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A New Normal (My Home Quarantine Journal)

Davao City Community Quarantine: Day 17

Actually, I had to look that up because I’m confused whether the community quarantine was initially declared on March 15 or March 16. So I had to check to the Executive Order, which was dated March 15 nga. Case closed.

Wow, I have time to check executive orders now. Yep, welcome to the new normal.

Am I still updating my planner? Yes. Do I follow it? Not so much.

Well, honestly, not much has changed for me, at least in general. I work from home, so my daily schedule is more or less the same. The difference is that I no longer go outside the house to do on-site real estate work. My day is pretty much work, chores, Netflix, news updates, books, prayer time, chatting, and calls lumped together with no clear structure.

Oh, and I don’t have to check the time now because I don’t have to take my child to and from school.

1. Speaking of school

Yuri’s school had to abruptly end the school year when classes were suspended on a national level last March 12. They were scheduled pa to have their final exams the following week, kaya lang everything was already cancelled then.

Déjà vu! We had almost the exact same experience last December at school, when the region experienced strong earthquakes. The city had to cancel all classes right in the middle of the 3rd quarter exams and napaaga ang aming Christmas vacation. This time, summer vacation naman ang napaaga.

Segue: Another thing that I find funny (in an ironic way) is that during both times, Yuri had a fever right around the cancellation of classes, and in both times, I worried whether Yuri was healthy enough to take the exams or not.

Anyway, Yuri said it was fine that school ended earlier than expected (syempre, no more exams!), but he felt sad that he didn’t get goodbye to his friends and classmates. They will be in 3rd grade na the next time they see each other, and possibly in different classrooms.

And by the looks of things now, we can’t be sure when the next school year is going to begin…

I have entertained the idea of homeschooling Yuri just in case it comes to a point that the school will require it. Seeing as we have had some experience in homeschooling during his preschool year, I don’t think we’ll have a hard time (if ever). I do think it will be a challenge to families with both parents working, so it’s entirely possible that it will not happen naman. Wala lang, I just like being prepared.

2. Home quarantine supplies

We’re quite fortunate because during the earthquake scares, we started preparing emergency bags where we kept stocks of basic supplies like canned food, noodles, biscuits, soap, shampoo, and clothes. We also had a small supply of surgical masks and gloves. We never imagined that they would come in handy again in just a matter of months.

But supplies run out quickly, especially food. We are huge snackers at home so snacks never last long in our household. Since the community quarantine was declared, we’ve been on I think 4-5 trips to the grocery trying to stock on food and basic supplies. We didn’t hoard ha, we just bought enough for our consumption. Disclaimer lang hehehe. Kaya lang madali talagang maubos ang food dahil walang magawa ang mga tao sa bahay.

I am considering buying groceries online na lang. Magulo sa grocery. You really shouldn’t bring your children or senior citizens with you, even if it was allowed. Even if social distancing was practiced, you need to take extra caution in not accidentally bumping into other people or getting too close to someone. And unlike before, people were no longer taking their time strolling the aisles. Bili lang ng kailangan tapos alis agad.

During the early weeks of March, we were still able to buy small bottles of alcohol; those are the ones that we are using now. We weren’t able to buy masks anymore, but luckily, a friend of ours sell reusable masks with pockets for filter. I personally use Daiso tissue paper for filter since that’s the brand I already have on hand. We also have a leftover box of gloves that we used for cleaning Papa up when he was still alive, so we use them sometimes for grocery trips.

This is part of the new normal, I guess.

3. Faith and hope in the time of COVID-19

Okay, I’m not about to say that this pandemic is a way to bring families together or heal mother Earth or some other BS. Let’s not go there. It reeks of privilege. Let’s call a spade a spade and say that COVID-19 is a terrible, terrible disease that we need to cure ASAP. Not everyone is able to work from home or stock on basic supplies and groceries. Not everyone has access to Wi-Fi, Netflix, or a private car. The things we enjoy are, unfortunately, privileges that are not available to many. So the next time we “thank” this disease for happening and the “opportunities” it has allowed, remember that not everyone is as fortunate.

I enjoy some of these privileges, but truth is I have my worries, too. Job is working abroad, and the only thing I can do here is to pray for his protection. We talked about money, and we agreed that he shouldn’t send a remittance this month (or the duration of this crisis) so that he won’t have to go to the bank. I am planning to use our savings to pay for our house and contributions instead.

On the other hand, I am also reminded that my income is not as stable as I thought it was. I am a real estate broker, but buying a house is not a priority for many right now. I also work part-time for a baby product company, but sales have dipped and my boss admitted that while he is not planning to lay employees off, it’s possible that our hours — and pay — would be reduced. I raise these worries to God because he knows what to do them better than I do.

We cling on to God more tightly now. I read my Bible more than I did before. I acknowledge that God, if he wills, can take away everything in a snap, and that he can do so this very moment. But I also rely on God’s promise in the Scriptures that he will never abandon us and will take us through this storm.

Whatever we are facing now, Jesus had already faced a long time ago when he hung on the cross. And when he died on that cross and rose again 3 days later, Jesus had already won over evil forever. It’s already done! It comforts me to know that God is sovereign and in control. He is not surprised by this crisis; he has known it for a long time. And whatever happens, God will always be our source of joy, peace, and hope.

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