By Edlyn Jane R. Agsoy
Cebu City – It’s been almost a year since Cebu had imposed a lockdown to curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus. And here we are, 11 months after, still reeling on its effects – both physically, emotionally and financially.
I remember it was on March 18, 2020 when Cebu recorded its first confirmed Covid-19 case. I was in the office that day and all of us were on high alert since the day WHO declared the Covid-19 outbreak a global pandemic. I am working in the Human Resources Department and our focus that time was how to operationally support the business given an unknown threat.
Meetings after meetings and in between memo writing and revisions, we were all anxiously waiting for the 3:00 PM press briefer of the DOH. And that day when they confirmed Cebu’s first case, it’s as if the sky suddenly became so gloomy.
On the way home, people became restless, panic all over their faces. People were all in a hurry to go home. Or maybe, it was just me? I didn’t know but looking back, I have always been anxious those times. I even went straight to the drugstore to purchase stock medicines and supplies for our home. See? I am one of those who panic buy.😊 But who could blame me? Seeing the news all over the world, seeing how the hospitals of the first world countries were grappling on it made me worried for myself and for my family.
Fast forward to today, how did I manage to push through? They said fear could paralyze you. I say, fear could also make you push forward. I started to realize that if I dwell too much on it, it will only destroy my sanity. It will hinder me to do things that I should be doing. We could not do anything about the situation. We could only pray and hope for better days.
So, what did I do?
- I ditched watching the news. I used to watch news at night. I even watch some just before going to sleep. It did not sound right during those times. It only made me more anxious. That’s when I decided to put it on mute temporarily. I still kept myself abreast of what’s going on around me though but not by obsessively refreshing the new sites. I realized I have watched KMJS (Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho) episodes on Youtube the first few weeks of the lockdown. It became our family go to program those days. Lol
- Netflix became my friend. With a wide array of movies, TV series, documentaries, animated series, etc. Netflix became a go to app of the many. With malls and movie houses closed that time and with ABS-CBN’s broadcast shutdown, we could only thank Netflix for providing us entertainment. We as a family usually hang-out at night watching TV series as with most Filipino households do. I could not imagine how those in the far-flung areas of the Philippines, those in areas with intermittent to no internet connection, were doing? How were they keeping themselves entertained whilst the lockdown? I could only guess.
- Becoming a plantita. It was around August when my mom suddenly became interested in growing plants! I wondered how could it be? All my life I knew she never had a green thumb. But voila! Her roses, orchids and all the plants she bought are still alive and growing to date! Gardening also became a bonding for my parents. My father grows veggies, my mother grows any plant/herb that she likes. 😊
Looking at them, I realized that growing plants or tending a garden can affect you positively. It was those months when they developed a “lockdown fatigue.” I think many of us could relate. Months of lockdown yet it seemed as though there’s no end in sight. There are still recorded cases daily and vaccine news were not positive those times.
- Online all the time. Keeping up to date and connecting to friends has never been so much easier than now. In just a tap, you could communicate to them in an instant. Thanks to technology and to all the social networking sites, you can keep tabs of them whenever, wherever. Personally, I am always online at home. I may not be actively browsing my feeds or posting updates, but I am online if anyone might need my attention.
Moreover, this lockdown made my fangirling reach new heights. I have been addicted to CLOY (Crash Landing on You) and I still have not had the hang of it until now. Their playlist is on repeat on my Spotify and I followed the SNS accounts of the cast and even the stan accounts on Twitter! Though I do not usually interact with those accounts, it is so refreshing to see that I am not alone in this whole thing.
- Work to keep me afloat. This pandemic has brought me so many realizations. I am just so thankful that our company was not badly hit by this. It is a privilege to have work during this time, moreso, given the option to Work from Home. Sure, working from home has its own consequences, but it gives me so much peace of mind back then. Imagine the commute I have to make going to the office! Public transport during the lockdown period was suspended.
Moreover, this experience taught us the importance of being financially well. You see, who would have thought 2020 would end up like that? Many were placed under Forced Leave and even now, many were left without a job.
- So much time for family! Life is fleeting. I cannot stress this enough. I would be forever grateful of the time spent with family. With the pandemic looming over and the movement restrictions placed by the government, I find it a blessing to spend most of my time with them. Mundane activities like deciding what to eat, what to cook for dinner, down to pursuing house projects has never been this fun and fulfilling as before.
Life is all about perspective. You choose which side you dwell on. Mask up and stay safe, folks!#
(About the writer: Edlyn Jane R. Agsoy, a cum laude Psychology graduate, lives in Cebu, Philippines and works at the human resource department of a forwarding company.)