The Things I Learned During Quarantine

Currently on day 26 of quarantine, hindi parin tapos ang laban natin with the unknown, not even close to ending the lockdown. Extended pa nga e. E kasi naman ni wala pa ata tayo sa umpisa ng flattening of the curve. Kamusta, gaano ka na kabagot by now? Hehe.

Hindi naman bago saken ma-quarantine. I’ve been a stay at home since Jhia although I still go out at times, siyempre, kasi nakakabaliw makulong sa bahay. Hehe. Ngayon, we have no choice but to lock ourselves in the corners of our home as we don’t want to get infected. Crazily sounds like a zombie acopalypse, no? But who wants to get the virus? Wala naman di ba.

Anyway, getting locked down for a month now (because the last time I went out was March 8 – a day before Jela’s birthday), have made me appreciate a lot of things that I don’t even get to notice before. And here are some of the lessons I have learned so far:

1. Appreciate the small grocery in the area and whatever they have there. I have to admit, hindi talaga ako madalas pumupunta sa labasan. Kahit gaano kasimpleng ingredient ang kailangan ko, sa hypermarket agad ang takbo. But now that some areas are on strict lockdown, we have no choice but to explore the nearest grocery store. I used to think kasi na kulang don or baka luma na (sorry). Ngayon, nakakasurvive kami sa kung ano’ng meron doon.

2. Save on emergency fund. Huwag ubos biyaya at one-day millionaire. Yes, there are things na gusto talaga nating bilhin kahit na di naman importante. Okay lang naman yon. But make sure that there’ll be something left. Kahit gaano kaliit, basta magtabi ka and forget about it. You never know when you will need it.

3. Be thankful for your job. Nung nagtatrabaho tayo, we always look forward sa leave, bakasyon, pahinga. We often complain na nakakapagod magtrabaho, some would even wish to be a housewife just so they don’t get to experience the daily work struggles. Totoo naman siguro na nakakapagod and it’s not even bad to wish for a break. Pero don’t forget to be grateful for your job. During this lockdown, ang daming nawalan ng trabaho. May mga na-lay off, na-retrench because the company is losing its income and wala nang maibayad sa tao. Kaya ikaw na tuloy lang ang kita despite what we arw facing now, be thankful that you’re continuously getting paid. Aminin mo, namimiss mo din pumasok sa office.

4. I maybe not in the position to comment about the government but I have to say this: In fairness to the President, naappreciate ko siya ngayon. Everything that he says, naappreciate ko talaga kasi he doesn’t make me feel like I’m on this battle alone. Naappreciate ko siya lalo when he requested everyone to pray, when he declared Wednesday as national day of prayer. He may not have the best words when he speak, but I can see how he takes an effort in making us fee that we have him in this battle. He may not be the best President to most, I know he’s putting his best foot forward to extend help to everyone. Sana hindi lang ako ang nakakaappreciate sa kanya. And sana if you don’t see how he works, at least cooperate kahit ngayon lang. Thank you, mr. President.

5. Feed yourself with information but do not overdo it. Sa ganitong panahon, it is important to have a healthy mind. Kasi it is in having a healthy mind that we can think well. Ngayon pinakaimportante na bukas ang isip natin sa mga bagay bagay. I’ve been experiencing anxiety and if not for the kids, I might have dragged myself to the hospital to get checked and tested kasi akala ko I was having symptoms when in fact, it’s all anxiety. Let’s do all that we can to fight it and keep a healthy mind.

6. Be thankful for the littlest help. Nitong lockdown, nakita ko ang daming ungrateful. Ang dami ko nakikitang nagpost na nabigyan ng ayuda pero imbis na magpasalamat, ‘eto lang ba?’ ang sinasabi. Why don’t we just be thankful na mayroong natanggap? Ewan ko ba, naiinis talaga ako sa mga ganito. I wish people learn to appreciate than complain and demand. We all didn’t want this pandemic, walang may gustong maghirap. Kung natulungan ka, swerte mo nga at naabutan ka. Ano pa yung mga wala talaga?

7. There are small ways to help. Not because you weren’t able to give donations doesn’t mean hindi ka mabuting tao. There are other ways to help. I used to feel guilty of not sharing in donation drives pero naisip ko na may iba pang paraan. Gaya na lang ng pagbili pa rin sa mga nag-iikot. Yung nagtitinda ng prutas, nagdadala ng buko, si ate na masipag umikot samin para magtinda ng mais; yung mga nag-oonline selling padin. Madalas, bumibili pa din kami sa kanila. It’s our little way of helping them as well as the riders na nawalan din ng income ngayon. Actually, ngayon ko sila mas naappreciate kasi nakakabili kami ng mga merienda sa kanila. Hats off sa inyo, SMEs!

Sa ganitong panahon, sana mas pairalin natin ang bayanihan kesa turuan, blame game, oust government keme. I-set aside kuna natin yung mga issues natin sa buhay. Magtulungan kesa maghilahan pababa. Now is the time we need everyone, hindi lang basta isang tao. Mahirap itong pinagdadaanan natin pero as the saying goes, ‘together we stand, divided we fall’.

Thank you to all our frontliners – our heroes without capes. Healthworkers, goverent officials, drivers, deliverers, maintenance people, support, SMEs, riders, market people, firefighters, policemen, and everyone braving the roads to serve. Saludo kami sa inyong lahat! Maraming salamat sa inyo!

We all want this to end And for that to happen, let’s do our part: stay at home.

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

African Proverb

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