere, they lost their jobs and their source of income. For me, I felt deeply for them,” said Kwok.
Kwok held an online concert in May, hoping to bring a source of income and hope for the people he had worked with.
Thankful to be able to do something to help his fellow colleagues in the scene, Kwok shared that production had recently begun for his movie. Filming in the new normal, the actor also reassured fans that filming is done in a safe environment for both cast and crew.
Sharing that the pandemic had brought about changes that are here to stay, the superstar added that while his career is still a huge part of who he is, realising that he is able to take this time to live in the moment and cherishing his time with his family is just as vital.
“Nothing is more fundamental than good health. Spending time with my family and making sure that they are just as healthy, is very important. My children are both at home as their school is closed, and as a parent, I am very worried about their health.”
Like every parent, Kwok worries for his children and how they could catch the virus if they had gone out frequently. The superstar laughed as he described the similarity of this video interview with how his children are having classes now. “They have been using internet video conferencing, like we are now, to continue with classes.”
No one is spared from the negative effects that COVID-19 brought, be it being retrenched or losing the freedom to interact with friends the way we were used to before the pandemic. Not only does the virus affect our physical health, but it also brought about challenges to our mental health.
“Keeping a positive mind is of utmost importance. We cannot change the circumstances we are in now, but we can always change how we feel about it. If you look at a picture and you see a colourful world and sunshine, you will definitely feel better. However, if what you see is a heavy storm with thunder and lightning, you will feel dejected. If you can keep a bright and sunny mindset, you will be able to see things brighter and better.”
Putting things in perspective, Kwok asked, “A happy day or a sad day, why not choose to lead the day happily, instead of torturing yourself with a sad day ahead?”
Keeping a thankful heart is an ideology that Kwok holds strongly. Regardless on how busy his day was or how tired he was from work, the singer-actor believed that feeling thankful, for being able to still work and grow in the pandemic, is one of the things that saw him through the trying times.
Starting a regular exercise regime, and eating and sleeping better, are some of the tips Kwok gave to strengthen one’s mental health. “Eat what you want; do not force yourself to starve just for a diet. Take time to start a better skincare routine for yourself,” he said.
“The earlier you start taking care of your skin, the longer it will last. Everyone should come and ask me how I keep my skin healthy, I am an expert!”
The Lancome Virtual Flagship is available till 20 September 2020. Visit here.