In the past four weeks, the digital screens have taken over the world.
It was five weeks ago when the government enforced the community quarantine in my area, but to most of us, it already feels like a lifetime ago. Most of our usual activities like meetings, lunch dates, happy hours, and even play dates have been reduced through the digital screens.
In the beginning, it really felt suffocating as if we’re trapped in a four-walled room. In my case, we were asked by our company to work from home. It was business as usual for us — rendering 8 hours of work from Mondays to Fridays, still following the policy when it comes tardiness and absenteeism, and lastly filing for sick leave whenever we feel sick and cannot seem to work. The first few days were tough because, on a normal day-to-day basis, I easily get stressed. In the office, whenever I feel like I needed some fresh air, I usually text or message my boyfriend so we can take a few minutes’ walk just to freshen up my mind and, obviously, I cannot do that during this quarantine period anymore because aside from we are not allowed to go outside, we are also miles apart.
As the weeks went by, I got used to it a little. In times where I feel stressed with my tasks, I take a quick break, make myself coffee, take a 15-minute nap, read a chapter or two from the book that I am currently reading, or browse through my Facebook or Instagram feed and I would find something funny and send it to my boyfriend just for a quick laugh. Sometimes my high school friends and I would do a little chit chat on Messenger to check up on each other. It makes me smile thinking about it, because ever since we graduated from college, we all seemed too busy with our own lives that we didn’t have the time to catch up.
If we truly look deep in the situation at hand, one thing is for certain: It is in this trying time that love is both being challenged and affirmed.
On the other hand, I also took the time to read a couple of articles saying and confirming that most relationships are challenged given the fact that isolating means being away from your partner. While some couples chose to isolate together, most couples did not. It says, according to one of the articles that I’ve read, that since the start of the lockdown, divorce rates have soared in some countries.
Over the past couple of weeks, I find myself reflecting on how just a couple of month ago, I would never have imagined the whole world to be in this situation and how I was only concerned with things like contemplating if I should buy a new book, new clothes, or if I should finally get that telescope I’ve been wanting to buy for a while now (which I truly regret not buying since there were a lot of activities with the moon recently).
A few weeks before the lockdown, I was skeptical at the idea of Metro Manila being put into lockdown until it happened, and I actually couldn’t believe it. Maybe I underestimated this virus or maybe I was just pushing the idea at the back of my mind because I didn’t want it to happen. Needless to say, here we are now, a month since the quarantine was enforced.
I usually find myself reading and writing more these days because what else can I do? It’s one of the few things that I am actually happy about during this time because I haven’t written this much for as long as I can remember. As for my reading, I’ve already mentioned in one of my previous posts that I haven’t read a lot last year which resulted in not meeting my Goodreads reading challenge.
I would like to think that in my case, at least, love is being affirmed everyday during this quarantine period — maybe it’s true the distance makes the heart grow fonder. I dearly miss my boyfriend and all those random walks we usually spend together in the early mornings and during lunch and my heart truly aches every morning when I wake up to the thought that I will not be able to see him until the end of April (and even that is not certain yet as the government will have to reassess if another lockdown extension is needed), but it also made me appreciate the little things we did when we were physically together.
Also, based on my observation, perhaps the greatest act of love has been the support the people has been giving our frontliners by donating food, money, medicine, masks, alcohols, PPEs, etc. It’s in the fact that there are people who never loses hope — hope that this will all end soon.
For me, there are these simple things that keep me going despite the stress and the worry: It’s the sound of birds chirping outside my window pane at 6 AM, the smell of pancakes or bacon or sausages for breakfast, those extra hours of sleep in the morning, and those late night reading sessions.
Despite the claims that this pandemic has only shown the ugly side of humanity (and somehow, it’s true), I would like to think that there are still a few good people out there who would like to make a difference and make the world a better place. Despite all the chaos, one thing is for sure: Love is alive and present.
I know that the virus brought the whole world into an abrupt halt, and it is both annoying and terrifying, but if we all just take the time to change our perspective, maybe staying indoors and keeping everyone safe isn’t so bad.
So again, as I keep reiterating in my posts and on all of my social media platforms, please stay indoors and practice social distancing because the more we follow the health protocols, the sooner we can go back to our usual routine.