Quarantine chronicles 



Alex Eduque Alex Eduque

Two weeks into enhanced community quarantine, and if there is anything I have realized and put into practice, it is that even at a time with rigid rules and restrictions, when it comes to our sanity, happiness, and actions, we still have a choice. It is how we choose to spend our time, who or what we choose to expose ourselves to – albeit via telephone, social media, Zoom, Viber, Whatsapp, or television – and ultimately, who we choose to listen to that will determine our mood and disposition.

It is perfectly normal to be overwhelmed by the outburst of information, not to mention, fake news circulating on all social media, news, and even personal channels about COVID-19. The mind most definitely has the capability to go wild, exacerbated by the fact that we have so much time on our hands to think about and ponder. Panic breeds panic, and perhaps there is a reason panic and pandemonium share the same first three letters – panic leads to pandemonium, and pandemonium causes panic. While fear is most definitely in the air, and in my opinion is mainly brought by the uncertainty that has plagued not only our nation but many other corners of the world, we still have a way of controlling, and somehow creating an escape for that, should we choose to.

On a personal note, I have chosen to limit the amount of news I watch on television since the start of quarantine period, as well as choose my sources wisely – what information to share, and with who. I have guiltlessly muted some group chats, and only check it from time to time, and have found my nerves to have been soothed more. My sense of calm has kicked in, and I attribute a lot of that to prayer. As human beings, we have the capacity to heighten panic as we talk to others and exchange information. Even if we consciously know sometimes that news is fake, it still has a way of sparking other notions that will domino effect, and ultimately result in stress. At a time as uncertain as now, where we have no control over anything, worry will take us nowhere. Yes, it is normal to worry, but if we make the conscious effort to put our mind on other things, it helps more than you think. If we choose to wallow in worry, our resistance and health may suffer in the long run, and it is all about keeping up and boosting our immunity these days.

If we choose to see everything going on from a new perspective, perhaps we may realize that the greater plan is for the world to “pause” so that it can renew and rejuvenate. It is a time as well that brings out the true color of people, and is an opportunity to give credit to those who we may tend to glance upon and whose occupations we may take advantage of on a normal basis. These days, for the most part, doctors no longer have the liberty to set their clinic hours; nurses are no longer working eight -- hour shifts. Residents, are no longer the second in command because they too are at the very forefront fighting this battle. The cashiers and skeletal staff at the supermarkets, banks and pharmacies who expose and endanger themselves on a daily basis in order to ensure that the rest of us can go on will never be looked at the same way again. They will always be remembered as those who selflessly soldiered on at the time of corona. To all our front liners, words are not enough. We thank you. We salute you.

Paranoia and anxiety inevitably have a way of overcoming us, but remember, that we, for the most part, have the choice to fight it. We must be strong-willed enough to realize what provokes those feelings and stay away from them. Do not forget that this is no longer just about yourself, but for your family, your friends, your greater community, our country,  and our world. Your behavior may unknowingly influence the feelings of another, and at a time when everyone is vulnerable and emotional, we must think twice about our actions. Will it be for the greater good? At a time that registers as dim and dark in many parts of the globe, we have the chance to be that light and ray of hope. And when this is all over, wouldn’t you want to be remembered as such? Start small, but start today.