It’s been a year since we were all placed in quarantined life and were restricted to do what we used to do.
Who would have thought that we will be “celebrating” our year in lockdown/quarantine? Who would have thought we can survive a year of isolation?
Before all this, we all have prayed for a break from the chaos and the hustle and bustle of the rat race. But now that we’ve been trapped involuntarily in this quarantined life situation, we are all so clamoring to go out and get the freedom we once had .
The “old” ways now seem to be risky.
Those who are out and about are definitely big risk-takers. Do I applaud them for their “bravery”? I do and I don’t. I do if they have no choice but to go out to work and make a living. I don’t if it’s just they because they can.
We didn’t think we can last this long but we had to.
Looking back, I realized there have been stages of my Quarantined Life and I would like to share this with you. Let me know if any of them applies to you too …
Stages of our Quarantined Life
When we were told to drop everything we are doing and stay at home because of a dreaded virus that is so foreign to all of us, that is somewhat a special part of the history that should be recorded and remembered.
I decided to make a blog / vlog series called Life in the Age of Pandemic Covid-19 where I write my experiences, thoughts, and what’s happening around while we were on our first lockdown.
I must admit the first week was exciting and a welcomed break. We’ve all been running around like headless chickens juggling one job at a time, or living the slash generation. If you only do one thing at a time then you’re not doing anything at all was the mentality. When we were told to stay put and stay at home and wait this out. It was a break we all wanted and needed. We were scared about the unknown things after this but we thought this will not last this long. We had time for our family, we had time to do nothing, we had time to just be still.
When the two weeks were extended for another two weeks, the panic sets in. A lot of people were worried about not going to work and not getting paid, A lot of people were worried not having food on their table, A lot of people are worried of not being able to pay their bills.
Everyone tried to hold on to what they have and even stock up on their basic needs, food and supplies.
In spite of living just a building away from the grocery, I wanted to shop every day for our food and supplies.
Quarantine passes were needed to go out and shopping hours were limited. A strict curfew was implemented all over the country. People who got caught being out during curfew hours will be humiliated and will be held overnight with other violaters. It was crazy.
Those were also the days when we need to line-up for 2-4 hours just to get in and shop in the grocery for our basic needs. And then when we are about to check-out we are told that there is a minimum amount of coffee, milk, noodles, eggs, bread, and canned goods you can buy so as to prevent a shortage.
Rationing the food supply was the groceries and the government’s way to make sure there is enough supply for everyone while nobody is producing them because of the lockdown. This was also implemented because of those inconsiderate rich people who hoarded groceries and stocks the first week of quarantine and didn’t leave anything for the others to buy. Do you remember that woman with a bill of over a million pesos for her “basic” needs? Remember the times when in the US not in PH there was a shortage of toilet paper? That kind of situation.
The Covid-19 virus is a scary new threat in our lives that we don’t know how to deal with it because we were not prepared for something like this.
And now here we are one year after, living in the Pandemic seems like the norm now. Restricted movements, face masks, and face shields should be worn all the time. Meetings, events, and classes are held online now all because we can’t be in close proximity to each other because of the way the virus spreads.
Those who dare go out, good luck to you all. May you not be a super spreader or be the patient yourself.
Goodness, I had a blogger friend who died of Covid-19, it’s not a fun thing to learn someone you know died because of this. There are a couple of friends who were infected with it. A lot of people from your Facebook timeline are struggling emotionally, physically, and financially because of hospital bills. That’s something I don’t want to experience.
When the world stopped literally because of Covid-19 nobody knew what was going to happen and when it will all end, not even the people who are in power/ authority to run a country. It was an even playing field. Everyone was lost.
We all thought it’s just going to be a few weeks until it stretched for a month, to months, and now a year.
A lot of people were lost, including me. What happens to me? Where do I get work? How am I going to get paid? How am I going to pay my bills?
An additional worry for me was my saving got depleted because of my daughter’s hospitalization two days before the total lockdown. I don’t have money!
There’s also the factor of me having to move real soon because my lease is due and my contract for my new condo is also ready. Moving out and moving in at the time of the pandemic was such a pain and drain!
Then my boyfriend has to leave the country. My rock, my best friend, the only person who was there for me through it all is going away and I don’t have anybody with me to get me through all of this.
It was all too much. How am I going to survive? What is going to happen to us? I was just so lost and empty!
Fear of the unknown is so real; I never want to be in that position again. I am glad I have survived. I am here now writing this and thriving.
The good thing about being the sacrificed person is that you are not always inside your home fully experiencing the quarantined life. Before we moved out I was the one who goes out to do the grocery, bring the laundry to the laundromat, buy medicines and food, and all those errands outside of the house.
But for my daughter who was used to swim every day and go to the grocery with me every day, she definitely had cabin fever. I’ve vlogged about the time when she left our condo unit for a walk, good thing she didn’t get past the guards, the guard immediately alerted us and we were able to retrieve her back home.
Yeah, she escaped the condo, while I and her Yaya was sleeping! OMG!
This happened around a month or two after the total lockdown. She was getting stir crazy just being in our small condo back then. I found a way to take her to the fire escape where there was a nice open-air view and then eventually, I discovered our rooftop where she can run around. Phew.
This was the time when we all hoped for government support (financial and food supply) also known as Ayuda. We all get envious when we see neighboring cities were able to distribute evenly and abundantly. We were hoping the government gives us some financial support to tide during the lockdown. We waited and waited.
We all got angsty about how slow our government was doing and the response to the situation is not acceptable. A lot clamored to be allowed to work, open their business, leave the country or city to work. We needed a break from being locked down.
From the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) we went to the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) where some people and some industries/businesses can open. Finally, a breather. People transacted business, people left the country (including jowa huhu), we moved out and moved into our new condo.
A little feel of the old way of life was definitely a breather. We went to get Covid-19 testing so we can move out of our condo. I was able to take my first grab ride after being locked down, I was able to go to Megamall, we were able to move out. More restaurants and food services opened. Online delivery services were finally allowed to operate.
Everything seemed to be normal but it wasn’t.
The quarantined life has given a lot of challenges to most of us. There was a time we don’t know how are we going to pay our bills and buy our needs, because of that the bartering became a thing online.
I was one of those people who found a way to get what I need and want without paying for it through bartering. It was like going back to old times when people exchange what they have for what they need or want. I was one of those successful online barterers who got so many great things in exchange for food that I have in excess or things I got from events that I don’t really need.
I was not spending the money I have but giving away things in my house I don’t need in exchange for things I need/ want!
Everyone who was locked down in their homes tried to find ways to entertain themselves. Developing new hobbies and learning a new skill definitely was the thing. Baking, cooking, planting, crafting, vlogging, podcasting, learning a new language and so much more while staying at home.
People also start to realize lifelong dreams. Some have put up a successful online business as they learn to adapt to life during the pandemic. Personally, I was able to publish my first book! Who would have imagined we can accomplish so many things just by staying at home.
But please, don’t get pressured into doing something just so you can catch up with everyone Unless it is really necessary for you to need to acquire a new skill or get a new hobby, do it , but if you are just comparing yourself from others I suggest stop and find something you do for yourself not for others. Ok?
Home is where everything is now. Study, work, entertainment, shopping, staycations.
A year locked down in our homes, I guess we all have finally build a fortress. It’s the safest and convenient place in the world to be in. I used to call nesting but now I know it’s just a way to cope with the boredom.
I have actually tried to recreate a tropical paradise vacation atmosphere in my new condo. Buying home improvement stuff, furniture and appliances online! I’ve been rearranging the furniture and the decorations for the nth time in less than a year. I don’t know how many times I have turned my condo upside down
I want it as cozy and as inviting as possible so I don’t get bored and itch to travel even if it’s not safe yet, and just embrace the quarantined life.
Getting Physically Active
A lot were having a baby bump because they’re all snuggled indoors with their partners at home with nothing to do but make love while staying at home. For single people and me who are in an LDR, I’m getting a food belly for having the lack of what the partnered ones were having. the quarantined life just made me a couch potato.
I cook and bake a lot and therefore I eat a lot. What else can I do while I binge on Netflix and HBO shows and movies?
The jowa noticed my food belly and so he got me an exercise bike machine. Haha! He said he got it for me because I wasn’t riding my real bike anymore. But in truth I know he doesn’t want me to get fat! Joke lang!
Who knew malling for hours and nuninuninu almost every day with jowa was keeping me fit. Now that they’re all taken away from me I got flabby.
I’ve decided indoor stay-at-home exercises will do to get me moving during a quarantined life. I got a weighted hula-hoop but I only used it a couple of times because it’s too big and I will bump into a lot of things.
Then I got an indoor trampoline which feels way more fun to use than anything else. I love jumping so much it feels like a little freedom when I bounce up in the air. It feels like flying and freedom. I can even do this while I watch TV!
Having an affair via Internet
Without the internet, I don’t know how we will all survive this quarantined life. Imagine how can we all stay connected with our loved ones, transact our work, continue our studies, shop for our daily needs, pursue a hobby or learn a new skill, keep in touch with the outside world, attend events online without it.
Thank you, Internet!
Emotional support animals
Others enjoy the online game with pets, but for me, that is not enough. I need a real one.
A year staying at home in our quarantined life, not seeing or talking to strangers or co-workers or salespeople is really sad. Humans are social in nature, we crave interaction, attention, smiles, and presence.
A month before the total lockdown, my cat died. It broke me. Street cats in my old neighborhood somehow help me get by.
I’ve always been a cat person since I was a child. Our first cat was Muning. I think I was 5 when we got her. Since then we have so many cats in our life. We had Pututoy and Pututay, Siopao, Wolverine and Gambit, Pebo and Rit, Snowhite and Marcelino, Yoda, Peachy, Princess Panget , Arthur and Tchalla. The only living cat I’ve known was Arthur and T’Challa. The rest are in pet heaven na.
Anyway, a month ago I adopted a kitten from a Cats for Free Adoption Facebook Group (don’t buy please adopt!). It happened so fast we were just talking with the previous family and then a few hours later I had my new kitty. Marcus and I named her Luxurious Purrfection or Lux or Luxy for short. She is the most adorable, sweet, kind, fun, playful, loving kitty I ever had in my life.
Having a pet by your side for emotional and physical affection helps a lot. Seriously.
Honestly, I was having burnout from just being with my daughter. As much as I love her, sometimes, I need to be by myself. I don’t know how to explain it but I am sure you feel the same. Having someone else or new in the house helps. It breaks the monotony and creates a new diversion and dynamics.
Since I got my kitty, I got a lot of messages confiding about them wanting to adopt a pet too especially a cat but were afraid because of the responsibility and because of their plants. Haha!
Train your kitty well and you never have to worry about your cat and plant relationship. So far Lux is such a well-behaved kitty she never ruins or lay or digs on my plants. Just make sure kitty has a lot of things to play with and when she gets curious about the plants, keep a bottle of water spray and spray it on a few inches away from her after saying no and she will go running away fast haha. Kitty will learn it’s not her place to play with.
Now that the vaccine is being rolled out in our country, let us all slow down before we get over-excited. Just a reminder that we need two doses each not one unless it is the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Did you know that the Johnson and Johnson vaccine only needs one dose and can be stored at refrigerator temperature only! Why don’t we get this vaccine!
Anyway, I am saying slow down because a lot would be wanting to do this and that and go here and there. The vaccine doesn’t make you invincible, it just makes your infection if any less fatal than without it.
Missing a lot
- One of the things I miss the most is my monthly beauty salon visit. The self-care and pampering I get, manicure, pedicure, facial, massage, hair treatment, the works!
- I also miss our daily trip to the grocery. It’s one of those therapeutic things I do with the daughter. We like to go from isle to isle looking at all the products before we get what we want for the day.
- I miss premiere nights and movie dates in the cinema.
- I miss socializing in person with all the besos and hugs and laughter and interaction for real.
- I miss hanging out in the mall/malling. I love scouting every store to window shop or shop ‘til I drop.
- I miss coming home without rushing to get out of my clothes as soon as I step in.
- I miss being able to travel wherever I want when I want.
- So much I miss, especially the people in my life.
We all should give ourselves a pat on the back.
I do not know what you have been through this past year of living a quarantined life, but I sure do know it is not easy. There were lots of tears, lots of anger, lots of disappointment and fears.
I started empty and now I think I am thriving. Somehow, I enjoy the quarantined life. I do not have to go out to “work” or do business and get stuck in the traffic and risk myself getting infected with that dreaded Covid-19 and its many new variants!
The things I miss are all leisure activities that I can live my life without. I mean I would still get them if I can but if I can’t it is not the end of me. It is actually a relief to know that there are brave people out there who can do things for me while I sit at home comfy and safe living a quarantined life.
Now that vaccines are rolling out everywhere in the world. 2021 is the year full of hope. Hope that the post-pandemic life will be safer, less difficult and a lot of people have realized the most important things in life for them. Work-from-home will be the norm, even studying at home, shopping at home, watching movies at home is all an option we can freely choose to do and not just because we’re forced to do it.
For some 2020, the year of the pandemic, our quarantined life, was a mix of all sorts, a lot of loss, a lot of gains, a lot of tears a lot of trying to get by and get busy. It was definitely an unexpected year with unexpected outcomes for most of us.
Anyway, we all should give ourselves a pat on the back for surviving and thriving our quarantined life. I may not know what you have been through this past year but I sure do know it’s a roller-coaster of emotions and challenges. There were lots of tears, lots of anger, lots of disappointment, and fears.
Until we meet again!
Happy (?!) Quarantined Life Anniversary! #Quarantinniversary !