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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Unexpected Benefits

  1. FADE IN.

  2. Act 1


  4. PETER checks his phone notifications.

  5. PETER (V.O.): A Quoran asks me if I get any unexpected benefits during the pandemic.

  6. Pausing.

  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd):If staying home is generally beneficial, there's no need for people to go out. Staying home isn't without any benefits, but I expect them.

  8. Peter taps on an App.

  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Someone says his unexpected benefit is that life has become less stressful. But what is unexpected to him is pretty obvious to me.

  10. Recalling.

  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Earlier, I got a hygiene product gift. Even that gift didn't catch me by surprise. So I don't have any unexpected benefits in the current adversity.

  12. Peter scrolls down the screen.

  13. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I've over 10 other answer requests. I might not respond to the question - unlesss I'd adjust my expectations or appreciate more the benefits that I might have taken lightly.

  14. Act 2


  16. Peter is doing push-ups.

  17. PETER (V.O.): After resting throughout the Easter holidays, my back and hip pain has gone. It's so good to live without pain. I wasn't that aware of it.

  18. Finishing 70 times, Peter slowly gets up from the floor using the support of all his limbs.

  19. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I don't feel any pain during the exercise. Perhaps, pushing-up wasn't the cause of my pain. I think I can resume my push-ups.


  21. Peter focuses on the small prints on his computer screen.

  22. PETER (V.O.): A fine work requires lots of attention to detaills, including adding or deleting a comma.

  23. Getting something.

  24. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Could it because I got pain for sitting too long?

  25. Pausing.

  26. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But my seat time during the Easter was on par with my daily routine. It might be one of the necessary conditions but not a sufficient condition.

  27. Nodding.

  28. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): So the cause of my pain was either running or dancing.

  29. EXT. PARK - DAY

  30. Peter is runing very slowly on tracks.

  31. PETER (V.O.): I feel some stress in my knee joints now.

  32. Recalling.

  33. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I felt the stress and pain particularly when I was doing Viennese Waltz. I then stopped dancing, but kept on running.

  34. Pausing.

  35. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But I'm not feeling any stress or pain in my back.

  36. Arriving at an open space, Peter begins to do some footwork, gently.

  37. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Ah, I wouldn't have been able to practise them but for the dance-at-home videos recently shared on YouTube by a dance teacher. He worked out the choreography of basic steps, figures and the lines of dance of Waltz, Tango and Slow Fox in a sitting room.

  38. Pausing.

  39. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Due to the social distancing measures, he has to adapt to the adversity by doing knowledge transfer online. People can learn to dance at home during the pandemic.

  40. Reflecting.

  41. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Yes, I didn't expect such learning opportunities and have benefitted. I should document that and show my appreciation.

  42. Peter leaves, using his hands to feel his lower back.

  43. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Oh, having run just about one km and danced briefly the three routines, I now feel some stress on my lower back.

  44. Peter looks upset.

  45. Act 3


  47. Peter surfs the web.

  48. PETER (V.O.): I see. Lower back pain is very common for new runners. I've done my running and probably my dancing too strongly and too quickly.

  49. Pausing.

  50. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): What I could do a decade ago without any problem doesn't mean my conditions would remain the same.

  51. Pausing.

  52. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Age aside, life is full of difficulties, setbacks and imperfections, otherwise we won't appreciate life is good.

  53. Pausing.

  54. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): And if I or the world don't have to face adversity, we won't change.

  55. Reflecting.

  56. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The world since its first industralization hasn't been the same as before.

  57. Pausing.

  58. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The pandemic illustrates that nature works in mysterious ways and humans aren't omipotent on earth.

  59. Pondering.

  60. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Is adversity in the current pandemic the greatest gift of all?

  61. Pausing.

  62. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): For those who can survive it, it must be the case.

  63. Pausing.

  64. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Meanwhile, let me include some of these thoughts in answering that Quora question.

  65. Peter begins to tap on his phone.

  66. FADE OUT.

  67. THE END

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