I wake up everyday, locked in my condo wishing that our normal lives would return and thankful for another life. The Covid-19 virus would be the most unforgettable pandemic hence it has affected everyone’s health and livelihood. A plot from a movie coming to life.
Philippines, 40+ days in and currently 10 000+ cases positive of covid- 19, everything seems so silent. Usually Manila is the epicenter of the hustle and bustle of streets that leads to forever traffic. Since the lockdown which was March 16, it was like in a movie scene. At first there was a curfew for a few days (morning to 8PM), then completely shutting down of public places and prohibition of public transportation. People would rush to groceries to hoard goods. It came to the point you can’t buy any medical face masks, alcohol and disinfectant sprays. Everyone was in full panic mode. You can’t leave your home without wearing a face mask and an issued quarantine pass that would be approved by the Barangay. Per family, only one designated person will be allowed to go out. Well, Philippines isn’t the perfect model for the whole “social distancing” concept. There would be many times you would roll your eyes because people can be so impossible and hard headed. Philippines is an overly populated country which is hard to control because of the lack of discipline as well and the government, don’t get me started with it.
As a former medical frontliner, it breaks my heart that a lot of medical institutions lack PPE and that mostly hospitals now would be a possible channel to contract the virus and most frontliners tested positive. It’s Nurses’ week, honestly I may feel a little left out not being on the front lines for missing the action but I know I am safe at home, maybe God has his purpose. To all fronliners, it is such a noble cause to the professions and I salute you. For those staying at home, you can help with the available resources you have (like donating online) and even though you may not be a frontliner just do your part as an abiding citizen and follow social distancing guidelined and just try to SURVIVE.
January, when the virus started to take over China, and where was I that time? I just came back from a 1 month vacation at Oman. Leaving Oman was heartbreaking since the passing of our beloved Sultan Qaboos. His passing was officially announced on the day of my flight, JANUARY 12, 2020. Waking up early that morning was really sad. Even a part of me wanted to cancel my flight and to stay to mourn with everyone. My friends Mark and Lea slept over and knew how my vibe was going on that time. Main roads heading to the airport was closed and me personally wishing that some kind of miracle would prevent me and my sister to leave and miss our early flight to Manila. As we arrived at the airport, I tried to fight the tears and probably I didn’t know that time would be the last time to bid farewell to the country that I grew up and loved. Honestly, I wasn’t mentally ready that time but I know that my Dad planned to retire soon before he hits 60 years old (maximum age for expats to work). The pandemic has graciously affected the economy, resulted a lot of expats losing their jobs. My dad was on his 15th year and he was terminated from his job on March 2020. What would happen to more jobs and to the economy if this pandemic continues?
Coming back not knowing was the eruption of a the Taal Volcano that has hit my ancestral home situated at Batangas. Far from metro manila but it seems dust particles has reached the capital. I remembered seeing my car covered with it. Not a few days/ weeks in also the horrendous forest fire in Australia happened.
A fews days later, I joined my friends on a trip that would be one for the books. Our 5 day trip to Hong Kong and Macau. I remembered making an itinerary for Lea, Franz and I. This was our first trip traveling out of the country. I have visited Hong Kong already that’s why I voluntarily decided to make our itinerary. I’ve included places that I failed to visit before like Ocean Park, Madam Tussaud and more. It was actually a risk traveling to Hong Kong that time too because of the the number of protest happening (Chinese government to rule over Hong Kong) but as we know Hong Kong was in control of it, we were a bit at ease. That was also the time the Pandemic at Wuhan, China started, I decided to buy medical mask, vitamins, anti bacterial soaps, sanitizers and alcohol for our trip.
January 25, 2020 was Chinese New Year and we celebrated at Hong Kong Disneyland. As we enter some attractions there were no lines at all. Being at the happiest place on our first day lead to our most frustrated days because China decided to impose a total lockdown on travel and the closure of Hong Kong’s theme parks. As everyone back home keeps on posting on social media and checking in on us that also lead to more frustration that we decided to cut our Macau trip and rebooked our return date much earlier. As we would look back, my friends and I would just laugh at it because if we didn’t let our frustration get us at first, we would have enjoyed more since the whole world would be affected and HK was in control. As of today HK had a few number of deaths, they sanitize the MTR every 2 hours and good health system so they were able to contain the virus. But on the bright side we left Hong Kong earlier before the entire colony of China decides to go on total lockdown and to ban international travel.
Honestly those feelings at the start of January were a roller coaster of emotions. I remembered commuting to HK international airport from Tsim Tsam Tsui at 5 ish AM and waiting for the trains to operate at 6AM, sadly also hearing the tragedy and passing of NBA’s Kobe Bryant with his daughter and others on board his helicopter (January 27, 2020).
Looking at these series of unfortunate events, referencing to the fiction. It hit me that sometimes that when things fall apart it makes you whole again. I’ve had my personal ups and downs but that did not make me stop living and I think talking about it eases the moving on process. Like my Mom said, “LABAN LANG. Another looking at the bright side thinking, Earth is starting to heal like clear skies and oceans. Remember as much as the world fails you, never regret having a good heart <3
Looking forward when the lift ECQ/GCQ would be lifted, who knows when? The whole world is affected and each country going through their own worries. As days get better, recoveries are greater in number compared to deaths. Introducing what we know now as the new normal and slowly restoring before everything happened. Can’t wait to travel and see the world again. As cliche as it sounds, there will always be a silver lining at the end (Hello Catriona!). I know it’s hard to have a positive mindset during this kind of crisis and as a circulating meme goes around that it’s not a good place now to be surrounded by positive people (haha). I opted to look at the bright side of things, sometimes and shed some light on my blog to inspire. While my memory is still fresh, I decided to write on my blog and maybe one day my future kids/grandkids would find this blogpost scattered in the blogosphere and knew how I went through that time as a testament.
Keep safe and stay healthy <3
What was my new normal during quarantine? How to love yourself in a middle of a crisis? http://www.krishgeek.com/love-yourself-and-live-a-healthy-lifestyle/