I hope you are well. I know that more and more countries are implementing isolation, lockdown or quarantine. Well, whatever word is used, the main reason behind all this is the Coronavirus Disease 2019 or COVID-19.
As cases increase and became wide-spread last week, WHO officially called the disease a pandemic.
“This is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a briefing in Geneva.
On March 12, reports about a possible lockdown spread throughout Metro Manila. I wasn’t feeling well on that day so I filed a sick leave. (No I don’t have it. This is how my body and mind reacts when something is about to happen.) When I woke up around noon, my body felt how serious the reports were and how possible it was. Plus, I realised we didn’t have rice anymore and I needed to buy my abuelita (lola) and tiyo’s maintenance medication.
So I jumped out of bed, arranged a meeting with a brand to get the product they wanted me to post and then went right away to the nearest grocery. We normally choose Pure Gold and Landmark because of the prices. But then we suddenly received notifications from Globe regarding points expiring on March 31. I immediately decided to transfer all those to our SM Advantage Card (SMAC).
*Note: This is not a sponsored post, alright? I just need an outlet to share my experience.
And then, we headed to the nearest SM Cherry so we can use the points and, lo and behold, the supermarket was filled with people. It reminded me of several movie scenes with this type of situation. Big carts were filled and some didn’t only have one big cart. Some had three full carts. But the good thing is we were able to purchase both the essentials and the necessities. Honestly, I wanted to buy a bit more but we have a tight budget. So I erased those thoughts.
Then onto the medicines. This got me really worried as there were several people, mostly senior citizens in line. They were panicking and at the same time mad because of the long waiting time. When my ninong and I were near the counter, we saw the amount of medicine people were purchasing.
We’re not new to drug stores so we know those are way too much. Thus, we overheard those were mostly, Vitamin C, Multivitamins, Biogesic and Neozep. Yes, we all have the right to buy what we can. But not like this.
A community quarantine.
That night, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte informed that he is using the term “community quarantine” and implementing it throughout the metro starting March 15. I was cool with that. Safety first, right?
Since it started on a Sunday, things were manageable. But when Monday came, it was chaos. It continued through the following days where citizens were confused with the rules; not to mention, the lack of preparedness and assurance.
I understand that because we are all invested in our lives. Living in the time of a pandemic wasn’t in the minds of many. We are not prepared for this. And with the lack of assurance, people started to panic.
We can’t blame them, to be honest. Panic is also what I felt especially when the Philippine president announced that he is placing Luzon on lockdown to prevent the further spread of the novel coronavirus. With that, only one member of the family will be allowed to go out to purchase goods.
I guess this was the turning point for all. As mentioned, I was feeling unwell a few hours before the first lockdown. But after careful monitoring, I realised I wasn’t sick my mind and body just felt something will happen. I was stressed out. Both my nervous and digestive systems were upset. But being the sole provider plus the thought of all the risks and panic buying, I told myself I have to be calm.
This too shall pass.
But being a food blogger didn’t help in my situation. If my Facebook feed is filled with COVID-19 updates, my Instagram account made me more anxious. I’m not only following fellow foodies in the PH but other people around the globe, too. Moreover, I saw articles and posts about certain people’s unpleasant reactions to others.
Again, we can not blame people if they feel frightened. We can not curse people if they want to go to work. People need to. Not all are blessed with a stable income.
Yes, I do have work and my work can be brought anywhere even at home. Although old, my laptop still works and we have an Internet connection. But I, too am not feeling secure. I still worry about what will happen within this period.
I often ask myself questions I do not have answers to such as what happens to my abuelita and to my ninong who both have heart diseases if medicine runs out? Another is what if food runs out, too?
Again, be calm.
The best thing we can do is help in any way we can. I do not have the means or resources but I pray. I know I don’t have the right to say this but in my heart, I know that God listens to my prayers. Also, it’s not difficult to follow the rules set by the local government.
We follow the basic protective measures imposed such as social distancing and hygiene which is not new. I am quite sensitive to this as I am taking care of my abuelita. Moreover, only one member of our family of three goes out to buy our daily needs. Plus, he only buys what is needed to ensure everyone has the chance.
So if you are like us with no means and resources, make sure to follow the rules. Let’s help each other. If in case (I hope not), you are tested positive for COVID-19, please do not run away. Most importantly, do NOT lie! Cooperate so as not to spread and increase the risk.
If you have friend or know people who are arranging project to help COVID-19 frontliners, maybe you could share their posts as well. I know we should think before we click and we all have hatred toward click bait, but this is the type of post you need to share right away.
Pull the plug.
Now going back to my statement, “But being a food blogger didn’t help in my situation. ” Don’t get me wrong. I know it’s better to fill the Internet with beautiful posts or something other than the pandemic to lift people.
I am not stopping you. In fact, film reviews, cat and dog videos on YouTube, as well as hamster and dragon posts on Instagram, make me smile. So you clearly have all the right to post what you want. But I just can’t post my usual materials so I decided to pull the plug.
I do not see any point posting food-related content on my blog and social media at the moment. But I might still post film reviews and post random shots on ClariCaptures as these help keep me calm. Moreover, FoodieViewsPH decided to follow as well. So there will be no travel and food-related posts from them.
Yes, there are several stories to share as well as videos I want to produce. But now is not the time. I think we should instead concentrate on our health, safety, and our family.
Also, do not forget to pray for the world to heal quickly.
Lastly, do not forget to be kind.