Tips from Shanghai: Self-Quarantine & Work from Home

by HULA , April 15, 2020
Diana Tu (@dianatu)

With most of the world stuck at home for weeks on end due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, a lot of the isolated are tearing out their hair trying to keep themselves sane from all the news, social distancing and homeschooling.  In the last few weeks, we have been interviewing women of different industries, nationalities all over the world to bring to you the best tips for self-quarantine and working from home because life goes on even when the world is under siege from this deadly virus. Whether you’re a mother juggling between working from home and keeping the kids entertained, or stuck in a foreign country alone fearing that going back home might bring something nasty to your family members, we hope the series ignites positive energy and brings practical tips that can guide you through this journey.

We shed some light on the situation in MilanSydneySeoulNew York and San Francisco last time. This week, we’re honoured to be interviewing Shanghai-based branding and retail consultant — Diana Tu. Speaking from Shanghai, Diana talks us through her pandemic-daily-routine and some words to live by during this time.


Where are you and what do you do?

I live and am in Shanghai right now. I work as a freelance branding and retail consultant. I also have a few projects for the family business on the side, manufacturing certain fitness and wellness equipment.



What is it like where you are right now?

Things have really calmed down here. People are still vigilant and take precautions, i.e. mask wearing, hand washing, etc. but things are pretty much back to normal. It might be slightly more quiet than usual but it’s peaceful. There’s no overwhelming sense of panic or fear, which is important at times like this.


What is the biggest impact the virus has had on your every day, social and work life? 

I had a few events that I was working on that got cancelled, but other than that, my work is pretty much back to its routine. I’ve always been a homebody so though I see friends a bit less just to be safe, it hasn’t affected my social life much as we keep up with each other well enough through social media.  I haven’t been to any fitness studio in a while though and could use a session with my pilates instructor! The rise of xenophobia has also come to my attention these days. Some people have used the situation to exploit our fear of differences instead of celebrating our interconnectedness. I wish more people would focus on the good deeds that are being done during this time. We share the same fate. We are in this together.


If you could do one thing right now to save the situation – what would it be?

A widely available vaccine that can be afforded by all would, of course, be the most practical. Other than that, we should all keep following precautions – social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, etc. More than just thinking of saving the current situation, we need to start thinking about the future as well. We’ll face more crises in the future as human beings, as that is just the natural order of things. The virus didn’t cause the problems we are facing today. It brought them to the surface. What can we do today to avoid the same things happening in the future? This is an opportunity of self-reflection – on not only our relationship to this earth but to each other as well.



Are there any positive things that you have discovered or seen people take up?

I’ve discovered a lot of good streaming workouts. I have a lot of fun doing the Tracy Anderson program at home.


What is your top tip for self quarantining or social distancing during this period?

Move. Meditate. Read. Cook. Stream. Or find any entertainment that works for you. There are so many options out there. I’ve picked up gaming again after a hiatus!