The quarantine chronicles: Week 6

Published April 24, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin



Alex Eduque
Alex Eduque

Six weeks into quarantine, and we are still in the midst of uncertainty. We are still at war with the invisible enemy that is COVID-19. Our numbers still continue to rise, yet, for the sake of our sanity, we choose to seek the silver lining in every situation, and with the increased number of recoveries as well, we remain hopeful. It has been a rough ride to say the very least. Understandable frustrations have brought out the worst in some. Our evident lack of discipline has led the authorities to impose more stringent measures and, as much as we want to try and understand the stubbornness of our fellow countrymen and find a reason behind such behavior, as days go by, it becomes more clear to me that this is a time for us to be united rather than divided. Though it is still most definitely a long road ahead, we can only beat this, and win this war together!

Cabin fever became real for me around two weeks ago. It was then I felt like I had the most fleeting moments of insanity and anxiety. As someone who lived a rather active life with a jampacked daily schedule – with days where I literally just went home to sleep – these days are the stark opposite. I realized then that I was perhaps over the rest my body physically yearned for, and though I had come to terms with the fact that our new normal consists of living life on a day-to-day basis, I was getting quite antsy at the lack of structure and productivity my new everyday brought about. There was only so much I could do after all with everyone – around the world at that – staying home. It was then that I realized I still needed somewhat of a routine. Even if I was quite literally staying in one place all day, every day, I needed to keep my body and mind active. I needed to make the most out of the situation. I could not let the uncertainty control me. I needed to find certainty, and cling on to the very bit I could control in this very peculiar time.

Sure enough, as soon as I found my routine and got into the groove of things, time started going by faster, and my days seemed to become increasingly fulfilling. I realized that “working from home” which was once a privilege and an option extended to some of us at work has now become the new normal. Now that it is, we realize how much we miss the physical contact and interactions we had with our colleagues on a daily basis. While online meetings are definitely efficient and get the job done, nothing is quite as conducive as a brainstorming meeting with all bodies in one room – there is something about it that gets the juices flowing. There are days when I feel like maybe I could get used to this life of flexible deadlines, but on more days, I most definitely miss the certainty and the rigid norms that govern our everyday decision-making and just being able to move around freely. I did not realize how much our freedom could be restricted until now, and though life may never quite return exactly to how we once knew it, I pray for, and look forward to the day we can start living it as close to the life that we knew just six weeks ago.

I think about what the new normal will be like, and the more I think about the changes that we will have to face, the more I realize that we will be left with no choice but to embrace it. If we truly long for the freedom we once knew, we cannot resist the changes that the new normal will bring about. This year is the start of a new decade. And with the start of this decade, though I knew a lot of change was to come, I did not quite anticipate it to be this drastic and significant. If there is anything the past six weeks have shown me, it is how much mindset can do in shaping our perspective and outlook in life. It is a choice that we have for the most part which we are able to control. So in a world, and in a life where the only constant is change, let us start conditioning ourselves for the new normal. So that when things become more certain, we can embrace life for what it truly is, and live it in the way we know best.

Hang in there, everyone! Though the road my still be long, and twists and turns may still abound, at the end of it all, brighter days lie ahead. Keep the faith, the prayers and the patience. This too shall pass. Meanwhile, make the most out of your every day. As the saying goes, “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It is about learning to dance in the rain” (Vivan Greene).