Living Through a Pandemic: Day 75

I can’t believe it’s Day 75 already.

When work was cancelled on March 16, 2020, I thought it was just gonna be a one month thing, maybe two if things get “worse”. But look at where we are now – at Day 75, and we can’t even see a flicker of light at the end of this tunnel called COVID-19.

While there was already a buzz about the corona virus spreading as early as December 2019, it really was’t given attention at least here in the Philippines. Back then, corona was just “some virus spreading in China” and it was only after two months when everything started to get really serious. In February, the first death outside of Wuhan was reported by the Philippine government, and of course I can’t explain the panic we felt then because by this time we already know that the virus has spread outside of China, and worse it’s in the Philippines. By early March, the government confirmed two cases of local transmission. The unthinkable slowly started to happen — cases began to increase in number prompting the government to declare suspension of classes, work, and closure of some businesses.

Still by this time, it was just “some virus spreading around”.

For me personally, and I would like to think for a lot of Filipinos too, it all sank in when the whole island of Luzon was placed in quarantine on March 17, 2020, while the whole country was placed under a state of calamity. In effect, everybody was just home. Schools were closed, work was suspended both in government and the private sectors, malls and markets were shut, all means of public transportation were suspended, the roads were clear and nobody would dare go outside. It was just so scary and everything was just so uncertain.

The days that followed after the declaration of the lockdown were honestly such a blur to me. I worked from home, I conducted online hearings – which, of course, is unprecedented and definitely experimental on the part of judiciary. With the work-from-home set up, I should have been feeling more well-rested but instead, I was restless.

Now, we live learn to live one day at a time. No planning ahead for sure, because who knows what can happen, what might happen?

Here’s to brighter days ahead.

Stay safe.

What is the “new normal”? Life after COVID-19?

As I was making my coffee this morning, a certain phrase that I keep on hearing during  the past days kept on reverberating in my head — “the new normal”. I have heard heads of states, heads of agencies, leaders of the world, even inspirational speakers, talk about us going back to our new normal once all these – the corona virus, the quarantines and the lockdowns – are over.

But what does it really mean, though?  Yeah, I get that the new normal is our *changed ways*, our more simplistic lifestyle, people being more aware, living more purposefully. I get those, believe me. But are we really ready for it? Or will we just go back to the comforts of our old lives having been deprived of them during the whole quarantine period? 

At this point my brain is just really curious, if you could call it that, about how our lives are gonna be once this pandemic is over. Am I going to have a new normal? Or will I just revert back to my old cycle as if nothing had happened? I know I’ll still drive to work every morning, get coffee from my favorite cafe if I fail to brew my own at home, spend the next 8 hours in the office, go home afterwards, play with my baby sister a little, and then go to sleep. The cycle is going to repeat itself until I don’t know when. So will it be my new normal if it is my old normal? 

I need to know how to handle this, really. Your thoughts?