Does it feel like your life has been put on hold by the pandemic?
Do you have fears or worries about the situation that we are in today?
Have you started to wonder what the world will be like after COVID-19?
You are not alone in these sentiments as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has taken the whole world by surprise and disrupted the lives of everyone.
Life Put on Hold
Just like most people I already had things lined up for 2020. Family gatherings, events, travel, personal and career growth ventures etc. I’m sure that you had 2020 plans too. But then COVID-19 happened and all our plans just went down the drain. Remember the trip abroad that you and your family were preparing for? Well, it’s not happening. Borders across the globe have been closed and everyone was told to stay at home.
Quarantine measures and lockdowns have been implemented in countries worldwide in order to control the spread of the virus and protect the population. Unfortunately, these health protection measures cast a heavy toll on livelihood and lifestyles.
The lockdown and quarantine resulted in a temporary closure of businesses and job loss. Hunger became a concern not just for those who have lost their income, but also for those who don’t have access to food. Since everyone was caught unprepared, the negative effects of the lockdown were magnified. It wasn’t so hard to cope with the situation at the start but as time goes by and personal situations got worse, some people are starting to feel a sense of hopelessness. Can you just imagine how these people will feel if the pandemic lasts longer and their situation doesn’t improve?
The pandemic is already causing a lot of fear and anxiety as it is. Death tolls and new cases being recorded on a daily basis are also worrisome. Add to that the uncertainties that it brings to the economy, education, and life in general. If we don’t help in stopping the spread of this virus then life will just be a cycle of lockdown until a vaccine or cure is found. Worse than that, there will be more deaths, more suffering, and more people will go hungry.
What is going on? Why is this happening to us?
Once the impact of the lockdown has sinked in, one couldn’t help but ask what is happening? And why is this happening? The only answer is the COVID-19 virus. It is the only reason why the world has to limit social or physical contact. However, COVID-19 isn’t entirely to blame for the hardships that we are experiencing today.
The government and the public have their shortcomings too. For instance, earlier implementation of quarantine or lockdown measures could’ve possibly prevented the virus from entering the country. The relief measures provided by the government is also not enough to support the affected population. There is also a question of fairness in the distribution of relief goods and financial assistance. Everyone has been affected by the pandemic yet financial assistance is given to select people only.
The public also partly to blame for tighter restrictions during the quarantine. Some people choose to disregard stay at home and social distancing rules. Remember the cockfighting incidents in Manila and the Mañanita? Don’t forget about hard-headed neighbors that can be seen loitering the streets. Without realizing it these people are actually promoting the spread of the virus.
My Life on Quarantine
Admittedly, I had a hard time adjusting to life on quarantine. My husband and I are outgoing people, and I even consider myself a travel buff. We often go to the mall, and never miss out on social events and family gatherings. Coming from a big family, I’m used to being around lots of people. You can just imagine the blow of suddenly finding myself confined at home with my husband and daughter, just the 3 of us.
Aside from the limited social interaction, I also had to deal with extra tasks required to protect the health of our family. My husband Montsch is the designated “tribute” as he is the one with a quarantine pass. He does the grocery and any errand that requires going out.
I actually envy his grocery runs because I was already itching to see the outside world. There was even a time when I experienced cabin fever. I felt depressed and became irritable because of being cooped up in the house for what seemed like a loooong time already.
The added routine tasks were also a factor in my depression. I have to clean and disinfect the house more often to ensure that my family is safe from the virus. Every time my husband comes home I would have a rag and disinfectant to follow his trail and wipe everything he touches. Cleaning or wiping down grocery items one at a time can also be frustrating but necessary. We also had to cut down on food delivery so I had to cook often.
Creativity can help you cope with COVID-19
Aside from the housework, I also have to tend to my daughter Sammy. Now that school is still suspended she needs extra attention and activities to combat boredom during the quarantine.
We created energetic and fun videos to entertain ourselves. Ganon kami kabored!
After Sammy goes to bed at night I tackle tasks related to the blog and page which I maintain. With no more Me Time left to enjoy my days on quarantine is often draining.
As for my husband, there is a little adjustment to his daily routine. He has an online job that allows him to work from home even before the pandemic. However since businesses have also been badly hit by the lockdowns, adjustments have been made on work hours and compensation. In the case of my husband, he is paid by the hour so the reduction of work hours also meant reduced income for the family. Unfortunately, we aren’t qualified to receive any of the cash assistance provided by the government. We also didn’t receive relief goods until the second month of the lockdown.
All these things paint a depressing scenario for us. I mourned the loss of all my amazing plans for 2020 and spent a couple of weeks feeling depressed. Then I had a bitter but necessary realization. I don’t need to wait for the right time or a special occasion to do something. The cliché “tomorrow is not promised” rings true amidst the COVID-19 pandemic as it showed us how life can change in a snap. I was finalizing plans for a trip to Universal Studios Singapore, a trip that I promised for Sammy’s birthday, and arranging brunch with my friends, and then the next day I’m already worried if it’s safe to go to a grocery store.
I miss my friends, I miss my family… =(
Finding yourself at home alone and separated from friends and loved ones make you think in retrospect. Petty excuses to put off a visit to your parents makes you feel lousy now that you cant visit them even if you want to. You also realize the value of hugs from friends and people you care about now that you can’t even sit together during brunch.
Coping with the COVID-19 Situation
We need to be smart and careful in order to cope with life in a pandemic. Adjustments have to be made in every aspect of your life and you need to know where to add or cut down on your resources. For parents with toddlers and young kids, the needs of the children are a priority over other concerns. Since health is a priority, we make sure that the budget for Sammy’s milk and vitamins is never compromised. We also have allotted budget for hand sanitizers and soap which is a necessity in proper handwashing habits. But with the reduced income due to the pandemic, my husband and I are exploring writing and video editing gigs as additional sources of income.
“COMPASSION will help us through Coronavirus Pandemic.”
While finding ways to cope with the pandemic I also got to see the sufferings of other people. There are those who are in a worse plight than ours, people who literally don’t have anything else to eat anymore and people who are surviving on a daily basis. This changed my perspective so instead of feeling depressed, I started to reach out to those in need through my blog and Facebook page. I hosted cash giveaways and sponsored some families under the “Pantawid Gutom Program. I also chatted with people who need help via messenger.
One of the winners of my giveaway
I try to extend help whenever I can and encourage them to stay positive amidst the current situation. In a way fostering hope in a time of hopelessness. Although our income was affected by the pandemic, I try to share what little I have to those who need it more. In cases wherein I can’t help financially, I connect those in need with people who can help them.
Without being conscious of it, I already made new friends and unloaded my burden of fears in the process. Getting through a crisis is indeed easier when people help and support each other. Helping others can also be therapeutic especially since the joy in helping is priceless.
Life Lessons from COVID-19
The quarantine period gave me a fresh perspective on the things that we value in life. The pandemic proved that life, love, and freedom is more important than money and material wealth. COVID-19 has taken the lives of some of the most prominent and wealthy individuals and no amount of wealth was able to save them from the illness. Money also became useless when there is nowhere and nothing to spend it on as businesses are closed.
Cliches like “Life is short” and “Time waits for no one” are very relatable nowadays. COVID-19 can take life quickly and without notice. If you have bright plans for the future then don’t procrastinate and live the life you want today. Seize the day and show your loved ones how much you care about them because you never know what tomorrow will bring. You can take advantage of the quarantine period to know your partner and kids better by spending quality time with them.
More time at home with my family
The Silver lining and rainbows at the end of COVID-19.
COVID-19 has rocked the whole world and not in a good way. We all know that change is constant, but we didn’t expect it to be swift and drastic. A mindset that is ready to take on the challenges of change can help you cope with similar situations in the future.
There is also a way to see the good in bad situations. This pandemic has brought death, suffering, fear, and anxiety in our lives but it also brought out the best in humanity. We have seen lots of heroic acts, compassion, charity, and unconditional service to society arise during the weeks of lockdown.
Extensive COLLABORATION is required to stop the COVID-19 outbreak
Another silver lining in the COVID-19 cloud is the heightened sense of kindness and collaboration in different sectors of society. Everyone rallying behind the frontliners in the fight against the virus.
There are also private groups organizing drives to address hunger problems of indigent sectors. Proving that the bayanihan spirit of the Filipinos is still alive and strong in our culture.
JobStreet empowers displaced workers amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Jobstreet Philippines Facebook
Teleperformance, in partnership with the Cebu Inter BPO Organization (CIBO) recently turned-over Php100,000 worth of donations to Barangay Luz, Cebu City. Barangay Luz is one of the communities on lockdown because of the many COVID-19 cases reported in the area. Photo Credit: Teleperformance Philippines Facebook
ComCo Southeast Asia through its Citizen ComCo advocacy initiative backs up its long-time NGO (non-government organization) partner World Vision on its health emergency response and its appeal to the public for the support of frontliners and the most vulnerable families in the battle against COVID-19.
The pandemic and the uncertainty that it brings can paint a picture of hopelessness. But remember that one can find a rainbow after the rain. We do what we can today in order to weather the pandemic and keep the faith that things will get better soon. Not just for yourself and your family but so for the country and the world.
Let’s Fight, Unite, and Ignite against COVID-19
(Stats in video is based on DOH COVID-19 CASE BULLETIN #096 As of 4PM, June 18, 2020, the Department of Health reports the total number of COVID-19 cases at 27,799.)
What keeps us moving forward in life?
✔️ Creativity, Compassion, and Collaboration.
While the COVID-19 pandemic is causing widespread concern, fear, and stress, it also has ignited remarkable levels of creativity, compassion, and collaboration. Sabi nga nila “COVID ka lang, PINOY KAMI! Kaya natin ‘to!“
How about you? What has life taught you in this pandemic? What makes you move forward? We’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.
This story is an entry to ComCo Southeast Asia’s “Write to Ignite Blogging Project”. The initiative is a response to the need of our times, as every story comes a long way during this period of crisis. Igniting and championing the human spirit, “Write to Ignite Blog Project” aims to pull and collate powerful stories from the Philippine blogging communities to inspire the nation to rise and move forward amidst the difficult situation.
This project is made possible by ComCo Southeast Asia, co-presented by Eastern Communications and sponsored by Electrolux, Jobstreet, and Teleperformance.
Some Images and/or Footages used under license from Canva.com