COVID-19 Lockdown Journal

COVID-19 Lockdown Journal

Day 760

Summer temperature has officially risen up on these islands. In March, PAGASA has recorded heat indices ranging from 51 to 53 degrees Celsius (120+ degrees Fahrenheit)! Is this an effect of solar flares? By 2 PM, tap water is like boiling water! For most Filipino households, it’s perfectly normal to step out of the bathroom sweating! So as long as water’s plentiful which, ironically, isn’t in summer when it’s most needed, most Filipinos take a shower or bath 2 to…

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Day 732

Language is spoken of as a living organism. In the Philippines, the national language is Filipino (which really has different versions across the island groups) and that’s what we write on official documents even as informally we refer it as Tagalog as was its original more popular name. In addition, as true with ethnically-diverse nations, the country is home to almost 200 dialects with a few that have gone extinct. Most Filipinos today only speak the dialect of their ethnic…

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Day 722

Ash Wednesday. This year, the commemoration was done in-person. Mass was at 7 AM, but unfortunately too early for most locals myself included. Farmers for example are up 3 or 4 AM and head straight to their farms and would still be returning home at 7 AM or thereabout for breakfast. It was therefore thoughtful for the local church for opening a late afternoon time, a first if I recall correctly, for a second Mass. With three persons to a…

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Day 660 Christmas 2021

Christmas🎄 this year was a reprieve. Public authorities in the capital downgraded the Covid-19 risk level from level 3 to level 2, and with it, the easing of community quarantine aka nationwide lockdown. Where we are, police presence on the streets has noticeably eased, a huge relief. Mandatory face shields are officially out since November but masks are still required at all times once outside the home. Long queues at establishments due to time-consuming “health measures” of temperature checking, alcohol…

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Day 633

Life events may now be distinguished from the time before and after Covid-19. Like, the last place outside your hometown you’ve visited without having to acquire and/or carry on your person proof of who you are, your work, your home address, and vaccination card at all times? the last person you’ve hugged without thoughts of SARSCoV2 spoiling the embrace? the relative, friend, or acquaintance you’ve spoken to last who died in 2020 just because hospitals “prioritized” or only accepted Covid…

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Day 623

If everybody’s making music for TikTok, who’s making music for my generation? Adele’s question struck home. I’ve been wondering the same thing of late during lock-down. I’m a Gen-Xer, and granted I’m searching in the right corners new music these days are not intentionally written and marketed to include my generation’s distinct vibe. The music Gen X grew up with is now passed up as ‘the oldies’ (surely the Boomers are avenged?), conjuring up the image of human eggs and…

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Day 621

Same time last year, we were wondering in lock-down when Covid-19 would be overcome so that life as we know it before the pandemic could return. Fast forward to today, we still are in lock-down, wondering still. I was chatting with a Barangay Captain and he said that a provincial official had told them that anecdotal evidence gotten through local stories of the last pandemic showed that a similar measure of physical distancing put in place lasted three years. Really?,…

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Day 598

Images of rural foliage are among the popular choice for computer wallpapers. It’s tried and tested knowledge that nature brings a sense of calm and order to overwhelmed and frazzled work horses, attesting from all time of what’s essential. So maybe since the essential is looking everyday as utopian hence an impossibility, we like to compensate and subdue any longing of nature with wallpapers. In a way, wallpapers are more convenient and perhaps safer than the real thing. I woke…

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Day 591

I discovered a number of vloggers whose content creation style is exactly what I’ve been looking for. They focus the camera less on their physical self giving more time to their content. They more of showing what they’re doing and less of talking. They maximize subtitles to communicate. They’re called ‘silent vloggers‘. With the daily interaction on Zoom and other platforms, speech is magnified on headphones a permanent fixture on us these days and to be surrounded by white noise…

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Day 587

If there’s one Filipino deserving of a national award at this point of the pandemic, it’s DOH Assistant Secretary Dr. Maria Rosario Vergeire. While I’m not a fan of why she’s made to report Covid-19 numerical data on a daily basis even as it’s already regurgitated in all news channels and social media platforms like Facebook, I’m amazed and fascinated by her unfailing tenacity and poker-faced execution of the task everyday since 2020. After watching her report for three days,…

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Day 585

I noticed that the driver liked to have a sound trip and because the songs are from the 80s I didn’t mind. He also liked to drive at turtle speed – better to hear the music with? – which is otherwise torturous but one hot as a furnace day I didn’t mind because then I could take video of the sights along the way.    Where I’m at isn’t technically or completely rural even as the Philippines Statistical Agency still classifies these…

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Day 577

Inspiration4, the first all-civilian spacefaring mission under NASA’s umbrella Launch America campaign, launched in September on SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience is the forever inspiration I needed. The mission, the product of real science that’s been hard at work during Covid, highly contrasts with the frustrating lack of scientific application in global and national pandemic management. How did continuing in-person work on spacecrafts as well as crew training safely done at a time when all other sectors are locked down by…

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Day 571

This year, I’ve gone back to drinking coffee. There’s Benguet or Kalinga beans (a “magical” find at a local vegetable and fruit shop) for slow brewing when I’m not in a rush. Otherwise, it’s instant decaf I keep in stock for this purpose. Also in the pantry are the “cleaner” caffeine, a few variety of tea leaves – goji, lavender, rose buds, hibiscus, and a concoction of chamomile and verbena – my go-to whenever I fear too much coffee is…

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Day 570

Our countryside rental comes with a garden which I’m still beginning to take stock of. Seems to me there are a hundred or so trees and flowering plants surrounding us, most of which I don’t know the name of. So during this break from work, and after trying out a number of apps, I came to PictureThis a fantastic app to help identify plants. With this, I was ready to start doing an inventory of the garden. Identifying plants and…

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Day 567

On a Sunday morning in August, I had a dream. I was at a birthday party but got disoriented and confused because although there were people – why sober faced at a party? – going about the venue there was no sound, no music. What is this? I said to a group of friends. There ought to be music at least! They giggled and pulled me to another part of the venue, a room. As they opened the door, I…

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