COVID-19 concerns

My two week holiday in Thailand has now come to an end. I am so relieved. It is amazing to be back in London and in a “proper” country.

The COVID-19 situation was a massive bummer during the entire trip. I developed a small-scale paranoia over each cough or sneeze I heard. I was on the edge all of the time. I’d hold my breath every time I passed someone who coughed or sneezed or spoke Chinese (I know, I know… it’s actually Mandarin – but you get what I mean). This was relatively stressful.

It didn’t help that the news was all about the virus doing its thing all day long. I even got an email from HR, which said that they may require me to stay at home for 2 weeks upon my return as a precautionary measure even if I am asymptomatic. This worried me a lot as it would also impact my girlfriend, who would also need to self-quarantine – otherwise what’s the point if one of us is at home potentially spreading the infection and the other one continues with her life as usual potentially sharing the love.

I was allowed to go to work by HR as I was asymptomatic and deemed a low risk for COVID-19. However, at times it’s relatively unpleasant to be back. My colleagues, naturally, worry about whether it is safe to be around me or to converse with me or if it is OK to sit next to me. It makes me feel unwanted and uncomfortable.

The entire 14-day self-quarantine thing might all be insufficient anyway as there have been cases where people were asymptomatic for much longer. Also, if I catch a normal cold (as there are people coughing their lungs out in my office every 2 minutes – it’s a big office) I’d have to self-quarantine anyway. I am on edge as I need to stay healthy for 14 days… otherwise, I and my girlfriend will be locked up and need to contact NHS and do whatever they ask us to do. This is all very frustrating.

The other big development is the sell-down in global stock markets. My relatively large gains for February 2020 have been completely wiped out and this month might end in red. Sad. I was looking forward to registering one of my best investment performance months.

I’m not going to make any changes to my portfolio because of the COVID-19 volatility. This is because my investment strategy never had a rule which said “if we have a coronavirus outbreak in South-East Asia, then sell to cash an move to bonds” or anything like that.

The way I see it, the virus situation is a temporary event and largely noise. I will ride it out and stick to my long-term investment strategy. In fact, right now could be a good time to add more money into the portfolio.

Enjoy the ride!